Very few people know Zozibini Tunzi beyond that night at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta when she was crowned Miss Universe in 2019. However, those who know her well enough can testify to her story’s awesomeness and her personality’s uniqueness. Welcome to an insightful exploration of the remarkable journey of Zozibini Tunzi as we delve into her background, fashion style, and career.
Zozibini Tunzi, also known as Zozi Tunzi, is the second of four children. She has three sisters: Ayakha, Yanga, and Sibabalwe. Zozi is from Sidwadweni in Tsolo, located in the Eastern Cape province. Her mother, Philiswa Tunzi, is a teacher and currently works as the Bangweni Junior secondary school principal in Bolotwa, Eastern Cape. Her dad Lungisa Tunzi works at the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria.
When it was time for university, Zozi moved to Cape Town, where she attended the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. In 2016, she was among the students financially excluded from the university. She participated in the #FeesMustFall protest, a mass action against the hiking of university fees in South Africa. In 2018 she graduated with a National Diploma in Public Relations Management. She later returned to Cape Peninsula University of Technology and acquired a Bachelor of Technology degree in Public Relations.
When Zozi was younger, she was a shy child and didn’t have a lot of friends. She entered her first pageant when she was eleven years old because her mother wanted her to go there and be amongst other young people and build friendships. Zozi is a homebody who loves to enjoy herself and have a good time. For her, having a good time may mean being in her pyjamas at home during her leisure time, sitting around and doing absolutely nothing, or sleeping.
Additionally, Zozi has a fear of heights (acrophobia) and of holes (trypophobia). She considers herself a good singer and enjoys eating Umngqusho and beef stew. She is also an ardent Marvel fan but has a particular fondness for the DC comic character Wonder Woman. Her go-to music playlist is “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, she admits that she can’t go a day without listening to that album.
In an interview with Zozi, she confessed that her love for fashion is something that she picked up from her mother and eldest sister, who both love clothes. To her, fashion is a form of expression and an art on the body. Zozi is known for her signature short natural hair, but she also embodies a versatile fashion style while trying out different looks occasionally. She has been featured in fashion magazines and events like the African Fashion International Fashion Week.
One part of her appearance that gets most fashion fans talking is her choice of shoes. Shoes in fashion can be tricky, so it is best to know easy ways to repair heals and soles to be prepared for last minute fashion emergencies. Browse her Instagram page to see how she stylishly combines different shoes and dresses, no matter their difficulty or extravagance. Take some inspiration to revamp your favourite old pair by simply changing their broken heels or unstuck sole. Or simply find ideas to help you choose the next perfect shoes for your dress.
Zozi has walked in some amazing shoes, like the silver strappy sandals with mirrored heels and brown skyscraper sandals she wore at the Miss Universe competition in Atlanta. Or the white knee-high western boots she posed in at the Wellesley Knightsbridge hotel, amongst others.
In 2015, Zozi was crowned Miss Mamelodi Sundowns, and then in 2017, she contested for Miss South Africa but was only able to make it to the semi-finals. Two years later, she competed for Miss South Africa again and won the crown on Friday, August 9, 2019.
Zozi Tunzi worked full-time at Ogilvy Cape Town as a graduate intern in the public relations department before representing South Africa in the Miss Universe pageantry contest, which she won on Sunday, December 8, 2019. This Miss Universe win made her the third South African woman and second black woman to clinch the prize. Zozi holds the record for the longest reigning Miss Universe titleholder, lasting 1 year, 5 months, and 8 days.
Zozi has also worked as a media personality, activist, television host, and radio host. Her radio hosting debut was on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, on Power 98.7 for the Women’s Month 987Woman POWER Talk show. In 2022, she made her acting debut with “The Woman King” movie, where she portrayed the character Efe. In 2023, she co-hosted the 9th edition of the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) alongside Nigerian comedian and media personality IK Osakioduwa. She also founded and runs the Zozibini Tunzi Foundation, which tackles mental health issues.