Zozibini Tunzi, a beauty pageant titleholder who doubles as Miss South Africa, has been crowned Miss Universe 2019.

The 26-year-old South African won the pageant on Sunday.

Speaking during the competition on the most important things young girls in the society should be taught, Tunzi said females need leadership skills.

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me — with my kind of skin and my kind of hair — was never considered to be beautiful. I think it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine,” she said.

“I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time. Not because we don’t want to, but because what society has labelled women to be.

“I think we are the most powerful beings in the world. And that we should be given every opportunity. And that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space. Nothing as more important than taking up space in society and cementing ourselves.”

The runners-up for the crown were Madison Anderson, Miss Puerto Rico and Sofía Aragón, Miss Mexico respectively.

“Being on the Miss Universe stage is not just a dream. I believe that I found my mission. It’s a representation of dedication, resilience, and perseverance. I do believe my mission is to show the world that magic happens when we refuse to give up because the universe always listens to a stubborn heart,” Anderson said.

The 2019 Miss Universe Pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey, an American businessman and entertainer.



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