AceShowbiz - Congratulations are in order for Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi! The 26-year-old beauty from Toslo was named as the winner of Miss Universe 2019, which took place on Sunday, December 8 at Tyler Perry Studios, Atlanta, Georgia. She took over the coveted title from last year's winner Catriona Gray of the Philippines.
In the 68th annual Miss Universe competition, Zozibini successfully edged out 90 contestants who are narrowed down to 20 semifinalists during a closed-door competition prior to the three-hour live TV event which was hosted by Steve Harvey along with Vanessa Minnillo (Vanessa Lachey) and Olivia Culpo as backstage correspondents. The Top 20 were further narrowed down following a series of traditional pageant-style events including the ever-popular swimsuit and evening gown rounds.
Among this year's Top 10 was Colombia, France, Iceland, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Thailand and the United States. Later that night, it was announced that Miss South Africa, Miss Mexico Sofia Aragon and Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson would be facing off each other to win the Miss Universe title.
During the Final Word, all three women were asked the same question which was, "What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today?" Zozibini appeared to wow the judges with her excellent answer.
"The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership," she calmly replied. "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 of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that's what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. There is nothing more important than to take up space in the society."
Before the big announcement, the Top 3 were given a chance to grace the stage and deliver their final speech. "I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair is never considered to be beautiful and I think that it is time that stops today," Zozibini told everyone. "I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine."
Miss Mexico Sofia came out as the third place finisher, while Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was named as this year's runner-up. Meanwhile, Miss Malaysia Shweta Sekho won Best National Costume with Miss Poland Olga Buława being named Miss Congeniality.