Here's Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi's Advice To The Newly-Crowned Miss Universe
"I hope that she becomes a catalyst for positive change," Zozibini says. Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was crowned Miss Universe 2020
Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi from South Africa is the longest reigning titleholder in this prestigious pageant's history because of the pandemic that caused delays in holding the 69th Miss Universe competition (Miss Universe 2020).
She is the third woman from South Africa to win the title, and the first black woman since Angola's Leila Lopes was hailed Miss Universe 2011.
Before the Top 10 finalists at the Miss Universe 2020 coronation night were announced, a video interview of Zozibini Tunzi was shown then she was welcomed onstage by hosts Olivia Culpo and Mario Lopez who asked her for her advice to the woman who will be crowned the new Miss Universe.
Here's what she said:
"My year did not turn out how I envisioned that it would be. I always say that I knew that my year would be different and that it would be special. What I never imagined was that there would be a whole global pandemic. I am now the longest reigning Miss Universe because of that, another one for the history books.
"As much as I wasn't able to travel, I was able to sit with people and speak with them virtually... I had to make the most out of my circumstances, and so it was a time for us to unite, just to bring people together and say, 'We are separated, we are apart, but let's be separate together.'
"It felt so incredible to be a part of history with two other black women. For the first time, we had three women who held this major beauty pageant titles. Black women have never really been the standard of beauty, and so to see myself alongside those two women, I think, was so necessary. It spoke a lot diversity. It spoke a lot to representation. It was so important for me to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement. It has always been important. I joined a march that was happening in New York. Not only did I march, I was actually able to host a couple of panel dicussions with my Universe United platform.
"Miss Universe for me is the beginning of the rest of my life. This is a stepping stone to get to so many things that I want to accomplish. My message to the next Miss Universe is that I hope she realizes what an incredible platform this is. I hope she uses it to make a difference, and I hope that she becomes a catalyst for positive change.
"It was a rollercoaster. I think all of us saw on the video that it became virtual very quickly. I had to really, really adapt to not being able to do the traveling part of my job. I think we all came to see that being Miss Universe is not really all about the travel but about the impact and the heart and the work that you do. Going virtual really helped me get to places that I probably wouldn't have been able to get if I had to travel. The fact that people could open their phones and computers, and be able to hear my voice and my story and my messages was incredible.
"So much to say, but I think for one, I don't want her to be hard on herself. It's going to be an incredible reign for her and some days are gonna be hard but she will be okay. And the second one is that I hope she realizes what an impactful platform this is, and I want her to use it as much as she can to do good for herself and for others."
Miss Mexico Andrea Meza was named Miss Universe 2020.
Lead photos from @zozitunzi