South Africa wins Miss Universe with talk of leadership for women

December 13, 2019

Zozibini Tunzi is crowned the new Miss Universe.

And the winner is … South Africa! Out of 90 contestants, Zozibini Tunzi took the crown for Miss Universe 2019, with Madison Anderson, Miss Puerto Rico, coming in as first runner-up.

In 2018, South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters crowned Catriona Gray of the Philippines and, on Sunday, December 8, 2019, Gray and her country returned the compliment, anointing South Africa’s Tunzi after a spirited competition among 20 semifinalists.

Anderson, Miss Puerto Rico, urged girls and young women to “be yourself ” in her answer to the final question posed by host Steve Harvey.

Tunzi blew everyone away with her quote on the importance of teaching young women leadership, and to “take up space,” which caused the crowd to go wild.

“I think one of the most important things we should be teaching young girls today is leadership,” she said. “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 is what we should be teaching these young girls – to take up space. Nothing as important as taking up space in society.”

The tail end of her answer was drowned out by raucous cheers.

Harvey played it fairly straight during this, his fifth time hosting and the 68th Miss Universe contest, this one held at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

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