South Africa bags 3rd Miss Universe crown

South Africa bags 3rd Miss Universe crown

By Christine Cudis  

TEACH YOUNG GIRLS TO LEAD. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines (left) crowns her successor Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa (left) during the 68th edition of the pageant in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday (Dec. 8, 2019). Tunzi gained public admiration in the final question and answer round when she said ‘young girls and women’ should learn how to be leaders. (Screengrab from Miss Universe Youtube video)

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi stressed the need to teach young girls about leadership which made her win the third Miss Universe crown for her country at the pageant’s 68th edition in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday (Sunday, US time).

“It is 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 we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space,” Tunzi said in her answer to the question “What is the most important thing you should be teaching young girls today?” during the Final 3 round.

Tunzi, 26, aims to advocate for women empowerment and address gender-based violence globally.

Placing next to her are Puerto Rico’s Madison Anderson (first runner-up) and Mexico’s Sofía Aragón (second runner-up).

Tunzi is the third South African woman to be crowned Miss Universe, after Margaret Gardiner in 1978 and Demi-Leigh Nel Peters in 2017. She retook the crown for South Africa, after her predecessor Tamaryn Green placed first runner-up to reigning Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines during last year’s pageant in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Miss Philippines’ Gazini Ganados has ended her journey to the crown early as she failed to make it to the Top 10.

Miss Universe PH bet Gazini Ganados lands in Top 20 in the 2019 competition. Miss Universe photo

She also live-tweeted during the competition when she was not called for the Top 5 of the Asia Pacific and Africa group: “I’ve always been an optimist. There’s still a non-regional based top 5 and wildcard! Crossed fingers. For the Philippines. Laban tayo! (We will fight!)”

Ganados, who hails from Talisay, Cebu, only made it to the Top 20 of the competition coming in from the non-regional based Top 5, the wildcard set. She was called first along with other front-runners representing Venezuela, India, Colombia, and Brazil.

Before the Top 10 was announced, the Top 20 shared their advocacies.

“The world is aging, and my grandparents raised me. I worked in an organization that was supporting elderly care. I learned… I realized that there’s this stigma between ageism, poverty, exclusivity, and invincibility. It is rightful for us to remember that they were the ones who paved the way for us. We should reciprocate that love, and no one should be ever left behind,” Ganados shared her piece on elderly care.

Candidates from the USA, Colombia, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Peru, Iceland, France, Indonesia, Thailand, and Mexico made it to the Top 10.

While Miss Mexico, Miss Thailand, Miss Colombia, Miss Puerto Rico, and Miss South Africa advanced to the Top 5 of the competition.

The Philippines currently holds four Miss Universe titles through Gray, Gloria Diaz (1969), Margie Moran (1973) and Pia Wurtzbach (2015)

The coronation night can be viewed on YouTube via the Miss Universe account. (PNA)

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