Zozibini Tunzi Becomes 1st Miss South Africa to Be Crowned While Rocking Natural Hair

"I hope I make South Africa proud," 2019 Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi said after winning the competition and wearing the crown with her natural hair. Tunzi is the first in 60 years to do so. 

Newly crowned 2019 Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi made history by being the first winner in 60 years to rock her natural hair during the competition.   

Tunzi proudly wore her crown over her kinky short hair, a moment she highlighted in a post celebrating her victory. 

“So here sits the crown, beautifully so on my kinky coarse hair. I hope I make South Africa proud,” she wrote to caption a photo of her wearing her crown. 

“I want to show that you can be beautiful by simply being yourself, by wearing your own natural crown, and not be ashamed.”


Tunzi was a crowd favorite since the top 16 finalists were announced a week prior to pageant night. The 25-year-old student from Tsolo in Eastern Cape gained even more popularity after she edged out 2nd placer Sasha Lee Oliver during the finals on Women's Day held at Times Square in Pretoria. 

Not only did she impress people with her beauty she also inspired others with her courage to compete with her natural locks. 

Tunzi admitted being terrified to showcase her curls during the competition since cutting it short a few years back. However, she also wanted her natural appearance to be an empowering force for women. 

“I want to show that you can be beautiful by simply being yourself, by wearing your own natural crown, and not be ashamed,” she told the Sunday Times. She stressed too that natural African beauty is “what makes us incredible.”


Tunzi’s win is “a dream come true” according to the crowned beauty queen who spoke about her winning moment to Martin Bester. Describing the awkward moment of dropping to her knees when her name was called, Tunzi admitted, “crying is not the prettiest thing.”

However, she was happy that her prayers were answered by winning the crown. In an Instagram post where she shared a photo from her dinner with South African Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, she said she prayed to God “to put me in a position where I could do something impactful for my country, where I could do something to help.” 

Tunzi affirms, “And he gave me the Miss SA platform. I am extremely blessed.”


More and more women like Tunzi have been flaunting their natural hair. These include former first lady, Michelle Obama whose been going all-natural lately in her recent appearances.

Mrs. Obama wore it in blonde ombre during the Essence Festival and let it flow freely during her summer trip to Europe with her family. 

Other stars like Rihanna, Kenya Moore, Beyonce, Tia Mowry, Naomi Campbell, and Loni Love have at one point ditched their wigs and weaves too to embrace their kinky locks. 

With Tunzi’s win highlighting the importance of embracing your natural curls, we may see more Black women following suit. Hopefully, with many women taking the lead, the stigma that comes with natural hair will finally be eradicated.   

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