'Thank you for giving us something to brag about': Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi enjoys triumphant South African homecoming

It's the first time Zozibini Tunzi has been home since winning the coveted crown in December

Zozibini Tunzi enjoys a hero's welcome in South Africa after being crowned Miss Universe 2019. Miss Universe / Twitter 

Six weeks after being crowned Miss Universe 2019, Zozibini Tunzi is enjoying a hero’s welcome during her South Africa homecoming.

The beauty queen beat 90 contestants to take the crown in the final of one of the world’s most prestigious pageants in December, becoming the third Miss Universe to hail from South Africa.

During a triumphant homecoming, Tunzi was welcomed by the deputy minister for Department of Arts and Culture, Maggie Sotyu. “Her crown is our crown, so we are all Miss Universe,” said Sotyu. “Thank you for making us so proud, thank you for giving us something to brag about. Thank you for making us proud to be ourselves. Thank you for making that young girl out there actually believe in herself and know that it can be done.”

Tunzi was greeted by hundreds of fans and well-wishers as she arrived back to the OR Tambo airport, as well as performances from the Soweto Gospel Choir and a troupe of dancers. Her tour of South Africa will take her to her hometown of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape.

Sharing a video of her reception, Tunzi said, “I can never thank you enough for this. Thank you so much South Africa.”

She will spend the next 12 months residing in New York as part of the Miss Universe Organisation, where she will work alongside a number of charities and organisations.

Speaking after her win in December, Tunzi said, “Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it. May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine.”