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Zozibini Tunzi to use Miss Universe stage to tackle gender-based violence

Miss SA Zozibini Tunzi is on Tuesday travelling to the US to compete on the international stage.

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi’s national costume for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant. Picture: @zozitunzi/Instagram

JOHANNESBURG - Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi said she aimed to change the narrative associated with pageants on the world stage as she prepared for Miss Universe next month.

Tunzi is on Tuesday travelling to the US to compete on the international stage. She said despite negative perceptions about the competition, it provided women opportunities to lead.

South Africans were urged to bring flags and signs to OR Tambo International Airport to wish Tunzi well ahead of the Miss Universe event on 9 December.

Tunzi said as the country observed 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, she would use the opportunity to advocate for women empowerment and address gender-based violence globally.

“The Miss Universe platform as well as the Miss South Africa platform are some of the few platforms that actually give women the ability to lead and the sooner we start looking at it as a leadership position, the less it’s something that’s taboo and the more we can start moving forward as women,” she said.

Should Tunzi win the international pageant, she would become the third South African to wear the crown, which she said was a victory for all who had supported her during her reign.

“I want them to know that I leave as myself to the Miss Universe stage, but when I stand there I will be standing as millions of South Africans.”

Miss Universe is one of the world’s largest pageants with 92 countries contesting for the crown this year.

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