Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi discusses her financial attitude during an interview at ‘Other People’s Money’

10 Aug 2021 | Angelique Reyes

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi was recently interviewed at The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield as part of his "Other People’s Money" feature, where the beauty queen shared her attitude towards money, her success, hopes, fears, and failures.

Born in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape and raised in the nearby village of Sidwadweni, Zozibini Tunzi moved to Cape Town to study public relations management at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She worked as an intern in the public relations department of Ogilvy Cape Town, along with working as a professional model.



A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi)


The queen began her pageantry career in 2017 when she was a part of the top 26 semi-finalists for Miss South Africa 2017. Later in 2019, she was crowned Miss South Africa by predecessor Tamaryn Green, besting runner-up Sasha-Lee Olivier and earning a chance to represent South Africa at Miss Universe 2019. At the end of Miss Universe 2019, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray of the Philippines crowned Zozibini Tunzi as the new queen and she became the first black woman to win the Miss Universe title since Leila Lopes was crowned Miss Universe 2011, and the first to do so with afro-textured hair.

During her interview, she revealed that the journey from being crowned Miss South Africa 2019 to Miss Universe 2019 and then going into a pandemic has been wild, but a very interesting journey of having to discover how to live normal.

Arabile Gumede (in for Whitfield) asked the queen if she found herself in a situation where she felt that it was hard to stay inside because she had plans and things, she needed to do with the title she won, to which she replied that it was challenging at first because everyone knows what role Miss Universe plays like it’s a universal job that involves traveling and meeting people. She added, "We came to a point where we understood that Miss Universe’s job is not just about traveling, but it’s about the impact she makes with her work. As soon as I realized that, I snapped out of it and realized that I still had my voice, platform and that mattered to me."



A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi)


Zozi shared that doing things virtually was tougher than she thought because of the different time zones. She was asked about how she measured her impact and success, to which she replied that she feels blessed that the pandemic happened during the time of social media, where it’s easy to get feedback, and social media was the way she was able to measure her impact on society, whether she was invited to a panel discussion or a simple message from someone. The beauty queen mentioned that she truly believes that it was a blessing in disguise because she would have never reached out to people. She reached out through social media activities.

Further in the conversation, she was asked about how she sees money now compared to how she saw it while growing up, to which the queen answered, "Growing up, I never had a view of money, but winning Miss South Africa and then Miss Universe, people often asked me what this meant to me and I said that it was the beginning of building generational wealth for my family. My parents worked and earned a certain amount of money to make sure we survived. They never had the opportunity from their parents to have wealth built up. That goes for a lot of Black households. Now, when I think about money, I think about the future."

She was asked about her earliest memory of money, and she said, "My earliest memory of money is my 2-liter Cabana bottle. I would put in whatever change I had. My mom encouraged us to have the bottle to fill with money. The money never made it to the top of the bottle." She also shared that the first-ever money she earned was at a boutique shop and it was different because she didn’t have to ask her parents for the money. Zozibini lastly shared that the world of money and finance is very confusing for her, but with professionals, she feels that she’ll be able to keep it up. She also shared that child should be taught about money and the changes that come along in school because it’s a life skill.



A post shared by Zozibini Tunzi (@zozitunzi)


The last question that she was asked about her money was, "What would you do if money was not an object," to which she shared that she would get her parents whatever they wanted and like to pay for anyone who is in school debt. Zozibini’s reign started in 2019, but due to the pandemic, it only came to an end on 16th May 2021 when she crowned Andrea Meza of Mexico as her successor at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, United States.