Miss SA back home in EC

Nothing compares to being in her beloved Eastern Cape, Tunzi says

Miss South Africa, the Eastern Cape’s own Zozibini Tunzi, is received by her father Lungisa Tunzi, who was first in the huge welcoming committee at Mthatha Airport on Sunday and who gave her the magnificent beaded necklace she was wearing.
Miss South Africa, the Eastern Cape’s own Zozibini Tunzi, is received by her father Lungisa Tunzi, who was first in the huge welcoming committee at Mthatha Airport on Sunday and who gave her the magnificent beaded necklace she was wearing.
Image: Lulamile Feni

Tsolo-born Miss South Africa 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, was greeted by a large crowd of singing and dancing fans and friends at Mthatha Airport on Sunday.

Leading the line of dignatories there to welcome her was AmaMpondomise king-designate Luzuko Matine, along with his traditional leaders, and elders from the Tolo clan, where Tunzi was born at Sidwadweni village, about 15km outside Mthatha.

The welcoming party was arranged by her family and the Tolo clan and joined by government officials.

A group of bikers also rolled up, revving their throttles and adding to the excitement.

Tunzi’s parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents were overcome with emotion as they gazed upon “Zozi”, the little girl from the village who grew up to be judged the most beautiful woman in SA.

Some spoke of her journey through the education system, starting in the local primary, continuing at Canaan Academy in Dutywa and matriculating at Butterworth High in 2011.

Tunzi said: “It is the most exciting thing for me to come back to my hometown.

“Although I am Miss South Africa, I belong to eSidwadweni in Tsolo. I am an Eastern Cape girl.

“To be among the people of the Eastern Cape to celebrate with them is one of the the most important and enjoyable things I will ever do.

“My people are so warm and generous. I was amazed by the reception given to my mom [Philiswa Nodophu-Tunzi] when she came back from Johannesburg after I won.

“It was like she was the one who had won. They congratulated her for having me as daughter,” she said.

People from mostly-forgotten places in South Africa had to dream big, Tunzi urged.

“There is nothing wrong with growing up in a rural area – what matters is how you dream and how you commit to your dream and want to achieve more,” said Tunzi.

Her dreams took her first from her village to win the title of Miss Teen Zizo Beda of Dutywa and then a runner-up in the 2017 Miss South Africa.

“Girls from the Eastern Cape can do it – rural girls must be proud and dream more.

“I am so grateful to have touched the hearts of so many people, especially from the rural areas of the Eastern Cape,” she said.

Describing her traditional beliefs, she said: “I strongly believe in my ancestors, rituals and other traditional practices that make me the person I am. By the same token, I strongly believe in my God. I believe my ancestors believe in God.”

Her father, Lungisa Tunzi, said: “We will take her straight home were we will perform some family rituals as the Tolo clan. We will slaughter an ox to welcome her and conduct some rituals according to our clan.

“Zozibini was here in December at the kraal where we invoked the spirit of our ancestors and pleaded with our ancestor OoTolo to pave the way for her to win. Now she is back and we will invoke the spirit of our ancestors and thank them.

“We are Africans and even if we are Christians, we have not forsaken our roots, or our ancestors,” Tunzi’s father said.

A homecoming celebration for Miss SA will be held on Monday, starting at 7am with a motorcade from the Mthatha Garden Court to Tsolo and back to her home for a four-hour celebration.

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