Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi says there’s a possibility that South Africa will play host of the next Miss Universe competition. She was addressing thousands of people, mainly young women at Mthatha stadium in the Eastern Cape.

Tunzi, who is affectionately called ‘Zozo, believes that if government and the private sector could work together to uplift young talent, South Africa would be respected globally.

“There is a possibility that we might have Miss Universe coming to South Africa. Yes, there is huge possibility and I am saying it right here right now because I am wanting all of us to compete for it. I am wanting all of us to fight for it so that I can hand over my crown while I am back home, so that young girls are able to look at it up close and personal and see that it’s possible for all of us,” says Tunzi.

Meanwhile Arts and Culture Minister Nocawe Mafu has encouraged young people to pursue their dreams.

“I just want to say to you, young people, dream and dream big and make sure that nobody actually tells you that your dreams are not real because once you are able to do that you will be able to reach where nobody would have thought you would. Nobody would have thought in a million years that you would have Miss Universe from Esidwadweni in Tsolo,” says Mafu.

Tunzi says, “We are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity and that is what we should be teaching these young girls to take up space. Nothing is as important as taking up space in society and cementing yourself.”

Zozibini says these messages are significant and relevant in the modern world…

“What I can say definitely is that I will continue with the messages that I am trying to spread and hopefully, someone will listen and contribute towards it.”

She is confident that South Africa can be a better country if public and private sector can come together and help the youth.

“I am looking forward to work with the youth of South Africa, and see what we can do to make better our communities and hopefully, with the help of private entities, with the help of government, everybody listening, altogether we can do this because really it is only my part to play, but I think we, as South Africans, can just come together and try to help as much as we can. (If) each person offers a helping hand, we will finally get where we want to be.”

Expression of happiness at her home village by elderly people was extraordinary as they seated her on a grass mat and presented her with a grass bowl with gifts as a token of welcoming her back home.

Zozibini’s mother, Philiswa Tunzi, says the family has been longing for her.

“This is an awesome moment. I am so grateful to God; first because He is always, and was always the pillar of my strength. So, I am so grateful to God. I am very happy that she is back home, because we have been waiting for her. We have been longing to see her. So, we are very happy.”

Zozibini will continue crisscrossing the world with charity responsibilities and all the duties bestowed to her as the Miss Universe.

South Africa and Africa are proud to have Zozibini as the pillar of hope for young girls on the continent.