Zozibini Tunzi took home the 2019 Miss Universe title at the annual beauty pageant on Sunday, held this year at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hailing from South Africa, the 26-year-old pageant winner is the first black woman from her country to wear the Miss Universe crown. She works as an activist, and is particularly passionate about fighting gender-based violence. Natural beauty is also important to Tunzi, who believes women should “love themselves the way they are,” according to the Miss Universe website.
After being named the winner, Tunzi pressed her hands together against her head and grinned.
She was then presented with the Miss Universe sash, which was placed over her sparkling, long-sleeved gown.
Of course, the Miss Universe crown followed. Tunzi looked emotional as Catriona Gray – who previously served as Miss Philippines and Miss Universe 2018 – placed the crown upon her head.
This year’s crown is called the “Power of Unity,” according to a video from Mouawad Jewelry.
It’s made with 18-karat gold and 1,770 diamonds, including a golden centerpiece stone weighing 62.83 carats, according to Rappler. The floral design of the crown is meant to represent unity among women from all seven continents, while the crown as a whole was inspired by “nature, strength, beauty, femininity, and unity,” according to Mouawad’s video.
Miss South Africa looked stunning in the headpiece, and its center stone perfectly matched her golden dress.
She was up against Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Mexico, who took home second and third place respectively.
📸 credit: Paras Griffin/Stringer/Valerie Macon/Getty Images