With the Miss Universe motto being “confidently beautiful” and the pageant’s advocacy focusing on humanitarian issues and being the voice to effect positive change in the world, African countries definitely deserve more wins as more African women are changing the narrative around beauty stereotypes.
The first black – South African Miss Universe
Zozibini Tunzi saw South Africa into it’s 3rd Miss Universe win since the pageant was founded in 1952. She is the FIRST BLACK Miss Universe from SA. Zozi’s winning answer at the Miss Universe pageant was “The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership.” “Nothing is as important as taking up space and cementing yourself” she added.
During her reign, Miss Tunzi has been an advocate for natural beauty. She was the first black woman to win the pageant with her natural hair. “May every little girl see their faces reflected in mine”. She is Miss Angola – Leila Lope’s successor in the “Black African Miss Universe” category. Leila won the pageant in 2011.
Ladies in Formation
2019 was a historic year globally, for the first time in the history of the beauty pageant world, 5 black women wore crowns for Miss Universe (Zozibini Tunzi), Miss World (Toni-Ann Singh), Miss USA (Cheslie Kryst), Miss America (Nia Franklin), and Miss Teen USA (Kaleigh Garris). This will forever be a proud moment for black women globally.
In 1993 Jacqui Mofokeng won the title of Miss South Africa, becoming the first black Miss SA titleholder. After Jacqui, more black women have broken stereotypes, competing in the Miss SA pageant which is a door to Miss World and Miss Universe.
The A – List since ’93
- 1993 – Jacqui Mofokeng (First Black Miss South Africa)
- 1994 – Basetsana Kumalo (First black Miss SA into democracy)
- 1996 – Peggy – Sue Khumalo (Miss SA ’96)
- 1999 – Mpule Kwelagobe (Miss Universe ’99. First Black Miss Universe from an African country – Botswana)
- 2005 – Nokuthula Sithole – Dlamini (Miss SA ’05)
- 2010 – Bokang Montjane – Tshabalala (Miss SA 2010)
- 2011 – Leila Lopes (Miss Universe 2011, first Angolan to win title)
- 2014 – Ziphozakhe Zokufa (Miss SA 2014)
- 2016 – Ntandoyenkosi Kunene – Mthethwa (Miss SA 2016)
- 2019 – Zozibini Thunzi (Miss Universe 2019. First Black South African Miss Universe)
- 2020 – Shudufhadzo Musida – (Miss SA 2020. Miss World – South Africa 2021 contestant)
In celebration of International Women’s Month, these are some of the women that should be honored as they’ve paved the way and given hope to little black girls and showed them that it is indeed possible.