Zozi Tunzi Trevor Noah Daily Show Miss Universe 2

Photo: The Daily Show / Twitter

Zozi Tunzi meets Trevor Noah: Miss Universe opens up about online abuse

Even the actual Miss Universe has to endure horrible comments about her appearance. Zozi Tunzi bared all for Trevor Noah on Tuesday evening.

Zozi Tunzi Trevor Noah Daily Show Miss Universe 2

Photo: The Daily Show / Twitter

Yas queen! Zozibini Tunzi and Trevor Noah ensured that black South African excellence dominated the American airwaves on Tuesday evening as the recently crowned Miss Universe appeared on The Daily Show.

When Zozi met Trevor

Tunzi, an all-natural beauty from the Eastern Cape, shared a few giggles with the Soweto-born funnyman. However, it wasn’t all light-hearted banter. Zozi had a few serious issues to contend with: As she has made clear since her stunning pageant victory last week, this tiara means she will be confronting all of the major topics that matter to her.

Unfortunately, even a Miss Universe gets called horrible names by online trolls and critics who don’t know any better. Tunzi has detailed the abuse she received in the run-up to the competition, and how things haven’t really changed since winning in Atlanta.

“It’s been interesting since winning Miss SA: I’ve enjoyed incredible, yet challenging support. I’ve got a new look many people are not used to. I got a lot of comments from people online who were underwhelmed with me – calling me a ‘downgrade’ from what we’ve had. That then became international criticism.

“I didn’t wear a wig. This is my hair, that’s why I didn’t change it! Why should I? It’s no strategy, I’ve had short hair for years and I wasn’t going to change it…”

Zozi Tunzi on ‘The Daily Show’

As well as discussing the abuse she’s faced, Zozi Tunzi also wanted to champion the causes she will be tackling over the next 12 months, while she holds the tiara. She told Trevor Noah that men must be engaged on subjects like femicide and gender-based violence – because they are the perpetrators:

“Most interesting was when I returned to Mzansi. I’ve had to endure abuse online, one comment referred to me as ‘black and ugly’. It was at that moment I decided I wasn’t mad. It’s just how society has decided how beauty should be. People have to see these things – like colourism – in order to believe them.”

“Femicide and gender-based violence are causes I’m fighting. It’s for women all over the world, from South Africa to the #MeToo movement. Women at the moment are an endangered species. We must bring men into the GBV debate. People should not ask me what to do about it… ask the perpetrators instead.”

Miss Universe: Zozi Tunzi fights her cause with Trevor Noah

Things ended on a lighter note – well, if that’s what you can call frostbite: Zozi Tunzi is feeling the bitter cold that grips New York in the winter. She also gave a shoutout to her hometown in the Eastern Cape, and spoke about the inspiration she hopes to spark back in Tsolo.

“New York is so cold, oh my god! I just want to feel my toes one more time. I’m looking forward to travelling the world. I want to take my message across the globe. With this crown comes great responsibility and a big following. This is the beginning of building generational wealth for my family, too.”

“I come from a village called Tsolo in the Eastern Cape. It’s one of the most empoverished places in the country. It’s difficult to make it out of there. This feels like I’m giving an element of hope everyone back home.”