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South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe

Her incredible win makes history.

AFP via Getty Images

Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe in Atlanta, GA on Sunday (Dec. 8).

“I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me, with my kind of skin and my kind of hair, was never considered to be beautiful,” the South African beauty said during the pageant. “I think that it is time that that stops today.”

Tunzi’s win marks the first time a Black woman has won Miss Universe since Leila Lopes in 2011 and the first time in history that Miss Teen USA, Miss America, Miss USA and now Miss Universe have all been Black women.

During the pageant, Tunzi advocated for teaching young girls the importance of leadership.

“It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time—not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labelled women to be,” she said. “I think we are the most powerful beings on 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.”

Oprah Winfrey congratulated the 26-year-old winner on Twitter.

“Congratulations Miss South Africa, the new Miss Universe [Zozibini Tunzi]!” she wrote. “Agree with you...leadership is the most powerful thing we should be teaching young women today. We welcome your visit to #OWLAG, our Leadership Academy for Girls.”

Tunzi reflected on her win in an Instagram post.

“Tonight a door was opened and I could not be more grateful to have been the one to have walked through it,” she wrote. “May every little girl who witnessed this moment forever believe in the power of her dreams and may they see their faces reflected in mine. I proudly state my name Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019!”

Earlier this year, Nia Franklin was crowned as this year’s Miss America, Cheslie Kryst won Miss USA 2019 and Kaliegh Garris was awarded with Miss Teen USA.

Check out some Twitter reactions below.

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