Zozibini Tunzi, the Queen who wore a gown that will stay in our hearts forever
Crowned Miss South Africa on National Women’s Day in 2019, a few months later Zozibini Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe in December (2019). Her grace, humility, intelligence and above all, awe-striking beauty is why we regard her as the landlord of the universe. We will never forget her and the significance of her reign for our communities and especially for every single Black girl. Additionally, in the same way her final statement will stay within our hearts till the end of time, her final walk on the Miss Universe 2020 stage will reside in our hearts too.
On both nights of crowning, Tunzi wore dresses that resemble her beauty and the beauty of where she comes from. The gowns are as memorable as everything about her. We take a look at the dress she wore on Sunday, the 16th of May 2021, during her final walk as Miss Universe 2019. The gown was designed by South African designer Biji – La Maison de Couture and our heritage is reflected in the garment.
The Xhosa heritage that lives in the beadwork and colours of the dress
As she bid farewell and thanked her family and South Africa, Tunzi wore a dress that is emblematic of her Xhosa Heritage. In addition, the headwrap/doek she wore also told the world something about her home. Her gown showcased the beauty of black in the front and white at the back. Bead work has always been aesthetically important for the (southern) African to express themselves. For the Xhosa culture, beadwork is a part of who they are.
Biji – La Maison de Couture, the designer told the world about the beauty of Xhosa heritage with beadwork. In doing so, they acknowledged the significance of bead work for the Xhosa culture. Tunzi’s heritage also breathes in the unity of black and white poured into the entirety of the garment. Additionally, the ingqosha, the Xhosa necklace worn form head to toe that she wore accompanied the story of the Xhosa culture her look shared with us.
We saw our faces reflected hers and our culture reflected in the dress. Hence, the gown is perfect for Zozibini Tunzi and her reign. It is the epitome of iconic.