Leadership, Taught by Miss Universe

Becky Leighton

Posted: December 23, 2019

Table of Contents

2019 saw South Africans celebrate and unite as Miss Universe 2018 crowned Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi as her successor. 

Born in Tsolo, eSdwadweni in the Eastern Cape, Tunzi decided to enter Miss SA with her natural hair as a symbol of firm confidence in the reasonable portrayal of any shape and structure. She stated that her rationale behind the decision was to motivate individuals to stay true to themselves at all times.

Tunzi went further than simply wearing confidence and inspiration in the competition. She made it a mantra. When asked what she feels we should be teaching young girls of today, she responded in a powerful one-word answer: 


She stated: 

“The most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young women and girls for a very long time, not because we don’t want to [lead], but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in 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. Nothing is as important as taking up space and cementing yourself.”

Zozibini Tunzi


What does “leadership” mean?

At the point when we consider leadership, numerous individuals like to take a look at explicit attributes, qualities, or practices that characterise successful leaders. The issue that comes in with this is that those traits are often dictated by circumstance and the value can change from organisation to organisation. Characteristics that work well in one situation might be suited to others. If we look at the common trait which goes beyond quality and attributes that overcomes circumstance, we arrive at one point:


What makes a leader great?

While we all have different backgrounds and have different timelines, we always look to leaders for direction and guidance.

Some of the most important qualities and skills to look for in a great leader are:

  1. Communication
  2. Integrity
  3. Accountability
  4. Self-Awareness
  5. Humility

Tunzi’s journey highlights the importance of humility and self-awareness in particular. 

Extraordinary leaders focus on critical thinking and group elements substantially more than ‘looking out for number one’. 

A good leader will never be viable on the off-chance that they’re more worried about themselves than with the prosperity of others. For an excellent leader, the concept of success goes above and beyond what can be achieved by one individual, and the focus shifts towards society as a whole:

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. And I think that it’s time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face, and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

Zozibini Tunzi

The bottom line

In order for you to make your mark as a great leader, you need to be conscious of how you act and what qualities you have and portray. As Tunzi puts it, leaders need to know how to “take up space”.

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