Zozibini Tunzi continues to make history as the longest-reigning Miss Universe

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi took her words of “cementing yourself” literally when she was crowned in 2019.

Case in point? The beauty queen has “cemented” herself to her crown for 467 days and counting, officially making her the longest-reigning Miss Universe ever.

Tunzi was crowned Miss Universe in December 2019, and her victory made her the third South African woman to win the title.

Before Tunzi, Miss Universe 2012 Leila Lopes from Angola held the longest reign, holding the title for 464 days from September 2011 to December 2012.

Last year, the pageant was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Tunzi pleaded with the world to not stop taking up spaces, saying: “We don't stop taking up spaces just because we are socially distancing.”

This year's pageant will be held in Florida, US, on May 16.

Congratulating Tunzi on the achievement, Miss SA said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leaders! Today we celebrate Zozi as the longest-reigning Miss Universe! Thank you for taking up space and inspiring us all.”

In one of her recent posts on Instagram, Tunzi jokingly reminded fans she was the “landlord” of the universe.

“The one with the Title Deed of the Universe. The keeper of keys! The landlord. First of her name! You can disagree in the comments if you like. Not sure where you're gonna stay after I kick you out though,” she said.

Speaking to Sunday Times last year, Tunzi said she hopes to pursue music when her reign ends.

“I’ve come to fall in love with music all over again. I’ve always loved music but I never thought it would be something I would pursue as a career. I feel like music is a space I want to occupy next. I’m fascinated by television as well, so people will definitely find me there too. Humanitarian work is also close to my heart, something I’m hoping to continue,” she said.