Zozibini Tunzi says The Masked Singer SA allowed her to show off her singing talent

‘Being disguised as a robot was hilarious and fun'

24 July 2023 - 15:40
By Masego Seemela
Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi details her time as the Robot on The Masked Singer.
Image: Supplied Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi details her time as the Robot on The Masked Singer.

Former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi’s biggest takeaway from being on The Masked Singer SA was overcoming her fears and anxiety over whether she’d make the cut as a singer.  

The 29-year-old is the latest prolific star to be unmasked on the show and she was revealed as the celebrity identity behind the robot.

Tunzi joined investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender as watermelon, political leader Mmusi Maimane as warrior, comedian David Kau as hippo, broadcaster Bongani Bingwa as banana, football legend Doctor Khumalo as soccer ball, rugby star Victor Matfield as rooster and chef The Lazy Makoti as zebra.

“Being on the show made me realise that I am truly capable of becoming a singer because as much as I love music, I always had a fear of how I would translate on stage or how I’d be received by people,” she told Sowetan on Monday morning.

“I said 'yes' without any hesitation when I was called and asked to participate in the show... I didn’t even need to think a lot about it... I knew I wanted to take part.  

“I love to sing and music is one of the things that bring me the most joy in the world. I also thought that it would be a fun way to introduce myself to South Africans as someone who truly does sing.”

Host of the Masked Singer Mpho Popps with former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.
Image: Supplied. Host of the Masked Singer Mpho Popps with former Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi.

While she thought she had fooled everyone,  the panel of the show’s detectives – J’Something, Somizi Mhlongo, Sithelo Shozi and Skhumba Hlophe – successfully guessed her as the mysterious figure in disguise. She serenaded the audience with Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody at the weekend. 

“My experience on the show was a very beautiful one, especially because there’s so much secrecy around it, and no one knows who you are – all you do is leave your heart on the stage and witness people's reactions to your talent which is the most beautiful thing about the show,” she said.

“Being disguised as the robot was hilarious and fun because I got to get into the minds of the detectives to the audience and the people on social media as they battled to figure out who is behind the costume. 

“I also enjoyed gaslighting my sisters to check whether they know me or not... [laughs]. This whole experience was very very interesting.”

Image: Supplied.

But her family and friends, like the rest of Mzansi, were not fooled.

“It was very hard when I had to always deny to my sisters and friends when they would send me video clips of the robot on The Masked Singer telling me that it was me. I didn’t enjoy lying to them because I knew it was the truth but I had no choice... I signed an NDA,” she said. 

“My most memorable moment on set was when I first stepped out on stage. I didn’t know what to expect or how well I’d sing but I always hung onto the audience’s first initial reaction, which I think was very special.

Tunzi is currently co-producing and hosting S3’s Crown Chasers, which follows the journeys of this year’s Miss SA top 10. She also hopes to continue to produce shows that upskill and are relevant to the South African audience.