South Africa’s President, Trevor Noah, Others Applaud 2019 Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, appears at a press conference following the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on December 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Paras Griffin/Getty Images/AFP

 

Congratulatory messages poured in on Monday morning for South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi who clinched the Miss Universe crown, displaying the beauty of Africa to the world.

Defeating about 90 women from across the universe, Tunzi finished first ahead of the Puerto Rican and Mexican finalists in a glamorous event hosted by American comic turned TV personality Steve Harvey in Atlanta.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in a congratulatory message posted on his official twitter handle said, “Congratulations to our #MissUniverse2019. May young women continue to take up space & leave an indelible mark on society, just as you have.”

 

Popular South African comedian and the host of American satirical news program The Daily Show, Trevor Noah also hailed Tunzi on her feat.

“Congratulations @zozitunzi on representing SA and yourself in a truly regal manner. So so so proud,” Noah posted.

 

Many other African congratulated Tunzi for doing the continent proud. Others were appreciated her confidence in the African hair hailing her for contesting with her natural hair.

See more congratulatory messages below…

One of the highlights of Tunzi’s win was her closing speech at the event when she said, “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.”

South Africa’s Tunzi Emerges 2019 Miss Universe

Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, appears at a press conference following the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant at Tyler Perry Studios on December 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Paras Griffin/Getty Images/AFP

 

Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday in Atlanta after a lavish ceremony filled with glitter and heartfelt speeches about female empowerment.

Zozibini Tunzi, 26, finished first ahead of the Puerto Rican and Mexican finalists in a flashy televised event, hosted by American comic turned TV personality Steve Harvey.

Television personalities Vanessa Lachey and Olivia Culpo served as backstage commentators, and a panel of seven women determined the winner.

Tunzi earned cheers during her closing speech, a new segment of the competition, in which she talked about wanting to empower young women to feel confident.

“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,” she said.

“I think that it is time that that stops today,” she said to thunderous applause.

Tunzi beat more than 90 contestants from around the globe in the 68th instalment of Miss Universe, which was held in Atlanta’s Tyler Perry Studios.

The two favorites ahead of the competition, Miss Thailand Paweensuda Saetan-Drouin and Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados, did not make it to the final 10.

The Philippines’ Catriona Gray, who presented Tunzi with the crown, took home the Miss Universe crown in 2018.

Although she did not make the finals, Miss Myanmar Swe Zin Htet made waves last week when she came out as the competition’s first openly gay contestant.

“I have that platform that, if I say that I’m a lesbian, it will have a big impact on the LGBTQ community back in Burma,” Htet told People magazine, using her country’s historic name.

Homosexuality is illegal in the southeast Asian country and is punishable by up to life in prison.

In 2018, the competition also featured Miss Spain Angela Ponce, who blazed a trail as Miss Universe’s first transgender contestant.

But the pageant has had a controversial past. Multiple contestants have alleged that US President Donald Trump would regularly enter the competitors’ changing room while he owned the organization from 1996-2015.

Additionally, Miss Universe continues to host the swimsuit competition, which has drawn criticism for objectifying the contestants, although that part of the pageant was not televised.

AFP

Philippines’ Catriona Gray Crowned 2018 Miss Universe

Top three finalist Catriona Gray (L) of the Philippines looks on while US artist Ne-Yo performs on stage during the 2018 Miss Universe Pageant in Bangkok on December 17, 2018.
Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

 

Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe on Monday in Bangkok after a trailblazing ceremony praised for featuring its first transgender candidate but marred by gaffes about the English-speaking ability of two Asian contestants.

Catriona Gray, 24, finished first ahead of the South African and Venezuelan finalists in the glittering televised event hosted by American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey and supermodel Ashley Graham.

In the final round, Gray earned applause describing her work in the slums of the Philippine capital Manila.

After winning she told reporters she would like to expand her work with an organisation in the Philippines that promotes education on HIV and AIDS.

“A few years ago I lost a close friend to health complications with HIV,” she said.

“So spreading awareness on that cause and encouraging people to get the simple test and knowing their status is definitely one of the first projects that I’d like to pursue.”

Gray — a student of music theory — beat more than 90 contestants from around the globe in the 67th instalment of Miss Universe, which was held in the Thai capital’s Impact Arena.

During the competition, which was broadcast live, candidates were asked questions on press freedom, legalisation of marijuana, refugees and the #MeToo movement.

This year’s event drew positive feedback for themes of inclusivity and an all-women panel of judges made up of business leaders and former Miss Universe titleholders.

Miss Spain’s Angela Ponce made history as the first transgender candidate in a competition once owned by President Donald Trump, whose administration has attempted to block the military recruitment of transgender people.

“I always say: having a vagina didn’t transform me into a woman. I am a woman, already before birth, because my identity is here,” Ponce told AFP on Saturday, gesturing to her head.

She added she wanted her appearance to be empowering and that she hoped for a “new generation of human beings who are raised a lot better, more tolerant and respectful.”

But issues of tolerance and respect came centre stage during the competition when Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers appeared to poke fun at Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia on social media for not being able to speak English.

The comments went viral but Summers later posted an apology on Instagram, saying she did not “intend to hurt” her fellow competitors.

Gray’s victory was closely followed in the Philippines, where beauty pageants are hugely popular.

Social media exploded with clips of fans jumping for joy and hugging each other as the Filipina contestant went through each successive round and eventually won.

A spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte in a statement praised Gray’s win for putting the Philippines on the world map “for its beauty and elegance”.

AFP

22-Year-Old South African Crowned Miss Universe

Beauties from across the globe converged in Las Vegas Sunday, where Miss South Africa was crowned Miss Universe.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, edged out her rivals from Colombia and Jamaica to take the crown.

Nel-Peters, a graduate in business management, said her disabled half-sister has been among her great inspirations.

In the pageant’s 66th year, nearly 100 women from around the world — including first-timers from Cambodia, Laos and Nepal — took part.

The runner-up was actress Laura Gonzalez of Colombia, who was followed by second runner-up Davina Bennett of Jamaica.

The current Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere from France, crowned her successor to a din of squeals and cheers.

American comic turned TV host Steve Harvey hosted the event for the third time, making several jokes at his own expense.

In 2015 he famously made a mistake heard round the world when he announced the wrong person as Miss Universe, resulting in an extremely uncomfortable, tense correction and a deluge of internet memes.

Grammy-winning singer Fergie and pop star Rachel Platten provided the musical entertainment for Sunday’s show.

In the “Final Word” portion of the competition, Nel-Peters said “Miss Universe is a woman who has overcome many fears, and by that she is able to help many women overcome their fears.”

“She is a woman that nothing is ever too much to ask for,” she said. “And I think that is exactly who I am.”

AFP

More Republican Bigwigs Sever Ties With Trump

Donald Trump, US, Women
Mr. Trump insists he wont quit the race despite the backlash

A handful of top Republicans have shifted ground in their support for US presidential candidate Donald Trump after his remarks about women became public last week.

Since the comments became public, more than 12 Republican bigwigs have announced that they would not be voting for Mr Trump in November.

Mr Trump, who has apologized over his comments, however insists he will go ahead with his campaign, as he lashes out to some Republicans who advised him to withdraw from the race.

In the tape from 2005, Mr Trump is reportedly heard bragging about groping and kissing women.

Former Republican presidential candidate John McCain and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are the latest of such Republicans to withdraw their support.

Rice, Condoleeza, US, America, Elections, Republican, Party
Condoleezza Rice says it is enough from Trump, asking him to drop out of the race

Mr McCain said such comments “make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his (Trump) candidacy.”

While Ms Rice said: “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.”

The Republican Senator from New Hampshire, Senator Kelly Ayotte, in a statement she released after Mr Trump’s comments were published said, “I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”

The Senator however says she won’t vote for Hilary Clinton either.

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan who was initially supposed to host Mr Trump at a campaign event in Wisconsin this weekend, withdrew the invitation, saying he is “sickened” by what he heard.

The second TV debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton will take place on Sunday evening (October 9) in St Louis.

Organizers of pageant disqualifies beauty Queen

Miss Universe organizers disqualified Jenna Talackova after they found out she had undergone a surgery to become a woman.

Jenna had reached the final stage of the competition before the organizers banned her from the competition, as the rule states each contestants must be born girl.

The pageant organizers described Jenna as a real girl, According to Denis Davila the National Director of Miss Universe Canada Talackova claimed on her registration form she was born a female.

Davila confronted the 23-year-old about her sex change and the contestant admitted she was actually born a male.