Royal welcome for Miss South Africa

Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi sings and dances with the Sinomusa Cultural Group at Sidwadweni village in Tsolo.
Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi sings and dances with the Sinomusa Cultural Group at Sidwadweni village in Tsolo.
Image: LULAMILE FENI

Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi, can now add farming to her curriculum vitae after AmaMampondomise Kingdom king-designate Luzuko Matiwane from the Phahlo royal family announced at her homecoming celebration event on Monday that he was giving her a cow for winning the beauty pageant.

There was ululating, singing and dancing, with Tunzi even shedding a tear at her Sidwadweni village home in Tsolo.

The normally quiet Sidwadweni was a hive of activity as about 1,000 people, including communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and OR Tambo district mayor Thokozile Sokanyile, attended the colourful event. A motorcade from Mthatha to Tsolo town and back to Sidwadweni kicked off the revelry with cars hooting in celebration.

Tunzi joined AmaMpondomise leaders in a war chant and dance when she took to the stage and also joined the well-travelled Sinomusa Cultural Group on stage and danced while clad in traditional wear.

On Sunday, an ox was slaughtered to celebrate her win with her Tsolo clan ancestors thanked and on Monday gospel music and praise songs were the order of the day.

Matiwane told DispatchLIVE: “I am donating a cow to you just to thank you for raising the AmaMpondomise flag high. There are other gifts from local traditional houses and the kingdom but you will see them when you visit the great place.”

Speaking on behalf of the Eastern Cape and national government, Ndabeni-Abrahams said Tunzi winning the pageant showed that rural girls could achieve anything they set their minds and hearts on.

Ndabeni-Abrahams asked Tunzi to “remain herself, the rural girl” and block out negativity during her one-year reign.

Tunzi spoke about how she had grown up in the village, and had embraced values of her parents and other elders in Sidwadweni.

“I love Tsolo, I love Sidwadweni and I am proud that I come from this area. I will always remain the girl from Sidwadweni in Tsolo in the Eastern Cape,” she said to applause.

Methodist Church leader, Reverend Xolani Feni said a prayer, asking that Tunzi would have a successful reign.

A similar event took place on Monday afternoon in Dutywa where Tunzi attended primary school.

Social development MEC Siphokazi Mani-Lusithi attended the Dutywa leg of the celebrations.

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