South Africans have woken up to yet another win on the world stage following the crowning of Miss South Africa, Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe 2019.
Congratulating Tunzi on her victory, President Cyril Ramaphosa said her achievement is one that fills all South Africans with pride, beginning with the humble village of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape which has produced an extraordinary woman and a global voice for gender equality.
"She is flying not only our national flag but also the banner for the global struggle against gender inequality and the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide."
"Zozibini's call for the development of girls as the leaders of tomorrow and the empowerment of black girls in particular is one that should resonate and inspire action for gender equality in all societies around the world," said the President on Monday.
Eastern Cape Premier Lubabalo Mabuyane hailed Tunzi's success as an inspiration for young girls from all rural villages.
"I want to join millions of South Africans, friends in other countries in congratulating Zozibini Tunzi for winning the Miss Universe 2019 crown."
"Zozibini Tunzi's success at the Miss Universe 2019 competition is a victory that should inspire young girls from all rural villages that they too can be the best in what they do when they focus on it and work to achieve their goals," said Mabuyane.
Prior to clinching the Miss Universe title, the 26 year-old became Miss South Africa 2019 in her second attempt at the pageant.
She is the third Miss SA to be crowned Miss Universe and follows in the footsteps of Margaret Gardner who won the competition in 1978 followed by 2017 winner Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters.
"This is all for you South Africa! We did it," said Tunzi in a tweet on Monday morning.
Supporting Tunzi at the competition were her parents and sister who were draped in traditional Xhosa attire - umbhaco at the competition.
Mabuyane said Tunzi's victory proves that when South Africans work together, support each other they make it possible for young people to stand tall in such important competitions.
"Now that all of us supported Zozibini Tunzi to win the Miss Universe 2019 crown, we have a serious duty to support her during her reign so that the work she will do becomes a success.
"The projects she will be working on during her reign are an important part of our efforts to build a better province, a better country and a better world," said Mabuyane.