Villagers serenade their homecoming queen
Zozibini Tunzi received a tumultuous welcome when she returned to her rural village in the Eastern Cape this week.
Crowds lined the streets as the home coming queen’s cavalcade slowly wound its way from the Mthatha Airport, through to Tsolo, the tiny hamlet that she grew up in.
The crowds chanted, sang, ululated and danced as they welcomed the returning daughter of the soil who was coming home for the first time since she was crowned Miss South Africa on Women’s Day on August 9.
Tunzi was overwhelmed by the reception: “I cannot believe how many people came out to greet me. I feel so welcomed by my community. These people influenced my life and the choices have I made. I owe a big debt of gratitude to them. All I can say is thank you.”
In his welcome address, the Executive Mayor of the Sidwadweni District Municipality, Thokozile Sokanyile, described how proud the people of the area were of Zozibini.
The new Miss South Africa, in her acceptance speech, promised to campaign for better educational opportunities for the people of the Eastern Cape. Her words were gratefully heard by members of the community where she herself received her early education.
While she is on her home coming tour, Tunzi’s visit will be celebrated with the observance of traditional rituals performed by the elders and the village chief.
Said Miss South Africa Organisation director Paul Leisegang: “It was amazing watching people embrace Zozibini as one of their own and welcome her home as the queen she is. We are all overwhelmed by how warm her reception has been.”
Young girls who lined the streets, who no doubt dream of the possibility of following in Tunzi’s footsteps, shouted out her name and took selfies with her. Ever gracious, Tunzi made a special effort to give attention to the young women saying: “This was me just a few years ago.”