Reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi met her successor Miss South Africa 2019 Sasha-Lee Olivier for the first time in person since the Covid-19 lockdown.

They appeared together at a media conference at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town ahead of Miss South Africa 2020 pageant on Saturday.

City of Cape Town Alderman JP Smith welcomed them and the Miss South Africa Organisation to the Mother City saying this was a “highlight of 2020”: “You’ve brought the glamour and eye of the world to Cape Town.”

Both beauty queens talked about their experiences of lockdown.

“If you didn’t bake or make banana bread then you weren’t in lockdown! Seriously, it has been a different reign for both of us and has been difficult at times as being Miss South Africa is a very hands-on role. However, we had to learn to carry on and our voices were amplified in the virtual space. I felt defeated at first but soon learnt the importance of being resilient.” Said Olivier

“Travel is a huge part of the Miss Universe job and I did miss human interaction. However, as the lockdown continued, I realised my message didn’t die and travel doesn’t make you a good Miss Universe ambassador. I landed up going to so many countries “virtually”. Tunzi said

“It was challenging being cut off from what was happening in South Africa and the African continent. Despite the corruption and the negativity, humanity is still alive. People showed up for each other.”

Both women said they were impressed with this year’s candidates: “They all have different voices and stand for different things. Whoever wins is going to be a great ambassador for this country. We wish her well.”

The Top 10 Miss SA finalists who come from around the country are Aphelele Mbiyo, Busisiwe Mmotla, Chantelle Pretorius, Jordan van der Vyver, Karishma Ramdev, Lebogang Mahlangu, Melissa Nayimuli, Natasha Joubert, Shudufhadzo Musida and Thato Mosehle.

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