Cindy Marina, Miss Albania 2019 competes on stage in her evening gown during the MISS UNIVERSE Preliminary Competition at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Friday, December 6, 2019. The Miss Universe contestants are touring, filming, rehearsing and preparing to compete for the Miss Universe crown in Atlanta.

The final Miss Universe of the decade has been crowned! Zozibini Tunzi, aka Miss South Africa, walked away the winner on Dec. 8, beating stiff competition to do so. The 26-year-old looked stunned when she beat first runner-up Miss Puerto Rico, Madison Anderson, 24, whose name was announced after fan favorite Miss Mexico, Sofia Aragon, 25.

According to the Miss Universe official website, Zozibini is a “passionate activist” who is “engaged in the fight against gender based violence.” She is also described as being a “proud advocate for natural beauty” and a person who “encourages women to love themselves the way they are.” During the competition when asked by host Steve Harvey what the most important thing that we should be teaching young girls today is, Zozibini replied that it should be “leadership.” “It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a long time, not because we don’t want to, but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings [in] the world and that we should be given every opportunity.” She also urged that we teach young girls to “take up space” in society.

Catriona Gray, 25, (aka Miss Universe 2018) was on hand to crown her successor at the ceremony, which took place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. The former Miss Philippines has been on her farewell tour revealing how much holding the title has meant to her. Catriona chatted with a fan during a Build Series interview in November and revealed what an impact being Miss Universe has had on her and hinting at her plans for the future.

“This title has impacted me so much because it’s really changed my life,” she said. “I am so, so beyond grateful to be in the position that I’m in, to have the opportunities that I have; to be able to bring so much pride to my country. That’s really something that I will carry till the end of my days – the amount of pride that I’ve felt in this whole journey and being able to raise the Philippine flag.”

Looking forward to the future, Catriona added, “Definitely going into my new chapter I do want to continue my creative pursuits – like singing… I do have a passion for music. I also want to continue being a spokesperson and to work with the causes that are dear to my heart, because that’s what fulfills me as an individual – not as a Miss Universe, it’s not what I do for this job. It’s really what I as Catriona love doing. And so you’ll definitely see me doing those things.”

As for the new Miss Universe, time will tell what the future will hold for her over the upcoming year.

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