Miss SA 2019, Zozibini Tunzi, crowned with the newly unveiled uBuhle Crown, here are the crowns that preceded it
Zozibini, a 25-year-old from Cape Town, is the new reigning queen and we're excited to follow her journey in her new role. She walked away from the competition with R3 million in prize money and sponsorships - she is also the first Miss SA to wear the uBuhle Crown.
South Africa has embraced 60 women over 60 years as the faces of our nation upon taking home the coveted Miss South Africa crown.
Women from all backgrounds and cultural groups have instilled a sense of pride in us as they represented SA across the globe, and we have no doubt that Zozibini is just as worthy a recipient of the honour as the women of gravitas who came before her.
READ MORE: WATCH: Meet your new Miss SA
The bevy of this year's top 16 finalists was present at the unveiling of the new American Swiss Miss South Africa crown held earlier this week. It is one that is a prismatic representation of the diverse group of finalists.
Meet uBuhle uthingo lenkosazana; the new precious crown Miss South Africa winners will be wearing over the coming years.
The uBuhle crown is handcrafted with premium Sterling Silver, with a purity of 925.
It reportedly took 36 hours of stone sorting to select the white fine-cut Cubic Zirconia stones that have flawless crystal clarity similar to that of the whitest diamond and the coloured fine-Cubic Zirconia stones that exude an exceptional and vibrant brilliance. These 2586 stones were hand cut and set by master Diamond cutters and have a total weight of 182cts. The crown has a total weight of 517gms.
"What better way to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of our nation, than with uBuhle uthingo lenkosazana – the beauty of the rainbow. Carried with grace and beauty, shining light across the nation and beyond,” says Zimbini Peffer, Marketing Director at American Swiss Fine Jewelers.
American Swiss collaborated with world-renowned jewellery designer, Johan Louw, who shared how the "pattern on the crown is inspired by a Ndebele print that is by used by women for self-expression. It is easily recognisable as South African."
"I wanted the special woman chosen to be crowned with a beautiful creation of which the origin is instantly recognisable," he adds.
As the new Miss SA, Zozibini took on the duties of Miss SA 2018, Tamaryn Green, at the pageant coronation on Women's Day, the moment was marked by the change from the Enhle crown to the uBuhle crown - perhaps a metaphor for how although the successor and her predecessor may be two different women, they still represent the same values, ideals and beauty that each Miss South Africa embodies.
So let's take a brisk walk down memory runway and look at the crowns worn by Miss SA winners over the 2004 - 2018 period:
Enhle was unveiled in February 2016. The crown, made from silver, was designed by Jack Friedman Jewellers. A key feature of the crown is the inclusion of an infinity sign to symbolise the enormity and ongoing nature of Miss South Africa's role, not only during her year of reign but into the future.
According to the Jack Freidman website, "the three main stones are Sugilite also called Luvulite (sold as the stone of love). This gorgeous stone is mostly purple and most often associated with royalty. The deposits of this unique translucent violet stones come from South Africa. The mine where these specific stones were mined is in a town called Hotazel in the Northern Cape. This violet crystal has a highly protective and healing property. One of Miss SA’s privileges is to assist in the healing of our nation and its people and this stone will protect her in doing so."
Miss SA title holders who have worn this crown include Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters (on this year's judging panel), Adè van Heerden, and current reigning queen Tamaryn Green.
Another masterpeice by Jack Friedman Jewelers, the Platinum Palesa crown was first worn by Rolene Strauss, Miss South Africa 2014 (who became Miss World 2014).
The team at Jack Friedman Jewellers reportedly wanted something that was both elegant and memorable. They decided to make the crown from platinum, one of the rarest elements in the earths crust, and synonymous with South Africa which accounts for 80 percent of world production. The precious metal in the Miss SA 2014 crown came from Anglo American Platinum.
Palesa has also adorned the heads of Liesl Laurie and Ziphozakhe Zokufa.
The exquisitely crafted tanzanite crown with peaks slightly reminiscent of King Triton's one is one that essentially established a hallmark era of Miss South Africa winners.
A scroll through the Miss South Africa page will reveal to you a heavyweight list including Claudia Henkel, Nokuthula Sithole, Megan Coleman and Tansey Coetzee.
May uBuhle uthingo lenkosazana usher in a new era of diverse Miss South Africa winners we are proud to call our ambassadors.
Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.