Miss South Africa from Cape Town, Zozibini Tunzi addressed the attendees at the 5th Lead SA Changemakers conference on Saturday, 2 November 2019. Lead SA Changemakers Conference aims to inspire citizens to be changemakers in their communities, the country and even the world. It brings together an exciting mix of motivation, activism, innovation, entrepreneurship, music and poetry on one stage. “This year’s theme – Breaking Through to Excellence – is particularly important for us at this time in the history of our young democracy. It encourages us all to do better, to be better, to discover those parts of ourselves that are excellent and to pursue what it is that makes us excellent,” Zozibini concluded.
The conference celebrates individuals who have made a positive contribution to building South Africa and seek to inspire those that wish to have a similar impact. Zozibini had natural African hair when she was crowned Miss SA 2019 on Woman’s Day hence, she sparked a widespread conversation on social media. “I hate being normal, I love going against the norm. ” A few years ago, I decided to cut my hair short and I looked in the mirror, terrified of what I might find. I was worried that it might change me, that I would no longer be beautiful. Instead, I fell in love with myself. I saw a queen.” She refuses to be told to act a certain way because she is a woman and emphasizes that you have to listen to the small inside of you.
Alongside Zozibini there were various speakers who shared their inspiring stories of “Breaking Through Excellence.” Author Mmatshilo Motsei spoke on violence against women. She said “There is a desensitization that is happening in terms of their humanity. Before you dehumanize other people, you have to dehumanize yourself. Something in you must first die before you go and kill something in other people. Patriarchy is a foundation of capitalism,” said Motsei. The Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) performed a theatre piece titled “Walking Tall I See You.” The piece shared origins of humankind and the shared origins of all living things. The conference provided an opportunity for those who see themselves as changemakers to come together, network and hopefully find collaboration with each other.