The former Miss SA, celebrity author and businesswoman has denied being condescending towards the newly crowned Miss Universe, saying she was one of her biggest supporters.
In a statement posted on her social media accounts, Kumalo has slammed a barrage of criticism directed towards her after an old video of her being interviewed by Tunzi on Presenter Search on 3 resurfaced on Twitter on Wednesday.
The video, posted by the Trending Videos account, shows Kumalo on SABC 3’s TV presenter search competition, responding to Tunzi’s questions about her age, what to call her and what her thoughts were about her work.
Kumalo who was a guest judge on the show which aired in 2018, can be seen commenting that she is old enough to be Tunzi’s mother and that one of her questions was not phrased properly.
‘Tough attitude’ part of show’s script
The video received hundreds of retweets and comments while it later came to light that Kumalo was intentionally tough towards Zunzi because it was part of the show’s script to test aspiring presenters by pairing them with high-profile celebrities.
Kumalo said the focus should be on Tunzi’s inspirational win at Miss Universe and not on taking history out of context.
“I mentor young people and have done so for over two decades. I have seen many rise to their fullest potential in different industries,” Kumalo said.
“Seeing Zozibini wear the well-deserved Miss Universe crown is a moment we all should be celebrating and applauding. South Africa is on the world stage once again with the Rugby World Cup and now this African woman has brought immense pride to not only South Africa, but the continent as a whole.
Taking ‘history out of context’
“This is what we should be focusing our collective energies on – not taking history out of context. Zozi has redefined the ideals of beauty in pageantry, has broken the mould and rewritten history. She has affirmed that black children’s dreams are valid,” Kumalo said.
She further lamented that she was proud of Tunzi’s achievements and had nothing but praise for her.
“It would be wonderful if as a country we could allow her to shine instead of trying to fuel negative stories. We have so much to be positive about with all the incredible achievements of young role models in our country,” she concluded.