All hail the queen

Leungo Mokgwathi

The girl with the golden smile

On Saturday night, the girl with the golden smile, Dabilo Moses was crowned the country’s first ever, Miss Supranational Botswana.

The 22-year-old stunner shone from the start of the competition, standing out for her beauty, poise and obvious intelligence.

Somewhat surprisingly, considering her head-turning good looks and natural grace, Moses’ pageantry adventure actually got off to a slow start, when she failed to make an impact at Miss Botswana 2021.

Two years later, the Maitengwe native is unstoppable, following up her Miss Independence success with Supranational glory.

Moses is confident this is just the beginning, and now has her sights set on global stardom as she prepares for Miss Supranational International in Poland this July.

After touring The Voice’s Gaborone offices this week, where she once again turned heads, the dashing queen sat down with Leungo Mokgwathi for a quick chat.

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Congratulations on being crowned the first ever Miss Supranational Botswana. Kindly introduce yourself to the people.

Dabilo Moses is a 22-year-old final year Broadcasting and Journalism student. I am from the village of Maitengwe and most importantly, the reason you are even doing this feature, I am the first ever Miss Supranational Botswana. I was crowned on Saturday by the gorgeous Lalela Mswane.

  • How does it feel to be Queen? Has it sunk in yet?

When my name was announced as Miss Supranational Botswana, I was so shaken. Not because I was not well prepared and did not see the victory coming, but because this was the biggest moment of my life. It was truly a rollercoaster of emotions. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I am so content because I worked extremely hard for it.

  • As you mentioned, you were crowned by Lalela Mswane, former Miss South Africa and the reigning Miss Supranational International. What have you learnt from engaging with her?

Lalela is the definition of an inspirational and aspirational woman! When I finally got the chance to meet her, I was over the moon. My take home from my engagement with her is to always be authentic and to always be the truest and the best version of myself.

She really inspired me to hold on to my principles and values, for that is what makes a queen. She also told me not to rush, because it is the gentle steps that will eventually take me to my destination, which is of course being crowned Miss Supranational International.

  • Let’s go back in time for a bit. I want to know when and how you got into pageantry?

It was definitely because of my passion. I am still relatively new to pageantry because I started in 2021. My first ever participation in a pageant was for Miss Botswana, a huge leap of faith, I know! I did not make it past the top 16 sadly. After that I tried out for Miss Independence Botswana last year and actually won. That was the validation I needed to confirm this path that I dared to take.

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  • How supportive have your family been throughout your journey?

I am from a very close knit family. My dad lives in Maitengwe and I live here with my two older brothers. They have been extremely supportive throughout my journey. There hasn’t been a time when I asked for something and they did not do it for me. Whenever I needed something and it wasn’t there, they worked hard to avail it.

  • The final year of school is notoriously the hardest and most demanding. How do you balance school and pageantry?

It is honestly quite easy because Miss Supranational is a platform that seeks to empower young women. So they make sure that every aspect of our lives is balanced.

They have reinforced that education is the first thing that makes their desired queen. So, what they have done is drawn out a schedule for me to make sure that I am attending classes, as well as fulfilling my responsibilities as the queen. You don’t have to worry, I am not missing any lessons!

  • And after graduation, career wise, which side are you leaning towards, media or pageantry?

I have always believed that I am called to make a positive difference in people’s lives and I will gravitate towards that career choice that enables me to do that. Right now, I am considering pageantry as a full time career. I am not quite set on whether I will pursue media related careers on the side, but I’ll figure that out as time goes.

  • What inspired you to pursue the Miss Supranational title?

There are so many beauty pageants in Botswana and when I first heard of Miss Supranational, I was like, ‘that’s something big.’ I quickly got to learn that this is a movement that is going to redefine pageantry in Botswana and I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to ride along.

  • What would you say set you apart?

I know for a fact my confidence gave me an edge. On top of that, I would say my hunger. Gosh, I wanted this and I wanted it badly! So I made sure I put in maximum effort so that in the end, whether I win or lose, I would have no regrets because I gave it my very best.

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  • A good motto to live by! Take us through the preparation process for the pageant?

That is a hectic one! We had a short time to prepare for the grand finale. We were panel beaten and that came with so many workshops and bootcamps. They were looking for not only a beauty queen but an empowered queen as I already mentioned. That meant hours spent soaking in loads of knowledge and learning new skills and habits.

  • Skills and habits such as?

We had to learn how to do our own makeup, how to carry ourselves like a queen, public speaking and the most daunting – we had to be up early in the morning for gym. It felt like a lot of work in the beginning, but as I look back, I am realising that the timid and unsure girl who walked into that audition room is no more.

  • As Miss Supranational, you now have the responsibility of looking out for your people. What is your project about?

The focus of my project is Mental Health. I won’t give it all out in order to maintain that element of suspense, but I will mention four areas on which it focuses. The first thing is to empower local entrepreneurs.

Secondly, I hope to close the communication gap between the youth and elders in order to create a safe space where they each can burp out whatever struggles they have without fear or reservations. Thirdly, I want to give back to the community and lastly, it’s about appreciating Botswana culture, especially our roots and where we come from.

Sounds intriguing. Speaking of mental wellbeing, what does Miss Supranational Botswana do to care for her mental health?

They say health is wealth so my mental wellbeing is definitely a top priority. I try hard not to over-think situations and I make sure to be in touch with my emotions. I have come to learn that confronting and dealing with your emotions is medicine.

  • I know your win is still fresh, but the journey to Poland is already in motion. What can Batswana expect from you?

Nothing but the best! This is a huge platform that if used properly, which we intend to do, can sell Botswana internationally. I will also be bringing that crown home!

How would you best describe your experience in three words?

  • A rollercoaster of emotions!

  • Congratulations once more on being the first ever Miss Supranational Botswana. What will her majesty be up to this weekend?

We have had our first International invite. The team will disclose more information with time, however that is what I’ll be up to and I cannot wait.

All hail the queen

RISING ABOVE: Moses with her first and second princesses

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