BEAUTIES: Some of the finalists in a selfie moment
BEAUTIES: Some of the finalists in a selfie moment

And the crown goes to……

On July 29th, the beauties vying for the 50th Miss Botswana title will be crowned. It marks a memorable milestone celebrated by the pageant’s licence holder, Botswana Council of Women.

The prestigious pageant remains the pride of many and as this year marks the country’s golden jubilee, speculation as to who will be crowned Miss Botswana 2016 dominates many conversations.

A magical night is promised, befitting this year’s theme, ‘Our Diamond, Our Pride’, with the queen and her runner-ups selected from the top 12 women recently announced.

BEAUTIES: Learning traditional skills
BEAUTIES: Learning traditional skills

Like their counterparts from past years, the top 12 contestants made it through after a vigorous selection process that included auditions and committing to attending a boot camp programme, which carries on till the night of the finale.

Numerous activities are judged through this period, with marks awarded carried forward and tallied with those received on the night.

Points gained from the boot camp are awarded for a number of criteria, including: Public Speaking, Sports and fitness, Talent and Beauty with a purpose (Project).

On the actual night, contestants will be judged on various categories, which include, points for poise (demeanour), swimwear, evening gown and an interview.

There will also be a public vote, all of which will ultimately contribute to the crowning of the Queen and her first and second princesses.

Botswana Council of Women’s Dorcus Molefhe, could barely contain her excitement at the upcoming event, saying, “We get to reflect and celebrate our milestones whilst we also look to the future.

The pageant has grown in leaps and bounds and we continue to be grateful for the support of the entities that have been on this journey with us.”

The organising committee behind this year’s pageant consists of a partnership headed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and includes the Botswana Council of Women as well as various individuals from the private sector.

The 12 finalists will take to the stage adorned in local designer garb. The designers in charge of dressing the contestants include: Thabiso Dibeela (Thabie D), Aobakwe Molosiwa of Gilded Sands, Lesedi Matlapeng (Ketseddy Designs), Anita Molosiwa and Dikatso Motlapele of Eccentric Style Loft and Botho Chalebgwa (Botocy).

Miss Botswana 2016, will join an exclusive club of strong, beautiful women who have won the most coveted crown in the land.

Past winners include, perhaps most famously, Emma Wareus, who won the title in 1997 and went on to attain international stardom by being placed first runner-up to Miss World 2010 on October 30, 2010 in Sanya.

BEAUTIES: Learning traditional dance skills
BEAUTIES: Learning traditional dance skills

This year’s winner will potentially get the chance to replicate Wareus’s success and they have the opportunity to take part, alongside contestants from hundreds of other countries, in the Miss World pageant to be held in Washington DC later this year.

The iconic pageant was founded in 1951 by Eric Morley and will see the outgoing Queen, Mireia Lalaguna of Spain crown her successor.

Whoever wins Miss Botswana 2016 will then build a portfolio to be presented at Miss World, where they will participate in challenges like Multimedia, Top Model, Talent, Sports, Beauty with a purpose and a new event, which is called Resort Wear.

This year’s local pageant has been designed to mirror Miss World as closely as possible, so that the eventual winner has a reasonable idea of what to expect when they are crowned.

Part of the contestants’ boot camp experience included a visit to Mabopelong Cultural Village where the aspiring beauty queens learnt about the traditional way of Setswana living.

Here they were taught how to build a traditional Setswana hut, how to prepare traditional food and given an insight into the art of traditional dancing.

BEAUTIES: Learning traditional hut building skills
BEAUTIES: Learning traditional hut building skills

A major aspect of the boot camp concerned close interaction with various communities. Through partnership with Unicef Botswana, the contestants spent time with children in Peleng Child Care in Lobatse, participating in the 50 minutes for children campaign.

Last year’s Miss Botswana winner, Seneo Mabengano was quick to offer words of encouragement to this year’s hopefuls.

Beaming with her now trademark smile, she said, “Everybody is celebrated for their differences. So don’t compete against each other, compete with yourself.

Look at the person you were before Miss Botswana Top 12 and measure your progress from that. Queens do not fight they build each other. May the best lady win!”

Miss Botswana 2016 takes place at the Grand Palm Convention Centre on July 29th, with tickets currently on sale through web tickets.

There are three types of tickets available which include: VVIP platinum tickets costing P1,500 with a buffet dinner, VIP Gold tickets, which cost P750 with cocktail dinner and finally Silver tickets, which are charged at P300.

Indeed may the best lady win.

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