Former Karate star kicks butt at Mrs. Botswana

Kitso Ramono
CROWNING MOMENT: Mosepidi and hubby

Prowling down the catwalk for just the second time in her life, 16 years after her first foray into pageantry as a young schoolgirl, Oampata Leroy-Mosepidi wowed the Mrs Botswana judges.

Used to kicking butts on the Tatami, at Travel Lodge on Saturday night, the 26-year-old former national team karateka proved a knock-out on the ramp, seeing off competition from seven other hopefuls to be crowned Queen.

Mospedi becomes the 8th woman to claim the Mrs Botswana title and will now represent the country at Mrs Universe in South Korea from 2 – 10 September.

In an emotional interview with Voice Entertainment after her win, the ecstatic Kgalahari native/Moshupa wife said despite her relative inexperience, she never doubted she had what it takes to take the crown.

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“Over the months, I worked hard to position myself and brand myself effectively. When the MC introduced me as the winner, I felt like all of my hard work had paid off. It was more relief than excitement; the excitement came at night when we had to go to bed,” gushed the former sports star.

As to what inspired her to enter the beauty competition after such a long time away – her only previous experience was as a Standard Five pupil – Mosepidi explained it was only recently that she got a better understanding of what pageants stand for.

“It’s shocking that I started my modeling career in 2024 January. The inspiration was that over the years, I have been following beauty pageant competitions, the likes of Miss World and Miss Universe, and I got to appreciate that beauty pageants are not only about being beautiful, it goes over and beyond the superficial. So I kind of started having a liking towards it because I would see the impact and the change that these queens made in people’s lives in their communities around the world,” said the newly-crowned queen

In line with this, Mosepidi has a project that will soon be launched as a foundation, aimed at youth and children from homes ravaged by gender-based violence.

“The initiative is called Letsibogo, and I chose this type of project because it is dear to my heart as someone who has previously lived in a household affected by GBV. So, I’m attempting to make a significant difference in our communities by assisting youth and children by providing counselling and ensuring their attendance at school, among other things. So far, we’ve been able to return seven children to school who had failed their form fives and came from affected families and poor backgrounds,” revealed Mosepidi, who is a qualified, practicing accountant by profession.

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Open to married women, the Mrs Botswana brand promotes happy, healthy marriages and families, and the idea that a successful society is built on content homes.

This year, Mosepidi beat Gosego Jamison and Keitumetse Molefe to the crown, the pair finishing as first and second princesses.

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