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Miss Botswana hopefuls bursting with purpose

Leungo Mokgwathi
L-R: Charmaine Reasentse, Lefika Arhea Tladi, Halle Hirschfeld, Charmaine Reasentse & Otshepo Nthonyana

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about good looks, long legs and picture-perfect smiles.

In fact, Miss World judges reportedly place more emphasis on the pageant’s ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ segment than any other.

This part of the competition focuses on the impact and contribution the contestant has made to her community.

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Previous title holders’ projects include: mental health awareness, youth empowerment and protection of children’s rights.

Next month, 25-year-old Lesego Chombo (who will hopefully be crowned Queen of the World in Delhi, India on 9th March), will hand over her crown to a new Miss Botswana, the country’s 54th.

The Miss Botswana team has been working tirelessly to showcase the top 10 contestants eyeing the grand tiara; one of the ladies key selling points is their ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ projects.

This week, Voice Entertainment profiles five of the finalists and their community campaigns, with the remaining five to be featured next week.

Otshepo Nthonyana (A Voice for Enuresis)

ENURESIS is short for Nocturnal Enuresis, the medical term for bed-wetting and effects individuals who are at an age where they should be able to control their bladders.

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The Zoroga beauty queen suffered from the condition until the age of 15; through her project, she raises awareness and sheds light about the disorder, in hopes of building a community that embraces compassion over ignorance and judgment, with the ultimate goal of ridding victims of shame and embarrassment.

The campaign offers educational events, social media podcast and outreach programs to better inform individuals and communities in collaboration with healthcare professionals.

Charmaine Reasentse (Bibi’s Kago ya Lerato Nutrition Centre)

The Kgagodi native’s project seeks to promote healthy eating for healthy living, especially among children, seniors and people living with disabilities.

The aim is to empower Batswana to make significant and relevant choices in their agri-food systems and healthy diets by advocating for change in consumer nutrition attitude and education.

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This includes sensitizing the public to the benefits of healthy living, not just on their lives but to the planet as well.

Emma-Anne Tshisimogo (Diamond in the Rough)

The Political Science and Public Administration student’s ‘Diamond in the Rough’ initiative aims to improve the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by empowering them with knowledge to inspire them and change their mindset.

The multifaceted campaign will also raise awareness and help curb the negligence of people living with special needs, in a bid to ensure equal opportunities and empowerment initiatives for all.

Halle Hirschfeld (Retracing Heritage)

The project, which was launched in Hirschfeld’s hometown Molepolole, is inspired by Botswana’s reputation as a traditionally child centric, child friendly nation that prioritises children.

It addresses the crucial aspects of child welfare focusing on child poverty, poor educational outcomes and child protection, and encourages the use of culturally inspired mechanisms and programs to engage the community on such pressing issues.

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Lefika Arhea Tladi (RE-ENLIGHTEN)

The Mochudi native lost both her parents to Covid-19 in 2021 and was forced to parent her younger siblings.

In the face of such daunting hardships, Tladi overcame, choosing to embrace the warrior within.

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Her project represents a beacon of hope for orphans and vulnerable child, focusing on their education, emotional healing and skills development.

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