First and Second Princesses in the just concluded Miss Botswana pageant have parried away any suggestions that there could have been any favouritism in the judging criteria.
In a walk-in interview at The Voice office yesterday, the beauty queens who were happily welcomed by the publication’s General Manager, Gomolemo Kasale, defended the winner, Seneo Mabengano, and insisted that she deserved the crown.
Mabengano became the judges’ choice after she was selected from a bevy of 16 beautiful dames who had displayed tremendous flair on and off the ramp for the past two months.
An avalanche of criticism followed the crowning ceremony on social media as detractors doubted the judges credibility and accused them of giving preference to light skinned contenders.
Second Princess, Peggy Grynberg, however believes that Mabengano deserved the crown. “People always have something to say. Had I been the winner they would have probably said ,but she’s just a model, what does she know about pageantry’,” she said.
The 19-year old Criminal Justice student at the University of Botswana says the was happy to have finished in the top three and that the experience had added to her maturity in the pageantry.
24-year old Nicole Lisa Gaelebale who flanked Seneo as the First Princess concurred with Grynberg and added that the pageant was a growth opportunity for all contenders as they got to learn the true meaning of ‘Beauty with a purpose’. “Any of the 16 girls would have walked away with the crown, but there can only be one winner and Seneo was the most impressive as far as the judges were concerned,” said Gaelebale whose project ‘Able hearts’ that she undertakes with the Camphill community, is expected to help improve the lives of children with special needs.
For her part the Miss Botswana 2015 said she was excited and looking forward to carrying out her duties as the reigning queen. “Its great, amazing and I love it. It’s something that I was expecting and I prepared for it. It’s about beauty with a purpose. It’s about carrying out that thing that’s already in you, giving yourself to the nation and for me the nation should expect a mentor for young people and a helping hand for projects that are already in place,” she said.
Mabengano also dismissed the favouritism suggestions and said she believed that she deserved the crown. “The judges were looking for an all rounded person. It’s not about the skin pigmentation. Had the judges been looking for a so called ‘yellow bone’ they’d have picked the winner right from the beginning,” she added.
The sassy lass from Mmadinare will represent Botswana in the 65th edition of the Miss World pageant to be held on 19 December at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, China.
Some of the pecks that come with winning the crown include a sponsorship for studying at Limkokwing University in Malaysia, P100 000, P1.5m Liberty life insurance for five years and a holiday for 6 at Sun-City in South Africa.