The second city’s new queen

THE NEW QUEEN: Miss Francistown flanked by her two Princesses

Miss Francistown makes glamorous return

Eight years after she first took up pageantry, Utlwanang Tidimalo Matibini has reached a new high in her blossoming career.

The stunning 23-year-old was crowned Miss Francistown 2019 in a glitzy, well-attended event held at Adansonia Hotel on Saturday.

Outshining her 11 competitors, Matibini, who hails from Mowana village, walked away with P3, 500 as well as a trip to Swakopmund, Namibia – a prize sponsored by White Honda.

For the ambitious youngster, her triumph in the second city is the latest step towards her ultimate dream of national glory.

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Speaking to Voice Entertainment on Tuesday, looking every bit the beauty queen in a figure-hugging red dress with matching lipstick to perfectly complement her dazzling smile, Matibini said, “I want to compete in Miss Botswana since they have reduced the height.”

Reflecting on her Ghetto triumph, a victory she attributed to her big heart and thorough preparations, the young beauty quipped happily, “I feel it represents a lot about me since I am a Kalanga and I am really proud to have won it.

However, Miss Francistown’s ambition goes way beyond the catwalk.

“I want to start my own pageant next year. I want it to be well established and successful in the next five years!” revealed the Limkokwing University BA Hons Broadcasting and Journalism student.

Indeed, Matibini intends to use her new title to bring about change in Francistown.

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“I have a project that deals with cyber bullying since it destroys an individual’s confidence. Miss University Africa is willing to work with me. We will be going around the schools teaching students about it. I am going to use my title to stand against cyber bullying!”

First held in 2015, this was the third edition of Miss Francistown, with the 2016 and 18 pageants cancelled due to lack of sponsorship.

Matibini emerged a deserved winner, wowing the judges with her confidence, radiant smile and hypnotising walk. She also impressed with her cyber bullying project and insightful answers during the question round.

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For her part, one of the organisers, Masego Mercy Phale was quick to thanks the sponsers for making this year’s pageant possible.

“A number of local sponsors came on board, including VULA, which provided water during the Grand Finale. Chicken Licken also extended their hand to provide our judging panel with food. Furthermore, Red Keeps Investment provided sound and photography while Fashion Keeps provided the beauty pageants with full attire during the Grand Finale,” she said.

Outlining the ‘deeper meaning’ behind Miss Francistown, Phale explained, “The purpose of this competition is to help young girls realize their potential. It helps them to avoid negative and social ills like drugs and others.

“In terms of funds raised, the competition did not reach the target we had set – we were expecting to raise at least P16, 000 from ticket sales but didn’t quite manage. Still the turn-out was impressive, with over 200 tickets sold,” declared Phale, adding they intend to pull-out all the stops for next year’s show.

As for Matibini’s First and Second Princesses, the titles went to Kamogelo Letlhokwa and Mililani Mathumo respectively. The two ladies received P2, 500 and P1, 500 each.

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