At only 24-years-old, Kessy Gaopalelwe has proven her ability to work the run-way and own it.
With a surreal combination of beauty and brains, it is little wonder she holds the bragging rights to so many beauty pageant crowns ÔÇô and is still adding more.
When growing up, Gaopalelwe had no idea that a career she began at a tender age would eventually turn into a roaring success, taking her the world over to represent Botswana in beauty contests.
She believes that the road to success is a long bumpy one but as long as one has a focused mind, all can be achieved smoothly.
“I have not always prevailed in beauty contests, although I started taking part in them when I was 10-years-old,” she says. “At the time I believed I had all the qualities of a beauty queen which include the body, heart, beauty and the brains but little did I know that having all these did not always guarantee a win as I lost most of the competitions.”
Gaopalelwe is indeed living testimony that it does not matter how many times you fail but if you keep holding on to what you believe in, your dreams shall come to pass.
Living by the mantra “good things come to those who wait”, Gaopalelwe the star eventually starting shining brightly. And soon enough the titles started coming.
So far, she has more than eight titles to her name ÔÇô she is the Miss H.E. Phatsimo 2006, Miss H.E. First Princess Regional, Miss Valentine Selebi-Phikwe 2008, Miss Winter Selebi-Phikwe 2009, Miss UB First Princess 2010, Miss Intervarsity First Princess 2010, Miss Earth Botswana 2010 and Miss Pool party. Gaopalele is not about to give up.
Her most memorable moment in an eventful journey was when she represented Botswana in Vietnam in the Miss Earth contest.
Even though she did not win the title, she won three awards which are golf championships, as runner-up. Her other biggest achievement was representing the country in China for World bikini model international through inspired beauty last month.
“Being in China was a very thrilling experience,” she says. “We were taught a lot of things concerning being a model and had the opportunity to visit tourist destinations including the Olympic centre, the Great Wall of China and the great temple.”
Although she did not win the title, she managed to impress the judges with her charisma and high confidence.
All the teaching and grooming Gaopalelwe has acquired will be used to help young aspiring girls who will one day want to be hailed as beauty queens.
“I think it is my duty as a beauty contestant to pass my knowledge to the young generation because it is always good to groom and teach them the entire required basis at a tender age, that way they grow with the talent and nurture it,” she says.
Being a beauty queen comes with a lot of pressure. One has to always look the part and when representing the country, one has to strive hard not to disappoint the people back home.
“People think that models like me do not eat but it is not true as we eat but we make sure that we eat healthy food and excise a lot,” Gaopalelwe says. “I started eating healthy at a young age and have never looked back so the plan is to teach the young ones the trick so they stick to it.”
Other than modeling and participating in pageants, the eye-catching beauty holds a degree from the University of Botswana in Psychology. She also helps out with judging, choreographing and hosting pageants.