Botswana ranks 34th out of 102 countries in the Miss Universe pageant, according to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
The rankings are based on the number of times a country has participated in Miss Universe, the number of times a country has made the semi-finals, the top 5, the top 3 and ultimately the number of times a country has won the Miss Universe title.
The USA and Venezuela have won eight and six titles between them meaning that the two countries dominate the competition. The current Miss Universe is Miss USA 2012, Olivia Culpo, who was crowned by outgoing titleholder Leila Lopes of Angola.
In Africa, Botswana ranks number four, behind South Africa, Angola and Namibia.
Botswana, South Africa, Angola and Namibia are the only African countries to have won Miss Universe before. South Africa won Miss Universe in 1978, Namibia in 1992, Botswana in 1999 and Namibia in 2011.
South Africa became the first African country to win Miss Universe and Namibia the second. However, the two winners from South Africa and Namibia were white, meaning that Botswana’s Mpule Kwelagobe was the first black African woman to win Miss Universe and the second in the world after Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad & Tobago.
Overall, only four African countries have won Miss Universe before, that is, South Africa (Margaret Gardiner 1978), Namibia (Michelle McLean 1992), Botswana (Mpule Kwelagobe 1999), and Angola (Leila Lopes 2011).
According to the official Miss Universe Botswana organizer, Safie Sekgwa, being ranked 34th means that Botswana is doing a good job and that there is progress as far as the Miss Universe Botswana pageant is concerned.
“The organization credits Maleta Lock who took the then 19 year-old Miss Universe Botswana 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe, to Miss Universe to claim the title. That was the first time Botswana participated in a Miss Universe competition, and this is the major reason Botswana ranks 34”.
According to Sekgwa, because of Miss Universe, Botswana has become a force to be reckoned with globally in terms of beauty.
“Miss Universe Norway 2010, Melinda Elevenes, is a Norwegian from Maun born to a Motswana mother and a Norwegian father ÔÇô and now that Botswana is a major diamond capital and the beauty of the country’s tourism has sent shockwaves around the world, economic success is for Botswana to claim ahead of all African countries.”
Sheillah Molelekwa was the last Motswana woman to represent Botswana at a Miss Universe competition.