Having been exposed to images or the motion picture based on the famous French cabaret, anyone would have been excused for mistaking the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) for ‘Moulin Rouge’ a famous French nightclub with a dance show. For a change, besides the few anomalies, Batswana had actually dressed to the theme.
The florescent lighting also complemented the setting, creating a nightclub-ish atmosphere although it made it difficult for photographers to capture the aesthetics.
“It takes a great deal of experience to take good pictures here,” bragged photographer, Oaitse Sejakgomo as he showed off his otherwise incredible shots.
The ladies in the audience had gone all out but the night could only belong to one. Bank abc’s Juliet Bagopi. The 27 year old said she was, however, shocked to have even made the top 10.
“It was nerve wrecking,” she told Arts & Society after the pageant, “I struggled with confidence.” Bagopi warned that being on stage is not as easy as it looks. “It’s difficult to keep up a smile when your cheeks are trembling.” She said she enjoyed the choreography and bikini stages but was more worried about her performance in the night gown.
“It was only after making top five and realising I was the audience’s favourite that I thought I could go all the way,” she said.
Unfortunately the beauty queen won’t be doing any more pageants. “This is my last competition,” Bagopi said, “I only entered this year’s competition because of pressure from colleagues.”
She had entered the pageant back in 2012 but made no impact and decided to give it a miss last year (2013). She was flanked by 1st princess Gofaone Mosimanewamacha and 2nd princess, Godiraone Santagane of CEDA and Standard Chartered respectively.
With the pageant delayed for a good two hours, Bagopi’s crowning wrapped up what had been an otherwise incredible night of glitz and glamour.
True to the theme, the 20 contestants (clad in red/black corsets) begun the night with some sexy, provocative choreography inspired by the song, ‘Lady Marmalade’ from motion picture ‘Moulin Rouge’ which left the audience spellbound.
Following a musical break with the gifted Samatha Mogwe the girls returned in swimwear accompanied by the South African house trio, Mi Casa.
Designer, Lesego Matlapeng’s incredible evening gowns were the talk of the night as the ladies hit the ramp in the dresses to end the night on a high.
Meanwhile, the only sad moment of the night came in the form of a tribute to Miss Inter Banks 2010, the late Refilwe Kgabo who succumbed to an illness earlier this year.
When giving opening remarks the host bank, CEDA’s CEO Thabo Thamane said the proceeds from the pageant would go to charity.
His final plea, however, that by virtue of being hosts CEDA should walk away with the coveted price fell on deaf ears as the Judges ÔÇôGaone Tlhasana, Thuto Thema, Keitumetse Setlang and Simba Mudereri , apparently had other ideas. The hosts for the night were Jazzelle Kebakile, and Phenyo Moroka of Yarona FM.