Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Married or not, even stretch-marks, the catwalk still beckons

Ladies, forget about being single, childless, and emaciated. Being married with children is no longer a deterrent from pursuing beauty contest ambitions.  Now there is a beauty contest specifically for married women with children with no strict entry requirements that put limits on women’s femininity.

Mrs Africa is a pageant for married women across the continent. Lebopo Bulayani is one of the three women set to represent Botswana at the pageant slated for Johannesburg on December 16, 2016.

The three will compete with 37 other married beauties from across Africa for the ultimate opportunity to represent the continent at the global event, Mrs Globe.

“The focus for this year’s pageant is giving dignity back to young girls in the continent through Dignity Dreams who manufacture and distribute washable and reusable feminine sanitary pads to young ladies who cannot afford to buy monthly supplies,” Bulayani says.  

As Mrs Africa Botswana finalists Bulayani and the two others, Norah Mcaslin and Segomotso Ookeditse, will be hosting charitable initiatives to give back to young girls in rural areas and distributing washable sanitary pads to help keep them in schools. 

“We have already worked with the Hindu Society, which was part of our community service, helping the old people from Gakgatla with sight examination and donating free spectacles to those with eye problems,” Bulayani says. 

She says she has now set her eyes on Kang where she intends to donate sanitary pads to young women in the area. Bulayani says she is no stranger to beauty pageants, having taken part in various local contests before getting hitched. 

“I have also modelled for various projects before.” She says getting married should not signal the end of one’s passion for beauty pageantry and Mrs Africa presents the perfect opportunity.  The three Mrs Africa Botswana representatives say they are currently looking for sponsorship to help cushion against the costs of attending the continental competition in South Africa.

Twenty-seven-year old Bulayani from Mochudi is a former Miss Earth Air Botswana 2009 first princess, Face of Global Expo 2009, model, and director of Miss Independence Kgatleng. She is an Associate Degree holder in Public Relations (LUCT), Certificate in Finance (BAC) and a mother of one.
“Marriage is not a hurdle, rather an arch of blessings that is why I continue being a beauty queen even when I am married.”

Although Botswana is set to make its debut this year, Mrs Africa was launched in South Africa a decade ago (2006).

The founder of Mrs Africa, Carolyn Baldwin-Botha from Pageants SA together with Rene Roberts-Patel and Janet Potgieter, have acted upon their vision to make this competition even more prestigious and easily accessible to all married women on the African Continent. 

The aim of the Mrs Africa pageant is to create a platform by which the unique qualities of the African woman can be showcased to the rest of the world. Through Mrs Africa models are produced and the winners play a role in the promotion of tourism in their countries, setting their legacies of humanitarian work. The Finale, to be held in December, will take the form of performing and visual arts.  

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