Beauty pageants world over, have proven to be an efficient mechanism for societal change and influence for any positive impact in the society or the world. This year, a new pageantry which aims at marketing and promoting Botswana as a destination of pride to the rest of Africa will begin its first beauty contest.
Under the theme “re-branding & uniting Africa”’, the pageant will enable different countries to send their representatives to Botswana where they will be able to compete with each other for the Miss Africa title. The lady who will be crowned the winner will be an HIV/AIDS advocate and ambassador.
Organiser of the event, Bruce Leonard Nkgakile, mentioned that Africa as a continent, unlike other continents does not have its own continental pageant. He said by organising Miss Africa, Botswana will achieve in making other countries join it with the view of staging the first African pageant.
“Pageants have been used as tools for advocacy for the societal expediency of women through those that emerge as winners of these pageants. They then serve as ambassadors or agents of change in society,” he said.
He added that this pageant shall have a special purpose in the continent as its main mandate shall be the eradication of HIV/AIDS in the continent particularly among the youth. Nkgakile said that the girl child has been said to be the most vulnerable and the most affected by the HIV/ADS pandemic by many studies. “We therefore seek to create a new socialising institution (Miss Arica pageant) that shall be championed by the youth. We seek to create young people who can inspire and influence their peers positively and to charge them with the responsibility of championing the fight against HIV/AIDS and other social ills such as gender based violence,” he said.
He continued that not only will the pageant draw attention to Botswana; but it will also sell Botswana to the world as the first country to host and initiate this pageant. “The pageant will enhance the participation of young women in the fight against HIV/AIDS, drugs and substance abuse among others especially those rural and remote areas where there is little or no access to information,” he said.
Nkgakile further mentioned that they will be scooting for the best candidate who has all the features of being Miss Africa. He said they will be going to all villages in Botswana where they will select three contestants that would go compete for the national title of being Miss Africa-Botswana. “The top three (3) contestants will then make a project that shall be for their community. The project shall be aimed at either promoting the understanding about HIV/AIDS, prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS and or any other purpose in their own community. This project would carry sixty (60%) of their final mark at the national competition,” he said.
The national Miss Africa- Botswana will be held on the 28th of August whilst the continental pageant will be held in December, but so far there have been massive preparations for these two big events.