Miss Africa, a new pageantry which aims at marketing and promoting Botswana as a destination of choice is spreading its wings to the rest of the African continent and this strategy seems to be paying off.
In an interview with the brains behind the concept, Bruce Leonard Nkgakile, he mentioned that they have been launching the pageant in other countries and so far the idea has been welcomed with open arms. He said countries love the idea that the pageant will raise awareness on issues affecting Africans including HIV/AIDS and problems faced by the youth.
“This pageant is going to serve a special purpose on the continent. Its mandate is to eradicate HIV/AIDS on the continent, particularly the girl child who has been said to be the most vulnerable from the HIV/ADS pandemic,” he said.
He added that 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. He said by organising Miss Africa, Botswana will motivate other countries to join them with the view of staging the first African pageant. “Pageants have been used as tools for advocacy for societal expediency of women through the women who emerge as winners. They then serve as ambassadors or agents of change in society,” he said.
After going around the country scouting for the finalists of the pageant, sexy talented individuals have emerged as Batswana finalists. The 39 finalists will be showcasing their talent in a bit to make the top 15 this September at the cultural fashion show on September 11th.
One of the judges, Boingotlo Motlalekgosi mentioned that from the record number of nearly 150 entries this year, they had a difficult time reducing the number to 39. She explained that she is amazed at the beauty that Botswana has as all the ladies that auditioned were not only beautiful, but intelligent. “We were basically looking for 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 and I can confidently say we found those ladies,” she said.
She explained that other countries have also been searching for their queen who will represent their country at the finalists in 2016 in Botswana. She said not only will the pageant draw attention to Botswana, but 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,” she said.
Nkgakile further added that they have organised a cultural fashion show were the finalists will showcase their talent to the audience. The fashion show will feature Grammy award winners Lady smith Black Mambazo who will be entertaining the audience. “This is where the judges will select 15 ladies who will now be competing for the crown and we will have a boot camp for them were they will participate in different competitions that will help the judges in choosing the right lady,” he said.
He added that these activities are also meant for the betterment of the ladies as it is not only about the crown, but learning life skills. The national Miss Africa-Botswana will be held on November 6th whilst the continental pageant will be held next year in December.