The organizers of the 2021 Miss Botswana pageant have been accused of failing to honor their commitment to contestants. The 2021 participants say they have yet to receive their prizes. However, the organizers deny they owe the beauty queens.
The Telegraph spoke to some of the contestants who feel let down by the organisers.
“The organizers are playing us. They have long said they would pay us but they are yet to do that after almost a year ago. This is frustrating because we have put more money towards preparations, and to have reached top 16 and eventually top 10 and 5 say a lot,” they said.
They were to get unspecified prize money. The top 16 contestants were to also get discount card from white label Fragrances to buy colognes at discounted prices.
On October 15, 2021 Miss Botswana posted “yesterday the Miss Botswana 2021 contestants had a beautiful afternoon doing scent selections at White Label Fragrances who will be giving them. It was quite an exquisite time testing out the perfumes, and we had an insightful experience.”
In July 2022 Miss Botswana main organiser Benjamin Raletsatsi wrote on Miss Botswana WhatsApp group, “evening all hope all is good, just wanted to give you a quick update on the progress of your prizes, as you would know these were sponsored and its taking longer than thought to track them down”.
He later asked the contestants to send them their personal details to fast track tracking of prizes.
Contacted for comment Raletsatsi said “as far as I know the contestants were paid. We don’t owe anyone anything even Miss Botswana Palesa Molefe has been paid her dues,” he said. According to Raletsatsi Palesa will get P50 000 at the end of her rein.
Nineteen21_bw (another sponsor) also failed to honour the promises. “As a token of our appreciation, we have gifted the queens with a free 12 month membership of the nineteen21 rewards card.
He further said on the discount cards “I will track them and find out what could be the problem.”
University of Botswana was one of the sponsors of the beauty queens and they also failed to honour the sponsorship deal.
Miss Botswana Facebook page wrote “UB awards Miss Botswana 2021 top 16finalists sponsorship worth more than P50 000. UB has awarded miss Botswana 2021 top 16 finalists sponsorship valued at more than P50 000 to undertake a protocol for executives short courses at the Centre for Continuing Education Vice Chancellor, professor David Norris announced the sponsorship during a courtesy call the 16 finalists paid on him at the university of Botswana on October 29,2021,” the wrote.
The contestants have lost hope of getting what is due to them given preparations for the 2022 miss Botswana are already underway.