Restoration of integrity and wits to the Miss Botswana title is what Thabiso Pabalinga and Bissau Gaobakwe swear by. By the time they are through with revamping the Miss Botswana pageant, which has in the past been wrought with controversy, past title-holders will want to take to the ramp once more, to contend to be Miss Botswana, jokes Pabalinga who is Managing Director of Leapfrog, the advertising agency that has been contracted alongside 63 Entertainment to manage the pageant for the next five years.
Speaking after unveiling the black C200 Kompressor Mercedes Benz worth P300 000, Pabalinga said, “We want to end the tradition of empty promises, where the past queens never got their prizes.” He said former corporate sponsors of the Miss Botswana pageant are also back on board, naming BP Petroleum, the company that will, for a full year, fuel Miss Botswana’s C200 Kompressor.
Another sponsorship they revealed was of P300 000 from tauPride, a South African project management company; P50 000 of which they say will help facilitate the victorious queen’s grooming by professionals in etiquette and public relations skills. Another P50 000 bursary voucher will be won by the 1st princess.
“Let’s not forget that Miss Botswana, is our ambassador,” quipped Gaobakwe, adding that the title of Miss Botswana is akin to that of First Lady of the country.
On his part, Kagiso Lobelo, the managing director of tauPride says his company, which is wholly owned by Batswana from South Africa, has been contracted for three years by the Ministry of Local Government, “We as a result found it fit to get socially involved, by sponsoring the pageant with two bursaries, as a thank you,” Lobelo said.
He added that tauPride places emphasis on the career development of the crowned queen and her first princess that will exceed their reigns.
Gaobakwe and Pabalinga are emphatic that they are restoring the credibility of being Miss Botswana. With a lot of money pumped into male focused activities like soccer, they hope to bring back allure to the title, enough for a young girl to aspire to be Miss Botswana.
“The pageant itself is about brains and beauty, and we have seen in the past Miss Botswana travel to Japan to sell Botswana’s diamonds,” Pabalinga said, which is why they believe the title is still relevant.
Scouting is already underway with Palapye and Francistown hopefuls already scoured through at auditions in both towns last weekend. More auditions will also be hosted in Maun, Ghanzi, Kanye and Gaborone. Gaobakwe concluded by saying that while they are scouting for Miss Botswana they are actually searching for Miss World.