In an unconventional beauty contest, the elderly ladies of the Catholic Church from the St Peter’s Parish in Gabane this past weekend took a few hours off from Sodality meetings, uniforms and prayers and showed their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren a morsel of their beauty charm.
It was a fund raising beauty pageant dubbed ‘St Peter’s Miss Oldies 2014′ held at the Gabane Community hall.
Contestants were old women from the Catholic Church’s main Sodalities ÔÇô St Anne, St Mary and the Sacred Heart
Even though it was an evening event, having started after 7pm instead of 4 pm, as originally planned, both the contestants and the audience showed no disappointment as shouts of joy and ululations rang out through the otherwise silent night.
All 16 contestants displayed their skills by stepping to the marvelous beats of the modern song, ‘Only time…’ by Enya, an internationally approved music piece for beauty pageants.
The contestants’ minimum age of 60 years appeared not much of a problem. The contestants oozed confidence throughout the event, their bodies well covered and heads nicely topped with wicks and pieces, and faces varnished.
It proved that real beauty survives the entire spectrum of human life. The competition was so stiff as the night died out that the judges found they had to screen a total of seven contestants to be able to come up with the final three.
What impressed most is that they did it for the sake of their church’s needs.
“I am quite happy for what I have done because it is all in, and for, the welfare of our church. We wanted to prove it to our children that there is always something you can do for your church. Church work does not end at singing and praying,” said the first princess, Keitemoge Nkile.
She was happy because their children have now learnt that even an elderly person can humble herself and volunteer, and that they are evidently appreciative of the elders’ role, judging from the attendance.
A member of the organizing team, Keabetswe Mmereki, said the event was a success even though they did not as a committee set any target.
“But we can safely say, given the turn up at the event and the fact that other fund raising activities during the event also drew the audience’s interest, that it was a success,” said Mmereki.
After thorough screening, contestant number 15, Ruth Marope emerged the best with 86 points and got herself a crown, serving dish and a garden chair.
Both her first princess, (no.4) Keitemoge Nkile, with 79 points and second princesses (no.11) Esther Tshukudu with 70 points, came away with the same serving dishes and garden chairs. The other contestants received garden chairs as consolation prizes.
One of the judges, Tswelelang Maswabi, told the jubilant audience at the end of the competition that what the oldies displayed that night was a ‘Wow!’
They most probably underestimated the yesteryear generation’s skills.
“We took into consideration the fact that they are old. So we looked at the types of dresses they wore and found which was best suited for the event. We also looked at their smiles and whether they had confidence in what they were doing,” said Maswabi.
In evaluating the event, Keabetswe Mmereki said it seemed to interest the youth a lot. Therefore, depending on the committees that will lead the church in the future, it may be suggested that it becomes an annual event.
The Parish will in a short period of time be hosting two major events. These are Silver Jubilee (25 years of service) for the Parish Priest Johannes Kgaodi and Audi nation of a new Priest, Fido Seeiso.