Fundraiser for beauty queens falls short
THE Beauty Pageant Association of Lesotho (BPAL) hosted a gala dinner on Saturday to fundraise for beauty queens who will represent the country at various international pageants.
Dubbed “Thota-ea-moli”, and held at Avani Lesotho Hotel in Maseru, the event was meant to raise funds for the six finalists of the Miss Lesotho and Face of Lesotho 2015 pageants so they can represent the country oversees later this year.
The gala dinner coincided with BPAL’S acceptance into the Miss Africa pageant, last week, which ushered Lesotho’s entry into the continental glamour show. Miss Africa, to be held for the first time next year in Botswana, is open to ladies between the ages of 17 and 27.
Among those in attendance at the glittering event was Gaborone Mayor Kagiso Thutloe, Miss Africa Deaf CEO Nokulutha Mbatha, Miss Africa CEO Bruce Leonard, Indian Association of Lesotho (IAL) representatives and senior government officials.
During the event, the Miss Africa delegation pledged to foot the bill for Miss Lesotho 2015, Relebohile Kobeli’s plane ticket to the Miss World 2015 pageant in Sanya, China which will run from November to December.
According to Leonard, there would also pitch in with P1 000 (about M1 282) towards other expenses during the pageant.
“Beauty pageants, just like Miss Africa, define the African woman to the world the way we Africans want them to perceive us, whilst also promoting the spirit of tourism, unity and diversity,” he said.
On its part, IAL pledged an all-expensespaid trip for Bongiswa Hesman to the Miss Heritage 2015 in Chandigarh, India on 6 December. Hailing from Qacha’s Nek, Hesman is the former Face of Lesotho and reigning Queen of Lesotho.
Said IAL president Sahila Peerbhai: “IAL has always been supporting pageants in Lesotho as we see the participants as future leaders and ambassadors for Lesotho.
“The association will pay all the costs for Lesotho’s representative to the Miss Heritage 2015 which will be held in India, and we hope this will serve as an example for the government of Lesotho to sponsor pageants as they market the country’s tourism sector.”
Speaking on behalf of BPAL, formerrmer beauty queen, Karabelo Mokoallo-tšosane, sane, lauded “Thota-ea-moli”, saying it served ed to uplift the pageantry sector.
“Back in the day when we were still contesting in pageants, we did not know wherehere to go or who to meet to get support forr our international trips,” she said.
“But my trip to the Miss Humanity International pageant in 2011 managed to bring to Lesotho the first ever international pageant.
“Taking part in pageants is not limited ed to the title but markets the country’s tourismrism sector. So let us support these ladies as they are going to market our country.”
The other contestants for whom the fundraiser had been held included Miss Lesotho First Princess, Molulela Monyake, who will compete at the Miss Tourism World 2015 in Taiwan in November, while Second Princess, Mosele Morema, left for Kosovo on 16 August to compete in the Miss Freedom World 2015.
Face of Lesotho 2015, Mojabeng Senekal, will strut her stuff at the Face of Beauty International 2015 in Taiwan on 4 September, while her Second Princess, Retšepile Mo- hale, will compete at the Miss International 2015 in Japan on 5 November.
Meanwhile, a Foreign Affairs ministry representative promised to facilitate free visas for the participants and to ensure their upkeep is taken care of by Lesotho embassies in the countries they will be visiting.
However, the pledges were not enough to cater for the estimated M55 000 needed by each contestant, with the organisers still beset with the onerous task of raising more money.
Miss Lesotho First Princess Molulela Monyake. Face of Lesotho second Princess
Miss Lesotho 2015 relebohile Kobeli. Former Face of Lesotho
Face of Lesotho 2015 Mojabeng senekal.