Beau­ties ‘daz­zle’ at global pageants

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

LO­CAL beauty, Mosele Morena, notched the Miss Free­dom of Africa ti­tle at the Miss Free­dom of the World 2015 pageant held in Prizren, Kosovo on Sun­day.

Morena rep­re­sented Le­sotho against 21 con­tes­tants from around the world in the fifth in­stal­ment of the glitzy pageant which was held from 17 to 30 Au­gust.

The 22-year-old stun­ner is a sec­ond year stu­dent at the Na­tional Health Train­ing Cen­tre study­ing nurs­ing. The Sehlabeng, Thuathe-based beauty has been in the cat­walk game since 2012 when she be­came Face of Mapholi Nat­u­ral Spring Wa­ter first princess and Miss NHTC in 2014.

She is also the cur­rent Miss Le­sotho sec­ond princess, an ac­co­lade which landed her the op­por­tu­nity to con­test in the Miss Free­dom of the World 2015 pageant.

The Miss Free­dom of the World 2015 ti­tle went to Al­ba­nia, with the run­ner-ups from Swe­den, Philip­pines, Tai­wan and Aus­tralia re­spec­tively.

Morena’s Miss Free­dom of Africa ac­co­lade was awarded to a win­ning con­tes­tant from Africa, and was among the nine sub-ti­tles in con­tention. The other sub-ti­tles in­cluded Miss Im­age, which was won by Nor­way, Miss Per­son­al­ity: Canada, Miss Best Body: Aus­tria, Miss Press: France, Miss Pho­to­genic: Swe­den, Miss Bikini: Hungary, Miss Free­dom of Amer­ica: Paraguay, and Miss Tal­ent: Miss Siberia.

Mean­while, United States-based stun­ner, Nthabiseng Mpakanyane, who rep­re­sented Le­sotho at the Miss Africa USA 2015 pageant in New York on Satur­day, was voted Miss Con­ge­nial­ity by fel­low con­tes­tants.

The Khu­bet­soana-born Mpakanyane was also be­stowed with the Spirit Award from the Miss Africa USA team, which is an in­vi­ta­tion for her to come back and work with them in any way pos­si­ble.

The Miss Africa USA 2015 crown went to Nige­ria, with the first run­ner-up from Guinea and the sec­ond run­ner-up from Ghana.

Writ­ing on her Face­book page af­ter the event, Mpakanyane said: “Just as planned, I had fun on that stage, walk­ing and pos­ing pride­fully (sic) with Le­sotho on my mind. I did my best, and with­out a doubt I know I rep­re­sented you all well.

“It’s been an amaz­ing, in­ter­est­ing, fun, stress­ful, over­whelm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, not to men­tion the ex­penses. Thank you to those that sup­ported fi­nan­cially, I still have out­stand­ing bal­ances and I trust that God will take care of them. It’s been one of the ex­peri- ences I will cher­ish for life.”

The Miss Africa USA pageant is the big­gest and the most pub­li­cised pageant that fea­tures African women in the United States of Amer­ica. It be­gan in 2005 as a small state event in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, and has blos­somed into a phe­nom­e­non with hun­dreds of African young women vy­ing to par­tic­i­pate.

The pageant is meant to be a plat­form for young African women in Amer­ica to show­case their beauty, tal­ent and cul­ture. Through the pageant, the con­tes­tants also serve hu­man­ity by giv­ing back to their com­mu­ni­ties in Africa and Amer­ica as well as mak­ing their dreams come true.

Ac­cord­ing to Miss Africa USA or­gan­is­ers, the pageant is premised on the con­cept of beauty for hu­man­ity, and en­ables African girls in Amer­ica to “shine the spotlight on Africa, tell their sto­ries to the world, in­spire one another, build self-es­teem, and feel beau­ti­ful in­side and out”.

How­ever, un­like other pageants, the con­tes­tants come from some of the most ven­er­a­ble ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions in North Amer­ica, with ca­reers span­ning from the sciences to the arts.

Mpakanyane, who moved to the United States in 2012, holds a Btech De­gree in Hu­man Re­sources Man­age­ment: Train­ing and De­vel­op­ment from the Cape Penin­sula Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in South Africa.

She is also a Master of Science De­gree in Man­age­ment grad­u­ate from Keuka Col­lege in New York, ma­jor­ing in In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Beauty Pageant As­so­ci­a­tion of Le­sotho Pres­i­dent Tlali Tlali said although the con­tes­tants did not win the main ti­tles, the ac­co­lades they re­ceived were com­mend­able.

“The ti­tles they re­ceived show that we are not stag­nat­ing but head­ing some­where,” Tlali said.

“We see these sub-ti­tles as the port of en­try to great­ness and we be­lieve that with the other five ladies who will also con­test in in­ter­na­tional pageants, we still have a chance to bring more pres­ti­gious crowns home.”

The other beauty queens who will rep­re­sent the coun­try at var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional pageants in­clude Miss Le­sotho First Princess, Molulela Monyake, who will com­pete at the Miss Tourism World 2015 in Tai­wan in Novem­ber.

Face of Le­sotho 2015, Mojabeng Senekal, will strut her stuff at the Face of Beauty In­ter­na­tional 2015 in Tai­wan to­mor­row, while her Sec­ond Princess, Retšepile Mo­hale, will com­pete at the Miss In­ter­na­tional 2015 in Ja­pan on 5 Novem­ber.

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