Top ac­co­lade for beauty queen

Lesotho Times - - Weekender - Mo­halenyane Phakela

BEAUTY queen, Mapitso Hlophe, flew the na­tional flag very high in Ge­or­gia on Sun­day when she scooped the Miss Planet Per­son­al­ity 2017 ti­tle.

The 22-year-old Miss Queen of Tourism Le­sotho also made it to the top five of the Miss Planet 2017 pageant in the Eurasian coun­try from 11 to 17 Septem­ber.

She com­peted against 26 women from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and she was one of three Africans along with South African and Al­ge­rian rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The pageant was won by Camila Vi­torino from Por­tu­gal while Ge­or­gian, Zura Tsilosani, beat 26 other con­tes­tants to win the male cat­e­gory.

Hlophe this week told the Week­ender upon her ar­rival in the coun­try that the ti­tle would add value to her project to em­power young girls.

“I al­ready have a project aimed at en­cour­ag­ing young girls to over­look their phys­i­cal and emo­tional chal­lenges and pur­sue their dreams,” Hlophe said.

“This ti­tle will mo­ti­vate oth­ers to see that where there is a will there is al­ways a way. I thought be­ing the only black per­son there would make me feel out of place but it be­came an op­por­tu­nity to sell Le­sotho and the per­son­al­ity I por­trayed was re­warded.”

The main ob­jec­tive of the, Miss and Mis­ter Planet con­test is to pro­mote and sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of tourism, friend­ship and cul­tural con­nec­tions among par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

Con­tes­tants com­peted in the evening wear, swimwear, tal­ent show and na­tional at­tire cat­e­gories.

The Litha­ba­neng-born Hlophe is an Adult Ed­u­ca­tion stu­dent at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho’s In­sti­tute of Ex­tra Mu­ral Stud­ies.

She said she ar­rived late when the com­pe­ti­tion had al­ready and started and felt she could have won had she made it on time.

“We got to the com­pe­ti­tion three days late and other con­tes­tants had al­ready com­peted in the fash­ion cat­e­gory as well as be­ing pre­judged in the swimwear cat­e­gory.

I did not let that kill my spirit but I gave my all to the rest of the com­pe­ti­tion and was one of the win­ners,” she said.

2017 Miss Planet Per­son­al­ity Mapitso Hlophe.

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