She made the country proud last year when she scooped the second position at the Princess of the World International Pageant in the Eastern European country of Bulgaria. Arts & Culture Writer MOMPATI TLHANKANE recently sat down with the freshly crowned Miss Mahalapye, Lona Baipoledi to learn more about her journey to the coveted crown
Carrying the Miss Mahalapye sash on her shoulder and the crown on her head, the confident young girl was quick to introduce herself as an intelligent 15-year-old from Mahalapye who wants to make instant change in her society. Having made history as the youngest queen to have ever worn the village’s coveted crown, Baipoledi described her crowning moment of December 30, 2017 when she beat other contestants.
Baipoledi, the third Miss Mahalapye since the pageant’s inception in 2015 said she was anxious and nervous when her name was announced. “It was a tough competition, but I am excited because I will now play a bigger role of changing people’s mindsets and how they view Mahalapye (as a) village,” she said. She said she intends to change the image of her home village when she begins her work as the reigning queen. “I want to live up to the expectations. I would like to teach the youth the importance of education and self-acceptance,” she said. She added that as a young person tasked with the role of bringing about change, she would encourage the youth to seek a better future and never let situations hinder their progress.
The beauty queen who recently finished her Form 3 exams, and is awaiting her Junior Certificate results, she said she is a proud hardworking A-student who has ample
“I learn everything from her and she wants the best for us,” she said. Baipoledi told Arts & Culture that even though she likes modelling, she is more passionate about pageantry because it allows her to have a say rather than just walk the ramp. “I pay attention to everything that is happening around the world. That’s why I want to make a difference,” she said. The 15-year-old queen added that she has faced several challenges like peer pressure. “Other children look to me for inspiratio,n and I have to keep up with my looks and behave well,” she said. She said everyone deals with challenges and problems, but it is how someone deals with them that is important. She said she is now making budget plans for her upcoming project in which she would engage the youth ministry along with their village chief. After her reign, Baipoledi said she wants to continue with pageantry and aspires to win the Miss Universe International pageant that was won by Botswana’s Mpule Kwelagobe in 1999. She further encouraged her peers to dream big and have thirst for success. She said her biggest inspiration was her own crowning moment at the Princess of the World International Pageant.