Two local girls had to overcome serious financial odds to be crowned winners of their pageants in Kenya and South Africa recently.
Twelve-year-old Dignity Vimba outshone other young beauty queens from different countries across the continent to become the Pre-Teen Princess Africa Queen in Kenya.
Oarata Keisitswe 14, from Molepolole also beat her financial challenges to win the Little Princess of Earth title in Cape Town, South Africa.
Vimba represented the country in the East African country where she was competing in Little Prince and Princess Africa beauty pageant. The event was divided into three categories namely, Little Prince and Princess Africa, Pre-Teen Prince and Princess Africa, and Teen Prince and Princess Africa.
Even though the competition was tight as it had a sizeable number of beautiful and talented children from different corners of Africa, Vimba’s confidence and enthusiasm earned her the crown. She also scooped the best Cultural Wear award.
“The judges were mostly intrigued by my confidence and the way I displayed my culture. I believe that Setswana culture is very rich and needs to be sold internationally.
“Everybody was happy to see and to learn about my culture. I displayed different chores done by women and girls, our attire and our food. On the other hand, I had an opportunity to learn about different cultures across the continent,” she said.
Vimba said during her reign as Miss Pre-Teen Princess of Africa, she would like to help the underprivileged members of the community by seeking donations and assisting them access basic needs.
She explained that she would like to use her beauty and intelligence to inspire her peers. She said she wanted every individual regardless of his or her social background to have self-esteem and ask for help when needed.
The young girl, who has just passed her PSLE with flying colours (an A), said her journey in the beauty pageant industry has just begun. She explained that six years from now, she would like to see herself as an ambassador for Miss Universe.
Vimba said even though Botswana only gained the limelight in the international beauty pageantry platform when Mpule Kwelagobe scooped Miss Universe title in
She explained that it would sell the country to the world and gain the recognition it deserved.
Even though she was triumphant eventually, Vimba said her journey was not easy as she had anticipated as she struggled financially. She revealed that it was only her mother who supported her with funds. She urged local businesses to assist them where they could.
She said they had to pay for accommodation, flight tickets and food, including her wardrobe. For that, she profusely thanked her family and friends for their invaluable support saying if it was not for them, she would not have brought the crown home.
Meanwhile, Keisitswe scooped the Little Princess of Earth title in Cape Town, South Africa recently. The Mountain View Academy student went for modelling competition where she competed against other young girls in a contest titled Little Model Earth where she made the country proud.
“During the competition, there were many activities including visiting Robin Island, wonders of earth costumes where we displayed clothes made of recycled materials, interviews related to conservation, national day where we showcased our foods, traditional foods and traditional items. We also had a talent show and evening wear. All marks were combined and the winners were crowned based on their performances,” she said.
She said former local young queens from different local pageantry platforms inspired her and made her realise that she could do anything if she believed in herself.
She advised all young people who have lost hope that they could achieve their dreams as long as they believed in themselves. She said she would like to help less-privileged children like those at Childline Botswana, SOS Children’s Village and others with clothes, food and words of encouragement.
Just like Vimba, Keisitswe explained that she too experienced financial challenges as her mother had to pop out P32,000 for her to be able to participate at the pageantry.