The camp is scheduled to take place in various tourist sites across the country between May 27 and June 10. Its theme incorporates four elements: beauty, tourism, culture, and diamonds. Creative director for Miss Universe Botswana, Lebotsang Mmale, said in Gaborone yesterday that although there are four elements to the camp, they will predominantly focus on tourism.
He said this is in order for the beauties to get acquainted with their country and understand the beauty it possesses. He said the first phase of the camp is scheduled to take place in the North-western part of the country.
So the crew and contestants are expected in Maun on May 27 where the boot camp's launch party will be held. The next day, the crew will take a tour of the Eastern Okavango where they will ride on mekoro (canoes).
On May 30 they will move to Moremi Game Reserve and proceed to Thamalakane the following day to publicly present themselves to the villagers of Gweta. The beauties will then hit the Nxaisini and Ntwetwe Pans before saying goodbye to the villagers on June 3.
On June 4 the crew and the contestants would be at Marang Hotel where a Miss Universe Botswana launch party would take place before returning to Gaborone. Mmale said in between their trips they would make pit stops at villages that have Choppies stores in order to introduce the girls to the rest of the country.
The second phase of the camp will take place in June 10 at Jwaneng diamond mine before proceeding to Tsabong where the contestants will go camel-riding. Choppies is currently the Miss Universe Botswana major sponsor, but the crew has expressed a need for more sponsors.
They said sponsors still believe the gesture is a donation when it is in actual fact an investment. Miss Universe Botswana deputy director, Kopano Seduke, said advertising through Miss Universe Botswana has a great marketing potential for any business. She said that Miss Universe Botswana is a great crowd-puller and advertising through it is more effective as companies can directly feed off of it. "Unlike traditionally used methods of advertising, this type of advertising is interactive," she emphasised.
Miss Universe Botswana director, Safie Sekgwa, said the other objective of the camp is to sensitise Batswana about their country and make them appreciate it more. He said Batswana are a travelling people, but surprisingly prefer going south instead of exploring what their country has.
He said a contributing factor to this may be that Batswana do not know what their country is endowed with, which is why they have taken it upon themselves to market the country within and beyond its borders. "The plan is to document all our activities through different media and show the end product to the whole world," he said.
The Miss Universe Botswana grand finale is expected to take place on July 2 and the winner will represent Botswana in the international arena at Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September. Sekgwa added that the boot camp would be used as a pre-judging session that would enable them to select the country's queen. "During the auditions we went around the country looking for the most beautiful women to come up with the 12 we currently have and we believe that whoever takes the title in July is the fairest of them all," he said.