Maruapula Private School employee Theresa Hirschfeld, scooped the Miss Millennium beauty pageant on Saturday evening.
After failing to grab the title last year, Hirschfeld was determined to make it this time around. Kgomotso Manyeneng, an employee of the University of Botswana (UB), was the first princess while Sheila Dipate became the second princess. Doreen Makhale went away with the Miss Millennium Personality award. The pageant, which was held at the Millennium Jazz Restaurant in Mogoditshane, was cancelled on Valentine's Day due to bad weather. Last Saturday's pageant turned out to be an even greater event with a red carpet being laid out for the 12 contestants, including Hirschfeld who only made it to the top five last year. Everything about the organisation of the pageant was simply superb. Patrons turned up in large numbers for the event. A sumptuous dinner was also on offer for the patrons and wine was flowing too. The set up at the Millennium garden was different all together on Saturday. If it were not for the contestants who were on parade, one would have mistaken the occasion for a business magnate's wedding ceremony.
Local diva Nono Siile serenaded the audience with soft music during the show. Both the contestants and the patrons had a ball during the pageant. Members of a Gaborone gym, Lepone Gym treated the audience to the aerobics moves.
It was an emotional moment for the previous queen Phodiso Letsholo as she handed over the crown. As for Hirschfeld she shed tears of joy after she was declared the queen as well wishers mobbed her. Hirschfeld said she would continue where Letsholo had left off by doing charity work.
She intends to do something for the aged people. She is going to mobilise the business community and other stakeholders to achieve the objective. A concerned Hirschfeld said the government has initiated so many programmes for the youth, but the elderly are neglected. She is even thinking of setting up an old age home if everything goes according to plan. Hirschfeld, who is also a football personality, thanked the Maruapula principal for giving her a chance to participate at the pageant. She was supposed to go on a school trip to South Africa over the weekend, but the principal released her for the event.
Hirschfeld received strong support from her family. Just before the pageant on Saturday her nine-year-old son told her: "Mum go and try your luck." Her young sister Lebogang Mogotsi said she had been dreaming the whole week that Hirschefeld would make it - and she did.
The victorious Hirschfeld thanked her fashion designers "Dineo" and "Hilda" who designed her outfit for the pageant.
She said the management of the Millennium Restaurant and the employees were also supportive. She is looking forward to working with them. To Hirschfeld, even the other participants also made a good team. Unlike other similar events, there were no cries of "we wuz robbed" after the results were announced. One the participant, Dipuo Kootshotse said she was satisfied with the way the pageant was organised even though she did not win.
She characterized the competition as "free and fair", adding that there was no cheating. Kootshotse has not given up as she is intending to try again next year. The mother of five said occasionally she tunes in to jazz.
Makhale who was adjudged as the "Miss Millennium Personality" is also happy with the way the pageant was organised. She said the organisers had also treated them well. Makhale said it was her first time to compete in such a pageant. She also intends to enter the race next year. A Gaborone security company, Camps Security Guard provided horsemen to patrol outside the club during the competition. The director of the security company, Tinaye Mpho Majaye, said he wants to be identified with Miss Millennium pageant because it is a charity event that contributes to the community. He said as a corporate citizen, he is always willing to contribute to a worthy cause. Other sponsors included Lepone Gym, Distell Botswana, Ultimate Beauty Hair Salon, Sedibeng Lodge and Millennium.