Outgoing Miss Botswana, Sumaiyah Marope returned home on Sunday from Mbabane, Swaziland on one of her last minute duties as the reigning queen.
The time for Marope to transfer the crown to the new queen is slowly approaching, but the 2009 queen is still diligently making her mark as Miss Botswana. Marope left for Swaziland last Wednesday at the invitation of Miss Swaziland 2009/10, Nombilo Mncina.
The programme for the two beauty queens was packed, as they visited a number of areas, including a cultural village. The highlight of the visit was a fund-raising event for Charity, where the two queens managed to raise a total of R72 000 in one night. Marope says of the total, she raised R10 000 from a Swaziland National Team t-shirt bearing Sihlangu Semnikati (King's Shield). Mncina orgainsed the charity dinner to raise funds for Hope House, a hospice run by the Roman Catholic Church in Manzini. Opened in 2000, House of Hope cares for the terminally ill, including those dying of HIV/AIDS related illnesses. Hope House also provides medical and psychological support.
During her visit, Marope also toured Mantenga Cultural Village, where she gained some valuable insight into the traditional Swazi lifestyle. The outgoing Miss Botswana had also an opportunity to help the women with the cooking at the cultural village. Marope was scheduled to meet Swaziland's King Mswati III, but could not due to unforeseen circumstances. However, she met with Swazi royal representatives.
During her reign, Marope was engaged in a number of projects, which included working with Kopong Home-Based Care, and Childline Botswana. Marope is still doing some work with Childline, as she has a programme on RB2 every Saturday at 12:30, which she co-presents with a Childline employee. The programme addresses children's issues, including abuse and how they can get help. In addition, Marope runs a column in the Sunday Standard, which addresses similar issues. Working with Childline, Marope managed to meet with President Ian Khama, a meeting, which saw Childline getting commitment from government that they will provide the organisation with counsellors. She also went around schools with Childline, educating primary school children on their rights and how they can get help if they are being abused.
Meanwhile, the Miss Botswana crew has completed scouting for the next Miss Botswana, with the finale scheduled for May 22. Marope told Showbiz that she has invited Miss Swaziland to be present when she crowns the next Miss Botswana queen.
Miss Botswana licence holders, Botswana Council of Women (BCW) have contracted Thapelo Pabalinga of Leapfrog and Bissau Gaobakwe of 63 Entertainment, to run Miss Botswana. The contract started last year, with the duo, revamping the pageant by raising prizes for winners, and staging a spectacular show.