It seems like a long shot for the return of a fully well packaged Miss Botswana, but organisers of the controversial pageant are optimistic that this year’s showing will redeem sins of the past.
Development Advance Institute (DAI), a company engaged to restructure Miss Botswana, is taking another shot at the pageant this year’s staging following their three-horse race last year.
After the ministry pulled out from their annual sponsorship last year, DAI still went ahead with the pageant and managed to take the reigning queen Moitshepi Elias to Miss World.
During the launch of the pageant this week, Benjamin Raletsatsi of DAI announced that so far they have cleaned the house and are now set for the next chapter.
He said over the years Miss Botswana has had both the bad and good times.
“Because we are running a pageant that has its own history we made sure that everyone who is owed and everyone who has an issue with Miss Botswana is sorted,” he said.
He said they are taking care of the current queen’s living expenses and her day-to-day management.Raletsatsi was proud to reveal that it was the first Miss Botswana event to be held where there was no scandal about any service provider not being paid. “Taking over Miss Botswana last year was an interesting undertaking for us because it was an accidental takeover.”
Raletsatsi said they had hoped that last year the pageant would get support, but it never happened. He added that small companies owned by Batswana took over the responsibility of running the event and taking the queen to China. “We want to bring back everyone that used to support us,” he said.
He revealed that they believed in the creative industry and the fact that jobs would come from it. “In Miss Botswana from head to toe, we are talking about 10 industries so it is the easiest way to get jobs for our young people,” he said.
Raletsatsi said unlike last year where they did a narrow search, in 2019 they are going all out to find the next queen.
Miss Botswana public relations executive, Pauline Dikuelo announced that the search for the 2019-2020 queen will start on June 30, 2019 to July 14, 2019.
“The auditions will be held in Maun, Gantsi, Palapye, Selebi-Phikwe and Gaborone,” she said. Dikuelo added that the fashion show for this year will be held on July 27 while the bootcamp will follow on August 11 to 17, 2019. Dikuelo said the grand finale will be held on August 17 and it will be hosted outside Gaborone for the first time. For her part Miss Botswana 1996, Joyce Manase Ntau said being Miss Botswana comes with high expectations. She added that people should gather behind DAI and help to achieve their five-year strategy to revamp the beauty pageant.
“Being the queen in 1996 gave me many opportunities I would otherwise have not had. I was a dreamy 19-year-old from Jwaneng who came to Gaborone for university, but I found myself on the beauty stage,” she recalled. She challenged Elias to replicate her success 23 years from then on. “You should explore every opportunity and use it to empower you to become a better person,” she told the reigning queen.