MASERU: Lesotho diplomats and pageant directors were charmed by the Miss Africa concept, which was pitched to them last weekend by the Miss Africa team.
The team together with Gaborone mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe, visited Lesotho to launch the pageant and explain the concept behind it, which Basotho accepted with open arms.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Tlali Tlali, from the Beauty Association of Lesotho said the pageant would bring Africans together.
“Despite having different backgrounds, this pageant will bring unity among African countries, which is a good initiative because we have never had such a pageant before on the continent,” he said.
Tlali stated that apart from uniting the continent, Miss Africa would also help promote the continent since the whole world will be paying attention.
“We copy and learn from others, but sometimes you have to do something of your own,” he said. Despite excitement about Miss Africa, Tlali was against the Miss Africa rule that states women with children can participate in the pageant, saying that their cultural background does not allow people with children to take part in pageants.
Also present during the signing and agreement ceremony was Miss Lesotho 2015, Relebohile Kobeli, who also welcomed the pageant and urged her peers to take part in Miss Africa and sell their country to the world.
Lesotho parastatals and ministries such as the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture immediately showed interest in sponsoring the Miss Africa Lesotho pageant, which is set to take place between December this year and January next year. The winner of the pageant will take part in the Miss Africa pageant, which will be take place in Botswana next year.
Prior to signing and agreeing that Lesotho will participate at the event, Tlali, the Gaborone mayor and Miss Africa CEO Bruce Nkgakile, had an agreement that Basotho fashion designers will be given an opportunity to showcase their designs during the pageant finale.
When presenting the concept, Miss Africa CEO Bruce Nkgakile stated that the pageant would boost the continent’s economy since it will engage a number of young people with different expertise to work on the build up of the beauty pageant.
“As Africans we have not sold ourselves enough to the world, this is an opportunity for us to exhibit our craft when the world is watching,” he said.
Nkgakile also noted that several African figures such as Sir Ketumile Masire, Samuel Eto and Didier Drogba have shown interest in helping the Miss Africa pageant.
The Miss Africa team is set to travel to Ethiopia and Kenya next month to launch the pageant. Last week, they launched the pageant in Zimbabwe.
The team is currently working on the build up of Miss Africa Botswana fashion and cultural show, which is scheduled for September 11, 2015.
Grammy award winning ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo is expected to perform at the event.