Miss Botswana management dismisses 70/30% allegations

Palesa Molefe PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Palesa Molefe PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

Organisers of the Miss Botswana pageant have shot down allegations that they get a share of 70% for any donations to the reigning queen. The allegations came after a whooping P250,000 donation to the pageant from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Conservation (MENR&C) recently.

The allegations sparked concerns on various social media platforms with those concerned suggesting that there was no need to celebrate the good gestures from the ministry and other potential donors since the queen only gets 30% from the donations. It is argued that the 70% allegedly taken by the organisers leaving the reigning queen with 30% is a rip off. However Miss Botswana project manager, Massie Hule said the organisation does not get anything from the donations. “It is not true that we take some money from the reigning queen’s donations. According to the agreement that was signed with the Miss Botswana 2021 contestants, we agreed that the organisation will take 70% of the reigning queen’s appearance fee while she takes 30%.

The 70/30 applies only to Miss Botswana queen’s appearance fees and not her prize money or donations and gifts,” said Hule. He said according to the contract, the queen gets P100,000 which would be divided into P50,000 cash that would be paid at the end of the reign while the other half would be used for monthly allowance and essential benefits like medical aid and life insurance. He also pointed out that during the reign, the organisation would also provide management services, provide wardrobe, make up, transport, DStv, Internet, take care of the queen’s electricity and water bills. “For any appearance, the organisation takes care of all logistics involved for such appearances, wardrobe, makeup, accommodation, transportation, security and management fees. The top 30 selected contestants were given this contract during their orientation and were given time to take them to their lawyers and parents before signing. Donations mostly will be presents that the queen gets from willing citizens and companies. We do not share those with the queen, they belong to her,” he explained. Furthermore, he said that even though they had financial challenges, they made sure that things run smoothly.

He said when sending Molefe to Puerto Rico for the Miss World they had no money but made sure they did their best to give her all the love and support she needed. Hule emphasised that they had a lot going on when sending her to Miss World, adding that they had no money. “When she was there she got sick and was allergic to antibiotics she was given. She did not eat for a week and lost weight hence her clothes were not fitting well. The designers we asked to help in America were not allowed to the contestants’ rooms due to COVID-19. We could not do much because we were in the country but kept giving her moral support through our everyday calls. We urge Batswana to support one another and not bash their efforts," he said.


For her part, the Minister Philda Kereng, said the money was meant to 'fuel up' the queen while preparing for the grand finale that has recently been postponed for 90 days due to COVID-19. Kereng, through her ministry, also gifted the queen with her beautiful black and white portrait and a holiday package voucher. "We are happy that despite having little to no budget at all, Miss Botswana Organisation team kept on pushing to ensure that the pageantry is a success and that the queen is well taken care of.

That is why my ministry is gifting our queen this amount of money to fuel her up during this journey. At the end of the day she needs to be taken care of.” “I was impressed yesterday when I got at the airport to find many Batswana there to welcome their queen. They waited patiently for her flight to land since it was delayed. They were singing and you could sense the unity they had. That is the Botswana I know. We might be going through a lot as a country but with things like this pageant, people have something to look up to," she said.

Meanwhile, Molefe thanked relevant stakeholders including Batswana for their immense support. She thanked her mother whom she described as her friend, pillar of strength for believing in her and encouraging her to be whoever she wanted. She added that Miss Botswana Organisation gave her an opportunity to unlock herself. She said through her reign, she intended to inspire a young girl in different parts of Botswana. She explained that the pageantry empowered, unlocked her potential, and made her aware of the fire inside of her. She added that she was able to beat all obstacles before her because of the support of the Miss Botswana organisors.

Editor's Comment
More resources needed to fight crime

The Fight Crime Gaborone Facebook page is always filled with sad complaints of hard working Batswana who were robbed at knife point at some traffic lights or at their home gates when trying to get inside.These thugs have no mercy; they do not just threaten victims, they are always ready to use knives, and sadly, they damage car windows. While this happens at different traffic lights, there are those where such incidents happen more frequently...

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