Despite not wowing the audience with in-depth and convincing answers during the Question and Answer (Q&A) session, Moshupa native Thata Kenosi was crowned Miss Botswana 2016 outclassing 11 other hopefuls.
The 50th Miss Botswana pageant was held at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Friday night where the queen walked away with a whooping P 300,000.
On the ramp, contestants battled it out as they displayed different strides donning designer outfits from works by Thabiso Dibeela, Lesedi Matlapeng, Botho Chalebgwa and Aobakwe Molosiwa in the different categories.
The moment of truth came when the 12 contestants were eliminated to five. The five contestants comprised Gaseangwe Balopi, Katlego Gaotsenelelwe, Oabona Kamona, Phatsimo Boagi and Kenosi. The announcement saw the Miss Botswana 2015 first princess, Nicole Gaelebale, who was also participating lose out.
As is the norm with beauty pageants, the five hopefuls had to answer questions.
Of all the responses that were given during the night, the audience felt Kenosi’s response lacked depth. She was tasked to answer how the challenge of unemployment could be solved. She responded by saying, “‘Things’ such as ESP can be used to solve ‘things’ like unemployment”, and she did not explain further.
This left many within the audience unsatisfied with her response with some even laughing and shouting out, “ESP, ESP, ESP”.
The big surprise came during the announcement of the top three. The audience was surprised and disappointed when Boagi who seemed to be the crowd’s favourite was announced second princess. Boagi had given an in-depth explanation pertaining to women empowerment in the society. Kamona emerged as the first princess.
Some people in the audience seemed to have a problem with Kenosi being announced as the reigning Miss Botswana, based on her response to the question. The pageant organisers, however, explained from the onset that the grading criteria would start at the boot camp and the grand finale would be the last part of grading. While some people may not have been happy with the way she answered the question, it shows that Kenosi did very well during the boot camp assessment.
The judging criteria looked for someone who possessed elements such as ambassadorship, physical strength, intelligence, modelling ability and talent.
The audience went on to shout ESP when Miss Botswana 2015, Seneo Mabengano, handed the crown to her successor.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said the excited and soft-spoken Kenosi, who is also a poet. “I would like to thank God, my supporters and people that I do not even know were supporting me through the journey. A lot of things do not come easy because of that, I work hard. Boot camp wasn’t easy for me, every time I hit rock bottom I picked myself up.”
As usual critics had something to say after the pageant, especially on social media as they created memes with the theme ESP. Some praised the pageant saying for the first time a dark-skinned woman since Mabengano (who is light in complexion) has been crowned Miss Botswana.
With Kenosi walking away with cash prize of P300,000, Kamona received P150,000, while second princess Boagi received P75,000. They also received prizes from sponsors.
Former Miss Botswana queens, and international model, Kaone Kario graced the pageant.