The organisers of the covetedMiss Universe Botswanapageant, which over theyears has been surrounded by controversy,are keen to follow throughwith the pageant’s objectives in orderto ensure a smooth transition tothe grand fi nale.Speaking at a press conference toannounce the grand fi nale date, theorganiser of the pageant, Safi e Sekgwesaid that this year’s pageantwill be different as they are keen toeliminate some of the factors thattrigger controversies.“It looks like people confuseMiss Universe Botswana with MissBotswana.
We are Miss Universe,the universal queen of Botswana.We are non-controversial people.The only problem we have had waswhen our 2010 queen said that wedid not give her the prize but wedid,” Sekgwe said.Answering a question abouttheir infamous way of awardingthe prizes, whereby all the prizesare awarded in one big night of thegrand fi nale, Sekgwe said; “We preferto announce all the prizes at thegrand fi nale. People think that it isan excuse to dodge the girls withtheir prizes, but they already knowwhat the winner will walk awaywith. It is wrong to stress that wefi ght for prizes in our pageant. Wejust prefer to announce them on thefi nal night.”Though he remained tight-lippedabout the prizes that the girls shouldexpect, he stated that the queen willreceive a scholarship in New York,United States of America, under thesponsorship of Gemological Instituteof America (GIA).
“We prefer to light the rest of theprizes on the night of the event becausewe want our fi nalists to focuson the title and not the prizes. Wewere forced to state the scholarshipas one of the prizes because wewant to communicate that indeedthere is something. Our biggestconcern is that when you mentionprizes at this stage, the focus turnsto them, which is really not the priorityby international standards. Wewant our fi nalists to focus on thetitle and ultimately the internationaltitle,” he said in an interview withTime Out.Fellow organiser, Boingotlo Setlalekgositold members of the pressthat prior to the crowning of MissUniverse Botswana, the ladies willbe taken for a boot camp at theMakgadikgadi Pans.
Setlalekgosi explained that theychose Makgadikgadi Pans becauseit is one of the landmarks of Botswanathus the ladies will be ableto appreciate the pans as an internationallyrecognized landmarkand will therefore be able to sellBotswana to the world. “There isno way our girls can sell Botswanato the world without having experiencedthe beauty of our country,”she said.Among other things, Setlalekgosisaid the contestants will be taughtthe basic etiquette on how to behaveas beauty queens and how todeal with international media.The Miss Universe Botswana2013/2014 grand fi nale is set totake place on the 7th of Septemberat the Gaborone International ConventionCenter (GICC). The winnerwill proceed to compete forthe prestigious Miss Universe titlealongside 57 other contestants fromaround the world at an event billedfor Moscow, Russia on the 9th ofNovember.Meanwhile, tickets to the GICCgrand fi nale will be sold at P500and will be available from all Optionsstores in Gaborone.