Miss Botswana 2018 crowns queen despite hiccups

Chedza Mmolawa

The Miss Botswana 2018 pageant received plenty of public backlash in the run up to the final event which was hosted this past weekend and true to prevail apprehension, the event failed to live up to promises. The controversy behind Miss Botswana pageant this year started when the latest company organizing the pageant, Development Advance Institute (DAI), announced that only three ladies would be competing for the crown.
Despite the general outcry, DAI was hell bent on hosting the show and unfortunately, this led to a disappointing night full of hiccups. Very few turned out for the event, and the programme for the evening had little to offer. Event organizer, Basadi Masimolole said they struggled to sell the P1500 tickets and ended up inviting most of the people who attended.
The first foreboding that there was trouble ahead was the small conference room where the pageant was held at Masa Square Hotel. The room was stuffy and crammed halfway through the show, forcing attendants to move in and out to catch a breath of fresh air. Further complicating the proceedings, the stage was obstructed by a large pillar that forced the audience to stand to get a better view .
In terms of the actual competition, all three contestants wore the same gowns throughout the pageant and only circled the ramp about three times. The first time was to introduce themselves and give the audience a quick synopsis of who they are and why they should wear the crown. The second time was just to show the same gowns seen earlier. Then the third time was when they came to answer the judges’ questions, albeit still wearing the same gowns. The Q and A session fell flat as audience members felt that the questions were shallow and irrelevant.
The director of Development Advance Institute, Ben Raletsatsi explained that time constraints practically forced them to host the pageant with only three contestants looking at the requirements expected of them by Miss World.
In an interview with TimeOut, the winner of this year’s pageant, Moipelo Elias said her victory is a miracle because of all the hard work she put in. “I was not expecting it. This has been an easy one as the team has been amazing, they took care of us. There were a lot of complications going both ways and I think it’s important to have a relationship that eases our roles. There is little that can be done about the situation or negative spotlight that Miss Botswana has been under of late. Miss World gave us this platform, and it needed to be executed,” said Elias.
Elias explained that Batswana did not understand this new concept, but there is no one to blame for this. “I hope Batswana will support me from here on as I embark on the projects that I aspire to implement. I am over excited about going to represent Botswana in China. I know that my going there will bring great results,” said the newly crowned queen.
Modioki Gaborone was crowned 2nd princess and 1st princess went to Neelo Nthobatsang. Masimolole, said this year’s queen will walk away with an apartment where she will stay for a period of a year. “We have two main things to focus on this year which are accommodation for our queen and also providing her with transport. We have an agreement with Destiny car rental to transport her wherever she needs to go. We are also working on a final package that will be revealed tomorrow,” she revealed. Masimolole said she is happy with the outcome of the show despite the negativity that came along with it.