The shifty behaviour of the judges in full view of the audience led to concerns that the choice of the top three may be the result of machinations. IMI MOKGETHI reports on the intrigue
The victory of Palesa Molefe as Miss Botswana 2021/22 has raised considerable disapproval from some who attended the glitzy event at Limkokwing University over the weekend.
The show started on a high note with the dazzling top 16 finalists in decked out in traditional outfits and doing their traditional dance moves. However, things changed when the top three were about to be announced and the judges seemed to be in disagreement, arguing among themselves in full view of the audience. The directors of ceremony were interrupted when they were just about to reveal the select top three from an initial five.
Whereupon the chief judge, Emma Wareus, a former Miss Botswana and Miss World 2010 first runner-up, stopped the MCs to give the judges time to deliberate more on the results. Not surprisingly, the audience thought something was out of place, with some thinking they could smell a rat.
Were the judges openly cooking the results? One of them demonstrated her disapproval of the parody by remaining behind when her colleagues ducked out of sight for further deliberations.
After a long wait, the judges returned but only to carry on their anxious murmuring before the results of the top three, perhaps revised, were given to the MCs to announce. They emerged as Palesa Molefe, Michelle Bagoleng and Marang Mokhoana, who then proceeded to the next stage of answering the final question of the night to determine the winner.
In the end, Bagoleng and Mokhoana were crowned first and second princesses respectively. And soon enough, Palesa Molefe wore the crown. The parody notwithstanding, she is Miss Botswana 2021/22.
In an interview soon after her coronation, she spoke of her drive to focus on mental health in schools. “My project is focused on mental health for children through teachers because teachers have the ability to (influence) how a young child thinks. One cause close to my heart is inclusivity and representation. I believe my background speaks volumes in representing what a young Motswana child can look up to and have a spark of light inside of them,” the new queen said.
She added that she is ready to display the beauty of Botswana on the world stage when she vies to become to the next Miss World on 16 December in Puerto Rico because Palesa Molefe believes she will earn her placement in the grand finale.