- Former contestants speak out
- “We will cancel the P1500 price tag if we are funded”- Pageant organiser.
With less than a week left before the grand finale of Miss Botswana 2018/19 slated for 21st September, 2018 at Masa Square Hotel, organizers of the national pageant are still appealing to last year’s top 12 contestants to join in the competition as only three have been confirmed. The Miss Botswana restructuring team leader, Basadi Masimolole said Batswana should shift their focus from the grand finale event as the aim of this year’s event is to relaunch and rebuild trust in the Miss Botswana brand that has been marred by controversy in the past.
“From the beginning we had said even if one person turns up the show goes on. We are not cancelling this pageant because paying for Miss World license is not a joke. We ended up being here because BCW could not afford to pay for it, we paid and that is the commitment we made that we are going to be sending a representative from Botswana. We did our best and went the extra mile to bring all the 12 contestants on board. At one point the numbers went from five to seven and at the last minute we were left with two. But there is one more contestant who has shown interest bringing the number to 3,” she said.
Masimolole said they were advised by Miss World pageant to select the top six from last year’s event and have a mini pageant instead of crowning last year’s first princess. In an interview, a former contestant who did not show interest in this year’s event, said the pageant was “a waste of time” and has a reputation of unfair treatment. “Over the years the pageant has lost meaning and was now used as a money making scheme that leaves us as participants in the cold when the glitz and glamour is done. In the meantime you have quit your job or school for something that has taken more money from you. So it is not worth it and we don’t trust these companies roped in by BCW. So being asked to do this pageant again is like being used all over again because organizers will make money, select their preferred winners and dump you,” the former contestant said on condition of anonymity.
This year’s pageant has drawn the ire from Batswana over the three woman show which is priced at P1500. “We understand that to rebuild something and win trust doesn’t happen overnight. We are willing to drop the P1500 price but someone has to fund event because we need to pay for production done by Colour of Sounds, entertainment and champagne. To stage a proper event a minimum of P200 000 is needed. If someone offers that amount we are willing to have an invited guests crowning and rebranding ceremony,” Masimolole said.
When asked if the Ministry of Youth is footing the tab for the staging and rebranding of Miss Botswana, Masimolole said they were paying everything from their pocket and the Ministry doesn’t want to associate with Miss Botswana. “They said they already have a strained relationship with BCW, so they don’t want anything to do with Miss Botswana. The Ministry is only helping us to pay last year’s top three prizes. They have their contact and banking details and we confirm that by the 21st their money will be credited,” she concluded.