GABORONE, BOTSWANA — Against all odds, the current organizers of Miss Botswana through their company Development Advance Institute (DAI) have set their sights on hosting the Miss World pageant in three years’ time. This revelation gained momentum yesterday night at the launch of the 2019/20 roll out plan to host Miss Botswana held at an ice cold Three Dikgosi Monument site in Gaborone’s CBD.
However, the assertion from the organizer’s 5-year strategic plan as guaranteed by the pageant’s license holder, Botswana Council of Women is to finally host Miss World in 2022.
As if that was enough, the Miss Botswana organizers anticipate Botswana to finish in the Top 3 of Miss World, host an international fashion week, host two international beauty industry events, employ 50 000 support staff and start beauty academy operations in Botswana.
Speaking at the launch, the Director of DAI, Benjamin Raletsatsi is pinning his hopes on the fact that pageantry is a multi-concurrent discipline and his vision is to create an ecosystem that will be able to provide the reigning queen with all the necessary support to win Miss World.
For him industries that directly benefit from beauty and fashion include tourism, entertainment, media, fashion, retail and even sponsors.
“Taking over Miss Botswana was interesting. Over the years it has seen good and bad times. When we took over, it was to open opportunities from the creative industry because all services around Miss Botswana are predominately creative driven. We thought it was going be an easy project as the country has ample creatives.
However, we hit rock bottom as we realized Miss Botswana is an expensive undertaking and most sponsors were young Batswana companies with lesser funds. We are nonetheless on the first year of our five year plan. We have cleaned our house as all debts from outstanding years have been paid so we are starting on a clean slate. Pageantry is the easiest way to make the creative industry prevail. We are now going for the search of the new queen. And I urge eligible beauties to come and audition. The crown is up for the taking,” said Raletsatsi last night.
Meanwhile, for his part the Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Philip Makgalemele assured DAI and BCW that government will further extend a helping hand to the pageant as it has done in the past.
“It’s certainly a journey that must be supported. We must all ensure Miss Botswana is improved. What happened in the past years should be a reference. I encourage those with the means to come forth and help this pageant. We should all contribute as at the end of the day, our country gets to shine. As the ministry we will support and advice wherever necessary,” said Makgalemele.
The 1995 queen, Joyce Manase-Ntau recalled her best memories during her reign. She emphasized to the aspirant Miss Botswana queen that her life has since changed since she was crowned adding that she has lived her dream courtesy of the encouragement she gained from the pageant.
“It was a pleasure for me to wear the crown. I want to assure those who still want to wear it to go for it as the crown brings joy to the queen who gets to wear it on behalf of the country. It’s every girl’s dream to represent her country. I like the idea by DIA and team. It can be achievable – a 5 year strategy is well articulated because Miss Botswana is a dream.
I remember vividly 23 years as a young girl from Jwaneng when I entered the lion’s den, I didn’t know what I was doing but it only made sense after crowning. Today I stand overconfident for all the numerous opportunities that have come my way. It’s an empowerment scheme on its own,” she concluded.
For her part, Miss Botswana Public Relations Executive Pauline Dikuelo revealed the road to crowning the next queen.
She said from 29th June to 14th July, auditions will be held in Maun, Ghanzi, Palapye, Selibe Phikwe, Francistown and Gaborone. The top 30 will be announced on July 15th while the Miss Botswana fashion show and the Top 12 announcements will happen on July 27th whilst the boot camp is scheduled for 11th – 17th August with the final happening August 17th too. Local brand influencers, the media, government officials and BCW representatives graced last night’s launch.