Preparations for Miss Lesotho World have suffered a major setback after candidate Refiloe Lefothane pulled out â€œdue to travel commitments relating to her studies.â€
Lefothane was selected as the first runner-up during the Miss Lesotho 2022 competition, making her the ideal candidate to represent Lesotho in the 71st Miss World beauty contest set for the United Arab Emirates in May this year.
However, this week Miss Lesotho organisers indicated that the beauty queen will no longer be travelling.
â€œOur Fifi had a very tough decision to make in deciding which option to take, considering how passionate she is about both options presented to her and the efforts made towards both,â€ the organisers said in a statement.
â€œWe have cried and laughed over and over until we reached the conclusion that she would travel to complete her studies.â€
The organisers added that the whole team at Miss Lesotho is proud and knows that she has a bright path ahead of her.
Lefothane has also confirmed she will not be representing the country.
â€œWell it really pains me to say this, but I will no longer be representing Lesotho at the 71st Miss World happening in May due to the fact that I will be travelling to go to school.
â€œHowever, I wish to thank Miss Lesotho team for the support they have been showing me during this difficult time,â€ she said formally.
Contacted for comment, the national director and head organiser of Miss Lesotho, Molulela Monyake told Newsday that â€œthis has really been a difficult time for all of us as team Miss Lesotho, especially Refiloe as she was really looking forward to the event and preparations were at an advanced stage.â€
Monyake indicated that Lesotho will now be represented by Poelano Mothisi at the Miss World pageant.
Mothisi is Miss Lesothoâ€™s 1st runner-up and was recently selected as Miss Africa 2023 1st runner-up.
â€œWe had to make an immediate plan to ensure that Lesotho is presented, hence we selected Poelano because she is not a new person in this industry and this means that we wonâ€™t need to do a lot of training on her in terms of preparations.
â€œWhat I can also add is that she is quite excited and seems ready to fly Lesotho flag high and I wish to request all Basotho to give her the same support they had given to Refiloe, financially and in any way,â€ Monyake stated.