The King Moshoeshoe Film Festival Director, Aubrey Selinyane delivered on his commitment to pay the three winners of the Miss Culture Lesotho 2022 at a prize-giving ceremony held at the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation (LTDC) premises in Maseru on Friday.
Miss Culture 2022 Queen Thabelo Ngatane became the first winner of a pageant in Lesotho to receive a cash price totaling M14 500 after scooping the grand prize for the pageant which stood at M12 000 as well as M2500 from the popularity contest during the same pageant.
Runners-up Lithapelo Makhele who won First Princess and Keneuoe Talanyane, Second Princess, received M6000 and M3000 respectively. The finale took place at the Victory Hall on May 28, 2022 with 13 young women battling it out.
Ngatane thanked the organisers for creating the platform which she said is another way for young girls to learn more about their culture.
She highlighted that the money invested in the pageant as one motivating tool encouraging young women to participate in the pageantry, as she urged government and the business community to invest more in the industry in order to create employment opportunities.
â€œI would like to thank the Miss Culture Lesotho organisers for such a platform to showcase our talents.
â€œWe just need to be met halfway because it has so much potential and I so wish that all potential stakeholders can open their hearts and use this opportunity to invest in such initiatives as Miss Culture,â€ she said.
The 22-year-old will be heading to South Africa in October to represent Lesotho at the Miss Culture international 2022 to be staged in the KwaZulu Natal province.
Ngatane is the former Face of Lesotho a feat which she achieved in 2018 when she became the youngest winner of the pageant at the age of 18.
She said her experience then was not a good one due to lack of financial support which hindered her from properly representing the country well
â€œMy experience in the pageantry has taught me that we need support, this I first saw during my rocky journey when I had to represent Lesotho at the Face of Beauty International in India and had to raise funds for that mission so we have a major problem of sponsors in the country,â€
The Upper-Thamae born Centre for Accounting Studies student has had an illustrious pageantry experience having scooped most of the contests she participated in as a youngster such as the Miss Junior Teen, Kingdom Nations 2014 as well as the Miss Upper Thamae 2016.
Selinyane, financier and headline sponsor of the pageant, said though the bigger picture is the King Moshoeshoe Film Festival, he sees the Miss Culture Lesotho as one of the major draw cards hence he has decided to invest much in it.
â€œI believe as much as culture is important but this kind of event can be a draw card for tourism in Lesotho because it can attract people from outside the country to come and see what Basotho are all about,â€ said Selinyane.