Itâ€™s all-systems-go in preparations for the hosting of the annual Miss Lesotho 2021 beauty pageant after being suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The extravagant event penciled for May 29, 2021 at the â€™Manthabiseng Convention Centre, will boast 11 local beauties who will battle it out for the M10 000 prize money.
The overall winner of the competition has a chance to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant in December.
The National Director and head organizer of the event, Molulela Monyake told Newsday Arts that the pageant was first held in the 70s but was at the time not an annual do hence the uncertainty on which number edition this year will be.
“Miss Lesotho initially started in the late 1970s but wasn’t run annually. So at this moment I can’t confirm which edition it is. But it will be the first one with me as National Director,” Monyake said.
The Miss Lesotho beauty contest was established in 1978 and Joan Libuseng Khoali was crowned the first winner.
She competed in the Miss Universe beauty pageant later that year in Mexico.
Monyake said the Covid-19 pandemic hampered a lot of their plans including the sponsorships they had already secured for the event and the winner.
“Covid put a lot of a plans on hold and even affected partners and sponsors we had initially had. So bouncing back from that wasn’t the easiest of things. Planning hasn’t been easy but it has been an exciting experience discovering how many stakeholders are interested in our vision,” she said.
Beauty Pageant Association of Lesotho (BPAL) had in 2019 opened to the public, the possibility to purchase the Miss Lesotho franchise.
This meant that the successful candidate would be responsible to organise the Miss Lesotho 2021 beauty contest and take over all the roles of sending the winner to the Miss World beauty pageant.
A former beauty queen, Monyake was found eligible and was handed the franchise where she signed all contracts with BPAL.
Lesotho has competed several times in past editions of the Miss World competition but has not achieved any notable success to date.
She said she is a perfectionist and as a result she sacrifices a lot for the things she believes in and pageantry is no different.
“I’m somewhat of a perfectionist so I give a lot of my time to the planning. Late nights and early mornings if need be. It just becomes tricky because unlike me, my team go to sleep so in many instances we realise how patience is also an important part of the organising, patience with each other, patience with supporters and sponsors too”. she said.
She stated that at this point the list of sponsors and partners keeps growing and they will therefore be announcing two big partners in the coming week.
Monyake has gone through the pageantry as a contestant. She was crowned second princess Miss Africa 2013. She participated in the Sweden Miss Africa Crown International where she also finished Second Princess.
She was also the First Princess at the Miss Lesotho 2015 edition and represented the country at the Miss Tourism World in Malaysia 2015-2016 and was crowned Miss Tourism Lesotho in the same year.
Limited tickets for the Miss Lesotho 2021 edition started selling from April 22, according to the organiser who also indicated that tickets can be purchased from numerous outlets including at shopping malls in Maseru.
â€œWe are only selling a maximum of 200 tickets to observe Covid-19 Regulations and will not be selling any at the door. VIP is already sold out” she stressed.
“A general ticket costs M120. Space is limited so as to abide by the Covid-19 health protocols,â€ Monyake said.
The last edition of the event was held at the Avani Maseru Hotel on March 2019 and Palesa Makara was crowned the winner against 11 other contestants.
Refiloe â€˜Fifiâ€™ Pitso was crowned the first princess with Michelle Dyamdeki as the second princess.