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Beauty queen changes narrative

Neo Matheka

Weeks after being crowned Miss Lesotho 2022, 23-year-old Lintle Masasa is still in awe of her victory.

She said she is still learning how to accept compliments and congratulations.

“Having been trusted with the crown of Miss Lesotho and all the responsibilities it comes with has been an honour,” Masasa said.

Masasa, born in Maseru but raised by her grandmother in Sekhutloaneng, Mt. Moorosi in Quthing is not only our reigning beauty with brains, but she is also a mother to a 4-year-old boy.

The beauty queen started her education at Little Flower English medium school and completed her PSLE at new Millennium English medium school where she obtained the national top two position.

She then proceeded with her high school education at Lesotho High school where she completed her Junior Certificate (JC) and obtained a national top six position and later completed her LGCSE, obtaining the national top three position.

Masasa furthered her studies at the Limkokwing University of Technology where she majored in Interior Architecture but unfortunately dropped out in the second month of the first academic year.

Since leaving school, from 2017-2021, she has been working for an educational organisation where she started as a tutor and ended up being the chief operations officer and continued teaching children inclusive of those with learning disabilities.

To update her educational background, she took multiple courses online including Human Resource Management, Educational Neuroscience, Speech and Language Therapy Scrum and others.

She is currently studying Analytics Nano degree with Udacity through a scholarship from the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation.

Her first pageant was in 2016 where she first participated in the run for Miss Lesotho and won the 1st Princess position with the Beauty with a Purpose title.

She indicated that she knew what her goal was and decided to give it another go and this time around, she went home with the title of Miss Lesotho.

Her biggest challenge was the doubts and insecurities of competing while being a mother.

“Miss Lesotho has broadened its territories by being inclusive to promote women empowerment. This means different things for different people and to me, it meant another opportunity to go after my dreams,” she said.

“Having this opportunity was the drive that kept me motivated even when there were days when I wanted to give up. I continued my journey because I understood how important representation is,” Masasa added.

To know that she represented young girls and ladies who had an interest in pageantry but are mothers, she said was the motivation she needed.

With her new title, Miss Lesotho, Masasa plans to promote authenticity and boldness to speak the truth and own up to one’s stories.

“We are all unique. Our struggles, victories and experiences as a whole are unique to each one of us and we react the best way we know how in the moments.

“As a mother first, Miss Lesotho pageants plans on changing the narrative and stigma surrounding single motherhood in young women. Being a single young unwed mother is a taboo that is followed with phrases of ridicule. That is what I want to change. I want to assure young mothers that having a baby does not define their worth.

“After giving birth to my son, I received emotional damage first-hand when I was told that this has now become my fate. I suffered the shame and condemnation in church as well as the abandonment by friends and family,” she recounted.

Masasa noted that she wants to change the conversation that as a young mother, it is almost impossible to achieve what you wanted to achieve as a girl.

“I want to prove to people that as a young mother, your worth is not determined by social standards and mindsets,” she stressed, urging young mothers to take up space, fight for their dreams and become role models their children can look up to.

“…I only have this one life. What can be worse than dying? Hunger? Embarrassment? Losing? So what if you lose? So what if you are embarrassed? The most important thing in life is you would have given yourself a shot at life,” the beauty queen said.

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