It goes without saying that the beauty pageant industry is among the least funded and supported in Lesotho.
But the reality is that Bana ba Basotho who are in this industry love it, and continue participating in competitions both nationally and internationally.
In the past years, incredible young women have gone on to represent our country in Continental and International competitions, to name a few: Ausi Karabelo Mokoallo won Miss Humanity 2011 in Barbados, Rorisang Molefe won Miss University Africa 2012 in Nigeria, Relebohile Kobeli elevated Lesothoâ€™s placing in Miss World 2015 in China with her impeccable performance, Michelle Tau placed 2nd runner up at Face of Beauty International in 2017, succeeding my Best Charity Project award in the same competition in 2015 in Taiwan.
Following this I was placed 4th Runner Up at Miss Africa Continent in 2017, and most recently Poelano Mothisi placed Lesotho 1st runner up at Miss Africa Calibar 2023 in Nigeria.
Advocacy for government support has over the years not gotten us any solid, consistent financial support even with political stability. A short survey I made informs that corporates in Lesotho are hesitant to support pageant participation because it promotes the notion that one woman is more beautiful than the other thus being demeaning, and to this I say â€œevery sport has its own form of discriminationâ€ choosing one soccer player over the other has the same implication as appointing one queen over the other! Another question from the survey was â€œwhat do we gain in returnâ€
Pageantry has always been fueled by philanthropy â€“ and today that, and being a brilliant, forward thinking inspirational figure are the core of beauty pageantry. So what does supporting a beauty queen get you as a company, business, government or any entity in return? We are your mediums of market influence, we are powerful voices ready to relay your priorities, we are your ambassadors for positive change and the platforms of connection between you and the nation at large.
Of course this post is my request for financial support from Lesotho companies, individuals, public and private sector parties to fund my Participation in the upcoming Mrs.
Universe Africa 2023 competition to be hosted at Gold Reef City on July 9th, but it is also my advocacy for general support for our industry. If I have support from my country, yes it would be the best and most exciting thing ever, but if you canâ€™t support me, please support the next queen representing our country in another international competition; example â€“ Miss Lesotho is once again sending a representative to Miss World this year in the United Arab Emirates.
Boitumelo Sehlotho is representing Lesotho in this yearâ€™s Miss International. This is the first time Lesotho is being represented in both the Mrs Universe Africa and Miss International competitions, we will hopefully be represented going forward, so if you cannot support this year then gear up to support those who will follow.
Also, why did I enter a pageant for married women? Well, itâ€™s about time married women are empowered and reminded to follow their dreams beyond stepping into marriage, whatever shape or form those dreams are in!