Many countries, especially those in Africa, probably share the same dream – that of hosting the Miss World pageant and all the glitz and glamour that comes with it.
The small southern African nation of Botswana has set its sight on achieving just that – and believes this is a distinct possibility.
According to a company engaged to restructure the Miss Botswana beauty pageant, Development Advance Institute (DAI), it has come up with a five-year plan to turn around the local pageant as part of efforts to lay the groundwork for the targeted hosting of the Miss World event.
The local pageant has been mired in controversy in the past, resulting in major stakeholders such as the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and others sponsors, withdrawing sponsorship for the competition.
Last year, the pageant was only a three-horse race as only three out of the expected 12 participants took part in the competition.
However, DAI official, Benjamin Raletsatsi, believes such controversies would be a thing of the past as they are keen on turning around the fortunes of the local pageant.
He said the ultimate objective was to host the Miss World at the end of a five-year contract that his organisation has signed with the Botswana Council of Women, which is the license holder for Miss Botswana.
“The five-year plan will help us resuscitate the prestigious beauty pageant. Our ultimate goal is to host the Miss World at the end of our five-year contract with Botswana Council of Women,” Raletsatsi said at the official launch of this year’s Miss Botswana on Thursday, 18 July 2019.
He acknowledged that over the years, Miss Botswana has had both the bad and good times, but said this year is about correcting what happened in the past.
“We want Botswana to host Miss World in 2022. That is why this year we are going to ensure that Miss Botswana pageant is done properly. I know this sounds like an old song, but last year’s event was taken completely out of context, people failed to understand and appreciate our efforts, given the circumstances,” Raletsatsi said.
He added: “Because we are running a pageant that has its own history we made sure that everyone who is owed and everyone who has an issue with Miss Botswana is sorted.”
Assistant Minister of Youth Sports and Culture, Philipp Makgalemele, assured the organisers of the pageant of the government’s support.
“I encourage those with the means to come forth and help this pageant. We should all contribute as at the end of the day, our country gets to shine,” Makgalemele said.
Botswana public relations executive Pauline Dikuelo said the search for participants for this year’s Miss Botswana competition is ongoing.
She said the top 12 contestants are expected to be announced on 27 July 2019 and a boot camp is scheduled for 11 to 17 August 2019.