She came, she saw and she conquered.
This is the simple way to describe the triumph of the newly crowned Miss Botswana, Rosemary Keofitlhetse.
The 19 year old Botswana Accountancy College student has always been a go-getter and she knew very well that she would make it to the top.
The Voice reporter Daniel Kenosi got closer to her to understand what drives her passion and what she thinks the future holds for her as the reigning queen.
Q. Congratulations. Please briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Rosemary Keofitlhetse.
I was born in Maun nineteen years ago. Even though I was born in Maun I am originally from Hukuntsi.
Q. How does it feel to be a queen?
It’s a great honor. I have been involved in beauty pageants from a very young age.
I have always looked forward to being crowned Miss Botswana one day and this is a dream come true for me. This is in honor to my late mother.
Q. Please share more. Take us back to the early days as an aspiring model and beauty queen.
My mom is one person who encouraged me to venture into modeling.
That was four or five months before she passed away in 2001 and I was nine years old then.
She told me to try my luck in a beauty pageant hosted by our primary school. I tried and made it.
Since then I have never looked back and have won a couple of titles from primary, junior and senior school.
Q. Did you have anyone you looked up to as a young model?
I remember being told that Mpule Kwelagobe had made it to the world stage one day. I was still a little girl then.
Even though I didn’t I understand what that meant I also envied being her. I used to go to Jwaneng to see her charity foundation.
She is a family friend now and she really inspires me.
Q. I bet she gave you wise words of encouragement before you went on and snatched the crown?
No. In fact my aunt hasn’t yet called to tell her that I scooped the price.
I know she is going to be happy that I made it.
Q. So what happens to your school time now that you are busy with Ms Botswana?
I am a student and as we speak my classmates are in class.
The contract requires me to freeze my scholarship, so for this year I will be on break and to give all the focus on fulfilling my obligations as the Queen.
Q. After winning the title you told the audience that you were not just going to participate at the world stage unlike your predecessors.
Please explain that.
First of all I want to apologize for sounding rude by saying that. I was over excited on that night.
The previous queens are an inspiration to me. They did all best they could.
Q. Do you think it’s necessary for you to apologize?
Yes! I feel it was rude because I said unlike them, I won’t just go to the world stage to participate but I will compete and bring the price home.
I am really sorry for having said that.
But to your previous question though, I am very confident that I will bring the title home because I am a go-getter and whenever I want something I work extra hard to get it.
Q. Where is the car you won?
I am not really concerned about the car.
I want to concentrate on serving the nation. A car is just a car.
Q. The question was. Where is the car?
Ok! I think it’s at the Peugeot showroom.
I understand they are still branding it Miss Botswana.
They might be a chance that I could get it after completing my tenure.
But with shortage of transport being an issue I might get it earlier.
Q. Why brand it Miss Botswana. Isn’t it a personal car?
It’s not yet personal. It belongs to the organizers and I only get it when I complete my time in office.
For now it belongs to them even though I have won it.
Q. Does this mean you forfeit the car if you quit office before your contract comes to an end?
Yes! But why should I get the car before I finish what’s agreed on the contact?
If it happens that I quit before completing my contact then I will have no choice but to leave the car behind.
Q. Do you have a driving license?
No, but I tried my luck at a driving school and I failed just a week before Miss Botswana event.
Q. Does this mean you were looking forward to driving the car?
Not really. There are lots of cars at home and I always wanted to have my own license.
Q. Have you ever driven around without a license?
(Laughs) Do you want to get me in to trouble?
Yes I sometime drive around when I am at the farm.
I just put on the L sign for learners and drive but I never go far from home.
Q. Are there any other gifts that you received besides the car and do you now have them with you?
We are having our prize giving ceremony end of next month.
I also won diamond earrings and a necklace from Debswana.
I won them prior to the grand finale when I visited Jwaneng mine with other contestants.
We were asked few questions and the company was impressed with my responses and awarded me the precious gifts.
Q. Is it a real diamond, and how much is it worth?
Of course it is but I wouldn’t share its value with you for security reasons.
Q. One of the contestants caused an uproar with her anti homosexual commenst. What’s your take on her opinion?
First of all, Sharon is my best friend.
She did explain to me what happened.
Everyone has a right to an opinion; people should not be killed for expressing theirs.
She was just airing her opinion but unfortunately she was not allowed to finish because the crowd booed her.
Q. What’s your take on Botswana’s economy?
Mmmmh! What should I say? I think Botswana’s economy is growing well.
We should now start going out there to hunt for investors as one of the country’s with low tax rate.
Q. So what’s going to be your focus during your tenure?
I am going to focus on trying to get help for homeless children.
I want to become their mother and take care of them.
A lot of them are impoverished so I will do all I can to ensure they go to bed with something to it.
Q. Talking about poverty; what are your views on the President’s poverty eradication project?
Do you think it’s possible to eradicate poverty?
Yes! I agree with the president.
It’s very easy to eradicate poverty. All we need to do is teach all the poor people how to make a life for themselves.
We have to try to empower them and that’s why I am saying my duty will be to go out and volunteer in whatever way I can.
Q. Come on! You stay in Phakalane and you live a lavish life.
How easy do you think it will be for you to interact with the poverty stricken people if you have never lived like them?
I have lived both lives. I grew up in Hukuntsi and we literally stayed in a one roomed house.
I now live in Phakalane with the Magang’s and so it makes me a master of double life.
If you throw me into the poor I will understand and if you throw me into the rich I’ll still survive.
Q. You have been talking about your mom over and over. Where is your father?
Can we please not talk about that? Please.
Q. One of the requirements for Miss Botswana is that one shouldn’t be dating.
Did you dump your boyfriend or you ignored the requirement?
I wouldn’t say I was single before Miss Botswana but I just communicated with my ex-boyfriend and told him that I want to concentrate on Miss Botswana so we had to part.
He understands and he let me be.
Q. Tall, slim and light in complexion.
You suite President Khama’s preferred choice of a woman.
(Laughs)…..That’s ridiculous. I have never dreamt of being a first lady.
I see Khama as a father figure and I wouldn’t even dream of being your first lady.
Q. Thanks God it’s Friday. What are you up to this weekend?
I managed to break into a family surprise.
I hear they have a surprise dinner for me so I am looking forward to that either today (Friday) or tomorrow.
Q. Thanks for your time.
Have a great weekend.