Last week, on a glorious, sun-kissed Saturday afternoon, Liberty Life Botswana hosted a high tea in honour of the 2016 Miss Botswana Top 12 finalists.
For the ladies it represented a welcome break from the demanding rigors of their bootcamp routine, as they got to dress up and enjoy themselves in a laidback, relaxed environment.
A picture of elegance and splendour, stylishly adorned in stunningly designed dresses, the finalists joined other guests for a rich exchange of inspirational stories.
The vibrant venue, Falcon Crest had its terrace transformed into a tranquil sea of exquisiteness, truly fit for a Queen.
Set in the midst of a colourful backdrop of flowers bursting from large quaint teapots, intertwined with pearls, stacked books subtly highlighted Liberty Life Botswana’s poignant motto, ‘The Advantage of Knowing’.
Gliding serenely across the stage like a true beauty queen, finalist Aisha Monna led the gathering in prayer before Liberty Life Managing Director, Lulu Rasebotsa welcomed the guests.
“We are proud of our association with Miss Botswana as we have the unique opportunity to contribute to the development of young women,” she announced warmly, before congratulating the Top 12 for making it this far.
Directly addressing the Top 12 contestants, Rasebotsa said, “Though there can be only one winner, you should be proud to have made it so far in the competition. It is not by luck but rather your drive, hard work and unwavering belief in your abilities to have reached this stage. You are all beautiful and certainly deserve to wear the crown.”
The Managing Director went on to praise the organising committee for striving to give the finalists exposure through various partnerships geared at facilitating their development.
“Today take the time to marvel at how far you have come and celebrate this achievement. The Miss Botswana brand belongs to all Batswana and hence all stakeholders are important.”
Looking breathtakingly beautiful in a black and white ensemble, Malebogo Marumoagae of Belle Larissa and the 2006 Miss Botswana winner echoed Rasebotsa’s sentiments as she shared her journey with the guests.
“The Miss Botswana title made me. It opened doors I had no idea existed. I was a naïve young person who blossomed following all the lessons gained during my reign. Though I treasure the experience of having entered and winning the pageant it was a journey that had its highs and lows. You should consider yourselves lucky to be exposed to platforms such as these as they are meant to enrich your experiences. In my time this was lacking. We made do with very little and one wonders how far they could have attained had they been just as exposed,” encouraged the petite Marumoage in an articulate speech proving she has the brains and grace to match her delicate beauty.
Marumoagae further encouraged the finalists not to take the experience for granted, saying, “A queen is not just her looks but is well read and curious. Undeniably, portrayal of one’s self goes beyond garb. Embrace this era of technology and read fervently to source information.”
Additionally, Realeboga Hassam, Head of Finance at Liberty Life Botswana gave a striking talk regarding financial freedom.
She encouraged the finalists to be well versed in money matters, as this will ultimately translate to their quality of life.
“It is important to strive for financial freedom hence one must plan and invest wisely. You are never too young to make better and healthier decisions regarding money. It does not matter how much you have. Start building your legacies now.”
Stressing her point, Hassam shared a personal anecdote when, as a young student, she had to survive with just a meager allowance to cover all her needs.
“Though it was disheartening as I felt it was not sufficient the lesson learnt was my introduction to budgeting.”
It was the reigning Miss Botswana, Seneo Mabengano’s words of encouragement that brought it home to the 12 hopefuls just how close the crowning of the 50th Miss Botswana Queen is.
This Friday, July 29th, she will pass on the baton to her successor at a glitzy event under the theme,‘Our Diamond Our Pride, Lesedi La Rona’.
Mabengano praised the contestants whilst encouraging them to embrace their individuality, saying, “Do not aim to compete with others but rather put your best foot forward and your uniqueness will win you admirers. Though in competition, it is important to support one another.”
Joking that she was hesitant to give up the prestigious crown as it has proved an incredibly fulfilling experience, last year’s Queen concluded, by graciously wished all the finalists the best of luck.
On behalf of the joint Miss Botswana organising committee of Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture, Botswana Council of Women and representation from the Private Sector, Tamati Ramatlhakwane offered a toast acknowledging the generous sponsorship Liberty Life Botswana has extended to the pageant.
The unveiling of the sponsorship was eloquently expressed by Head of Business Development; Kgomotso Disele, who revealed that Liberty Life Botswana have pledged 3.90 million pula (three million and ninety thousand) in life and funeral covers, towards the contestants prizes.
The Queen will receive life cover of a benefit of P1.5 million, the first princess gets P1 million worth of life cover, the second princess’s life is covered for P500 000 and the rest of the contestants each receive a P10 000 funeral cover policy, it was noted that the policies are for a term of 5 years and not just for the year of reign.
Acting on behalf of the Miss Botswana organising committee, Batsho Groth gladly accepted the generous sponsorship offer.
Wrapping up the beautiful session, Nanki Kubanji commended Liberty Life Botswana for their generosity and hailed the business entity for being ‘exemplary’.
She urged all in attendance to come together more often and offer support to other women.
She emphasized the importance of engaging with the men folk to work towards a common interest of building well-rounded individuals with a drive to contribute positively to their communities.
The top 12 impressively engaged with the audience as they got to introduce themselves and, with the crown in mind, solicit votes.
The 12 aspiring Queens are agonisingly close to their date with destiny – come Friday night and for one of the hopefuls the dream will become a reality!