Beauty queen Seneo Mabengano (19) got herself the best Independence Day celebrations present when she was crowned Miss Botswana 2015 on the eve. A social media backlash has, however, not offered her space and time to enjoy her reign on grounds that the first princess Nicole Gaelebale was more deserving of the crown.
The critics claim that Mabengano won because of her light complexion. The second princess is Peggy Grynberg. During the final things started well with an amazing setting. The contestants started off clad in sexy outfits of skimpy shorts and white flawy meshes by Aobakwe Molosiwa of Gilded Sands. They then got into designs by Limkokwing Fashion Club and then their evening gowns which were designed by different local designers like Black Trash, ThabieD and House of Kay.
Tlotlo Patlakwe led the pack in the evening gowns with a bright body hugging yellow gown, followed by Kenaope Madisakwane also in yellow, Oratile Kefitlhile in white flawy one, Michelle Tuduetso in the pink and lime one while Seneo Mabengano wore the striking greenish gold detailed gown designed by Thabiso Dibeela of ThabieD. Gaelebale, who seemed to be a favourite with the crowd, won Miss Personality, Neo Sebogodi won Miss Athlete and Peggy Grynberg won top model. The guest of honour Tiffanee Marie Lim awarded local designer ThabieD (Thabiso Dibeela) as the designer that stood out for her.
Things took an ugly turn when the Top five were announced: Gaelebale, Mabengano, Grynberg, Gorata Bagwasi and Patlakwe. When they were all presented with questions Gaelebale was asked about the essence of a woman and she boldly said a woman should be confident on who she is and that the best form of empowerment that women can do is to empower each other. The audience seemed satisfied with her answer. Mabengano was then asked whether 16 should be considered as a legal age for marriage or it should be reviewed but her answer was that it should be reviewed because 16 is young without giving any other reason further than that. The crowd screeched in disappointment. Others also answered their questions.
Mabengano was ultimately named the winner and presented with the crown by the 1995 Miss Botswana Monica Somolekae. Things even took a heated turn at the press conference where journalists confronted the organisers and the top three. When questioned as to why Rosemary Keofitlhetse was not at the event pageant spokesperson Tshepo Maphanyane said the question should be asked Keofitlhetse and not them. She said as the new Miss Botswana committee they had nothing to do with what happened with the former pageants and cannot address those. “I think we should all stop being petty and just celebrate the firsts that we have brought to Miss Botswana 2015 like the docu-series,” she said.
On what was wrong with them Mabengano said it was not like they did not have the answers but they were just scared and nervous because they did not have enough training in public speaking. “I think I just need more training in public speaking and I believe I can be able to win Miss World,” she said. Mabengano has received scholarship from Limkokwing University to study in Malaysia, transferring from the local campus of the same school. She got a platinum life cover from Liberty Life and a P100 000 cash prize. In December she will be compete with the rest of the world in Sanya, China for the Miss World title. Emma Wareus is the only person who has become close to winning the title at Miss World when she scooped first princess in 2010.