Miss Botswana 2013 Rosemary Keofitlhetse defines herself as a complicated girl, based solely on her upbringing. She was born in Maun and raised in Hukuntsi. “I am village girl but that’s until I came to town,” she giggles. She lost her mum when she was just about nine years old, but that did not derail her off course. She worked hard to make sure that when the angel in her mother looks down on her with a smile. She has three siblings, two brothers and a younger sister. The two brothers stay in England with their father while she and her little sister are in Botswana.
Her grandmother has always been the pillar of her strength; growing up under her watch in Hukuntsi. After finishing her studies in Matsha Senior Secondary School she enrolled at Botswana Accountancy College where she is in her final year. She says her aunt Tsoseletso Magang and her family have always been her great support system. Immediately after finishing form 5 she worked at Phakalane Golf Estate. She has never stopped even when she was doing Miss Botswana duties. “Rose is a sister, a very loving best friend and she is going to be a chartered accountant very soon and she is very passionate about helping people,” she says of herself.
She says every day people see her and judge her based on how she looks assuming that she has had the best of everything in life while she has been through all the stages that any typical normal Motswana go through. She says that she is just a simple girl built by the rough patches that she has gone through. She says she respects people that raised her up even though she knows that they can never replace her mum. She says that having a little sister has made her to work hard and be protective of her.
Even though being beautiful can be a curse and a blessing at the same time, Keofitlhetse says she often come across men who claim to want to do things for her. She knows that no one can offer anything for free except parents. “I do things that are good for my soul, not things that can just uplift my wellbeing. I just work hard to achieve what I want in life,” she says. She says despite the challenges that she has been through she has never reached a position where of saying, ‘I cannot do this anymore’. She advises young women to uphold their values and make sure that they work hard and achieve whatever they want to avoid having to lean on anyone. She enjoys the overwhelming load that she has sometimes because she thrives under pressure.
At the moment she is the ambassador for Malaika Jewellery which has a store at Masa Centre, CBD. Malaika Jewellery is a jewellery shop which sells diamond jewellery and pearls. Even though Botswana is the number one supplier of valuable diamonds, there are few shops that use diamonds from Botswana for their jewellery. According to Keofitlhetse it was that alone that made Malaika to establish a shop in Gaborone because they have realised a gap in the market. The brand name originated from Swahili meaning angel. When telling the Malaika story she revealed that it is about the daughter of a tribal head (Malaika) who cries crystal tears and turned herself into a lake in order to save lives. “She sacrificed her own life to save her tribe. Later people found beautiful gemstones in the lake with dark blue colour that resembles Malaika’s eyes and people call these gemstones Malaika,” she says.
She says they will do more to showcase the brand, including bringing the story to stage in the form of Latin dance and contemporary African dance. Even though they use other gemstones from around Africa, she says, their main focus is the Botswana diamonds. She says they are committed into making sure that they include Batswana youth and have been sponsoring many youth events. She appreciates that she has always been lucky with diamonds. She won diamonds from Debswana during the competition for Miss Botswana even before the crowning and was also given a diamond gift to present as a gift at Miss World.
She likes travelling and does that mostly with her friends. “I am a very adventurous person can do anything no matter how scary it can be. I will rather go hiking than watch a movie,” she says. She always creates time to volunteer if anyone needs her services for anything, and this year she has a lot of things lined up.