Beauty pageants always focus on older contestants in the likes of Miss World and Miss Universe, but this time around Botswana will see young girls compete for the national title in the Little Miss Universe at Gaborone International Convention Centre(GICC) on March 29. The pageant is a first for young Botswana girls that offers them an international platform to compete with the best in the world. There has been Little Miss Botswana but the competition does not offer an international platform. There will be 20 girls who will be compete for the national crown. The pageant is for girls aged from nine to 14 years old. The organiser of the event Tebogo Lebanna who has been in many beauty contests herself said she is fulfilling her dream of empowering young girls and making sure that they are groomed into better women from an early age. “The queen of children who will emerge as a strong contender will be elected to represent Botswana against winners from across the globe," said Lebanna.
She said she chose little girls because she believes that little is attractive and innocent. She said this is also to show that little girls are a blessing to the world and that they are able to soar confidently to the sky. The pageant is aimed at cultural exchange, widening children's outlook, as well as promoting love and friendship. The headquarters of Little Miss Universe are in Europe where the international competition will be held from 1-6 June 2015. The last time Botswana was widely celebrated by the world through a beauty pageant was in 1999 when Mpule Kwelagobe stunned the world by winning the Miss Universe title as the first Motswana to participate. Thereafter, in 2010 when Emma Wareus was crowned first princess in the Miss World competition. Lebanna said after many dry years of failing to bring home any trophy, she believes things will be totally different as the young ones have shown so much potential. Tanya Kruger, a mother to one of the contestants -Alicia Kruger, said that she has let her child take part because she has always been interested in beauty pageants and modelling. She said that her daughter participated in Little Miss Botswana last year, and it is where the Little Miss Universe organisers saw her potential and asked her to come for auditions. Kruger said Little Miss Universe is a much more organised pageant. “They are better organised compared to what my daughter has participated in before. They are always on time and they update us with everything that is going on. As a parent I can say that I am very satisfied and just looking forward to the final day,” she said.
The finalists are; Pamella Ramantsima, Wame Baleseng, Amantle Rankgomo, Kutu Modiba, Thobo Gabaikhe, Tshotlhe Johannes, Angela Serame, Jessica Sengawane, Nhlonipho Mokwena, Nnete Iketleng, Wedu Sebina, Koketso Baruti, Juanitah Ballout, Leungo Norman, Lulu Bolaane, Tsooana Tokwe, Alicia Kruger, Tumisang Kesiilwe, Janet Seeletso and Yolanda Nsimbi.