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BCW fires MYSC!

Publishing Date : 10 October, 2017


Miss Botswana organizers, Botswana Council for Women (BCW) has revealed they will part ways with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development (MYSC), who ‘took over’ the national pageant early last year, before the lapse of their two year agreement.

BCW is resolute preparations for Miss Botswana 2018/2019 will begin as early as December this year to give themselves enough time for preparations and to canvass for sponsorship. Speaking to WeekendLife, just after Nicole Gaelebale had been crowned last Thursday, Miss Botswana Coordinator, Dorcas Thobega said that next year the pageant will be different as they will no longer be partnering with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development as their contract was valid for two years counting from last year.

“There is no reason really for our parting ways other than the fact that the ministry partnered with us last year during the BOT 50 celebrations. The partnership was for only two years,” she explained. At the height of Botswana’s 50th anniversary preparations, MYSC waltzed in, promising to revamp the pageant, committing over 500 000 as cash prize(s) for the Top 12. The Queen walked away with P300 000, her first princess with P150 000 and the third runner up P75 000. The other nine contestants in the Top twelve received P7 000 cash prizes.

MYSC Minister, Thapelo Olopeng had gone on record then saying that his ministry intended on effecting change “as we take over the pageant”. Media reports quoted Olopeng as saying “We will be handling not only the event, but the whole project for the next two years.”
However, it appears BCW was sold dreams by Olopeng’s ministry despite the convincing sales pitch early last year as the ministry was this year nowhere to be seen during the run up to the Miss Botswana grand finale last Thursday.

Olopeng had mainly conveyed unhappiness over the way the Miss Botswana pageant had been handled over the past few years, saying that other than the prizes, there were reports of failed projects and those abandoned soon after returning from the Miss World pageant.
“Most of the queens often come to our offices complaining that they do not have funds to carry out other projects that are necessary at the final stage. This did not sit well,” media reports quote Olopeng as saying early last year. The ministry, also, when coming into the picture last year did not announce themselves as sponsors but as partners for two years.

The Miss Botswana pageant was established in 1967 with a mandate to develop young women and advance their potential in becoming socially responsible and compassionate through education, life skills and values which will ensure their success in life. MYSC left BCW on the lurch… Preparations for Miss Botswana this year should have been the easiest since the ministry had come on board, but what was seen this year proved otherwise. As if to negate their capability as a big player in youth and culture development, the ministry failed to uphold its promise.

The country might have witnessed a regressing Miss Botswana pageant this year. Prizes for the contestants had not been confirmed by the time the grand finale arrived; the grand finale was just two days before Independence Day, unlike in the past two recent years where crowning was done as early as April, further the grand finale was held at the University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Centre. The Gaborone International Convention Centre has been a favourite venue for the pageant for some time now. Miss Botswana 2016, Thata Kenosi was also not in attendance and did not crown the reigning queen.

Can BCW do it alone?

BCW has had run-ins with events management companies it engaged to run the pageant, accusing them of not honouring contractual commitments and denying winners of their prizes. Many have called for the pageant to be given back to 63 entertainment and Leapfrog, as the pageant was at its prime during their time. The duo of Fish Pabalinga and Bisau Gaobakwe managed among other things to offer a reigning queen an Mercedes Benz car, and it was during their time Emma Wareus world first Princess at Miss World.



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