Newly crowned Miss Africa 2017, Gaseangwe Balopi is a woman on a mission to prove Africa’s potential to the world while fighting against illegal migration and Climate Change in the continent.
The 21year old Tonota born fashion entrepreneur, stylist and model was crowned in the second edition of the beauty pageant hosted at the Calabar International Convention Centre in Cross River State in Nigeria on December 27 2017, beating 24 contestants from across the continent. Rwanda’s Fiona Naringwa and Luyolo Mngonyama of South Africa were placed second and third, respectively.
Her quest for the crown, however was without glitches, she revealed to WeekendLife this week. “My Miss Africa journey was not an easy one. From spending my first Christmas away from my family; to losing my phone that had all my research my speeches and all a few days before pre judging; To living with ladies from all over Africa, with different cultures, different beliefs, morals and all but we made it work,” she said.
According to Balopi, when the pageant was introduced last year, a friend alerted her of it but she decided to not contest as she learnt about it rather late. This year, however she was more than prepared to give it her all, and she did!
“I first heard of Miss Africa from a friend last year I decided not to pursue it then because of the simple fact that it came too soon and I believed I was not prepared. This year I decided to join because of the longing and burning desire to make a difference in the world,” Balopi explained.
To her, joining the pageant was all about her making a visible impact to the world. “It’s the best time to be alive for the African Child; our voice and power echo from all corners of the world. Our passion and hunger to change the game shines brighter than all the diamonds in Africa put together. The fight against illegal migration and climate change has long begun and I will be Africa’s weapon. I dedicate my life to my beloved African people. I dedicate my time to making a difference in people’s lives and fighting factors that hinder Africa from reaching its full potential,” she said.
The beauty with brains is of the view that Africans carry great potential and wants to dedicate a chunk of her time to addressing ills affecting the continent, among them, illegal migration and climate change. “My reign has begun and I intend on changing the game while at it. I am intelligent, I am eloquent, I am graceful and I am Gold,” she said in an email communication sent to her by this publication.
The theme for this year’s pageant was “Climate Change and Migration” and was at aimed at raising awareness on the need to protect the environment and caution the youth against illegal migration. She said of her experiences: “It’s an experience that can be likened to none. It’s the second biggest carnival in the world. The cultural diversity and colors where amazing. The carnival theme this year was Migration. The carnival isn’t just about fun but it’s an illustration of the culture of cross river state and Nigeria as a whole. The different bands show case and interpret the theme Migration using colorful costumes. It’s very educational.”
Part of her prize money, she said, will go to funding a solar power project sustaining her “Plant a tree” initiative, and also to her illegal migration project she is currently working towards launching. But she will also spoil her mom and herself with a few fashion apparels, being a fashion lover she is. Some charities she has worked with will also get a share of the winnings. Balopi won $30,000 and a brand new Ford Edge sport utility vehicle.
Miss Africa Beauty Pageant was established in order to take the tourism and hospitality industry in Africa and the rest of the world by storm. The pageant sought to crown a queen who would promote Green Economy as a tool for sustainable development, whilst merging beauty with nature and a tenacious cause centered around creating the much needed awareness on Man's direct and indirect impact on her environment.
On annual basis, 30 ladies between the ages of 18-25 year representing 40 African countries contend for the prestigious title. In 2016, Angolan Neurite Mendes was crowned the first Miss Africa Climate Change Ambassador in Calabar. The theme was ‘Green Economy, a tool for Sustainable Development’.
Creativity is seen everywhere and these individuals did something recently that’s never been done before, and some are still killing it. We see creativity on streaming platforms, stages, runways, social media and boardrooms even. Some of them are revamping their businesses, and lately, clothing sale is thriving.
They love concept-driven designs, storytelling and they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives that will leave footprints in the sand. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, these creative minds utilized the drawing board and they became cognizant that monetizing content will actually take them far, which is frank nonetheless.
This is commendable though, but the creative industry will still need support from government in order for it to flourish further. Allocation of resources (funds, facilities and empowerment) should be done consistently, creativity must be raised and at the end of the day, the economy benefits from that kind of investment.
Ever since he parted ways with his former manager, DJ Bougee Sid, Mahalapye born-pint sized, multi-award-winning artist, Hanceford Magapatona has been taking up space, unapologetically so. Han C has shown a strong will to take over the entire world, and he is in the right direction. He’s solely organizing the annual Mahalapye Spring Festival, which is taking place next weekend.
The Pepetetsa hitmaker raked some monies from his savings to put together this event. Mahalapye Spring Festival will feature Paige, Ubuntu Band, Khoisan, Amantle Brown and Double Up among others. Even though it didn’t come as a surprise, Han C was nominated at African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) in the US, under Best Male Southern Africa category.
However, the award was snatched by the late South African rapper, AKA. Its not all lost as Han C secured two nominations at the Yarona FM Music Awards (YAMAs): People’s Choice of the Year and Best Male Single.
This entrepreneur has turned his dreams into reality, and his promising apparel business is now a fashion destination. Matter of fact, Motswagole weathered the storms to be where he is now because through criticism and social media bullying, he still leads the pack in fashion.
His social media accounts got deleted but through his online store, KM Sales, Motswagole is able to rake in some profits. He initially started selling from his car but now owns a busy store and has employed a number of young people.
KM Sales has been offering fashionable items (shoes, t-shirts, pants) and has been participating in various lifestyle events such as Garden of Drip where it showcases its products.
If there is one young entrepreneur to draw motivation from is Koketso. The business started from humble beginnings, at the time when he worked part time at Ipelegeng as a casual labor. Indeed, good things come to those who wait, or well, work like a slave today, live like a king tomorrow.
KAGISO LUDO DE KLERK
Vee Mampeezy’s ex-wife Kagiso De Klerk clearly did not sit and weep over their dramatic divorce. The famous social media influencer hurriedly picked up the pieces and went hard on promoting business online. She literally took social media influencing to the head and it is working for her.
This year saw her partnership with Shell reach greater heights, and obviously, she is raking lot of pulas from the deal. Kagiso has been making frequent appearances in top events in South Africa such as Bubbles in Spring and Gold and Diamond Experience.
After a long break from the limelight, renowned media and radio personality, Gaona Dintwe is back. She was missed by many on TV, and she’s back where she belongs, news anchoring on BTV. Gaona has also found a niche in podcasting. She is a host of her own podcast, Gaona Live Conversation, where various people share their stories on camera.
Some of what they discuss is Gender Based Violence (GBV), polygamy and drug addiction. This is highly commendable because even BTV doesn’t have programs that discuss these crucial social issues. The Lentswelemoruti native is also seen in various corporate events where she is engaged as a host.
Now that one-man shows are made fashionable, traditional dance guru and ex-convict, Ditiro Leero is joining the crusade and he will be hosting his also. The show will be held next month at Zone 4 Farm in Selokolela, but the there are traditional dance music artists who have been lined up to perform at the show. Matshana, Morwa Leka and Maswailathota will be doing their thing and probably bring some heat too. Ditiro Leero will be making history as the first traditional artist to host a one-man show in Botswana.
With only two months before Miss World 2023, the reigning Miss Botswana, Lesego Chombo is having many irons in the fire, preparing for the much-anticipated beauty pageant. Miss World 2023 will be the 71st edition of Miss World pageant and it will be held in India. Chombo has been spotted toning her body at Jack’s gym, a requirement that is taken seriously at the pageant. She has also been participating in charity events, something that should add to her profile at the Miss World.