Miss Botswana speaks out

Tebogo who represented Botswana in the pageant, which was held on September 30, acknowledged that being a contestant in the highly competitive pageant opened her eyes, and made her grow as a beauty queen. While she appreciates having been given the opportunity to experience what it is like to contest in an international pageant, she said the pageant had a lot of hiccups especially on the side of the African contestants.

The pageant, which many believe to be fair, disadvantaged contestants from African countries Tebogo revealed. She said while contestants from other countries enjoyed media coverage, and a lot of exposure, the African contestants were often ignored, and excluded from certain activities.

This lack of exposure and media coverage, played a big part in the final outcome, as the results of the pageant were largely dependent on voting. Tebogo said the most perplexing thing was that even the Miss World website featured other contestants, but most of the African contestants did not appear on it, neither were their voting numbers featured.

“People did not even know our voting numbers, which was very strange,” she said.

She however said as African contestants they grouped themselves and went to complain to the relevant authorities, who dismissingly told them that they had not noticed anything, and promised to rectify the problem, which was never done. She told members of the media that while she had never experienced racism, the treatment they received made them feel inferior.

She however noted that even though that was the scenario, it did not totally demoralise her from giving it all her effort. She and the others in her group made it a point to strive to make it happen for themselves, rather than wallow in the misery of not being given the same treatment as the other contestants. ‘ Allafrica.com

November 2006
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