Botswana’s Beauty Queens

Pageantry in Botswana started in 1962 which was during pre-independence period when the event was referred to as Miss Bechuanaland pagentry. Only in 1967 as part of the Botswana independence

celebrations the event was renamed Miss Botswana. This initiation was spear-headed by Botswana Council of Women (BCW), which is an organization that promotes value of a woman and influenced spirit of volunteerism.

Botswana pageantry runs parallel with the history of the country. Even though there had been beauty contests conducted in various villages around the country in the early 1960s, the first Miss Botswana

beauty contest was in 1967, conducted as part of Botswana independence celebrations. At the time, it was determined that the colorful first beauty event was going to pick a perfect representative of the nation.

Ms Theresa Rantao satisfactorily met those requirements. She became the winner of the Miss Botswana in 1967. She was flanked by Elma Molemoeng and Lillian Taunyane as 1st and 2nd princess respectively.

The methods for identifying the national queen by conducting auditions around the country were used then as they are used to date.Over the years more other forms of pageantry were introduced such as the Miss Universe and Face of

Africa, both of which Botswana participated.

Botswana pageantry is a true celebration of the beauty of the Motswana woman and that of the country. Miss Botswana has grown since its inception we’ve seen beauty Queens such as Mpule Kgwelagobe who won the pageant in 1997 go on to win Miss Universe in 1999.Emma Wareus was the first princess at the 2010 Miss World and won the title of Miss World Africa.

Many other Beauty Queens have greatly represented the nation earning also international titles. The reigning Miss Botswana Palesa Molefe has garnered huge support globally and she also earned a spot in the Miss World Top 30, Top 27 Miss World Talent and Top 32 Miss World Sport.


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