Tirelo Ramasedi, a prominent figure in Botswana's modelling scene finally got her piece of the cake when she was declared the winner of the 2010 Miss Universe Botswana (MUB) pageant at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Sunday morning.
Scintillating music from the Royal Tenors rocked the show, which started way behind schedule due to some logistical problems. As the spectators were about to return to their respectable homes, traditional dance group, Dikakapa graced the stage and sang their Dikakapa Di A Goroga track, which to everyone's joy introduced the contestants for the first time in traditional wear. Without wasting time, the 16 stunningly beautiful girls proceeded to make brief introductions of themselves and their values. Kgatleng district seemed to have a larger representation of the contestants aged between 19 and 23. The Bakgatla contestants expressed pride in their culture and some commended Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela for reviving the traditional initiation ceremony in Kgatleng. The theme of the pageant was "Marketing Botswana's culture, diamonds and tourism".
Some of the girls recited poems, and performed some traditional dances whilst others gave motivational speeches in their introductions.
The 16 proceeded to the next and exciting stage where they showcased their talents in swimsuits followed by their exquisite evening gowns. The top eight girls were announced and later trimmed down to three after a difficult question and answer session.
Answering an interesting question thrown to the top three girls by the judges, Ramasedi explained that because of diamonds revenue Batswana have been provided with free health and educational services. She said that 33 percent of Botswana's gross domestic product (GDP) is generated solely from diamonds, which proves that diamonds play a bigger role in the country's economy. "I am a proud Motswana because of the diamond," she said. Ramasedi was answering the question, "What role have diamonds played in terms of the economic development of Botswana since independence?"
The show however had other categories such as Miss Congeniality won by Pearl Williams, Miss Photogenic won by Sailor Mogotsinyane, Miss Stylish won by Keamogetse Tema, Miss Swimsuit won by Thabang Malebye and best gown scooped by Matilda.
Intriguingly, the judging of the contestants wasn't solely based on the height and physique of the contestants as high expectations where on the tall and slim Kgomotso.
One of the judges, Kago Mmopi said Ramasedi deserved to win the pageant even though she is not as tall or slim as the other contestants. He said the standards they used to judge the pageant are in line with those of the international Miss Universe pageant. "What we focus on is the intellect, personality, posture and the way the contestants walk," he said. He said that people normally expect a tall, slim lady to win the pageant, which is not always the case. He said that they realised Ramasedi was the best contestant as she answered questions like an intellectual during their pre-judging session, a common practice in international pageants. "Ramasedi's intellect was convincing especially when we questioned her one on one," he said. Mmopi said that he was confident Ramasedi would make Botswana proud at the 2010 Miss Universe pageant to be held in the United States of America (US) on August 23.
Apart from securing herself a position at the 2010 Miss Universe pageant, Ramasedi walked away with P30, 000 whilst Lesole and Kgomotso pocketed P15, 000 and P10, 000 each respectively. Sponsors for the pageant included Heineken, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, Cresta Hotels, Pearls and Lillies and Mmegi.