THABELO Ngatane from Upper Thamae in Maseru was on Sunday crowned the Face of Lesotho 2018 winner at a ceremony which was held at Leribe English Medium School in Hlotse.
The 17-year-old, who was the youngest contestant in the pageant, beat 11 other finalists while Rethabile Letsoepa and Masehlabaka Makhalemele won first and second princess respectively.
A buoyant Ngatane oozed confidence as she exhibited poise, beauty and brains and eloquently responded to the judges’ questions.
She told the Weekender that although she did not possess much experience in the pageant industry, it was her confidence that gave her a competitive edge.
“This was the second pageant I have contested in,” Ngatane who has also won Miss Upper Thamae in 2015 said.
“It was a tough competition being the youngest, but I had told myself that I was in this contest to win and I believe my passion won the day.
“I also have big shoes to fill in terms of the previous title holder who performed well at the Face of Beauty International but then I am confident I will be able to maintain the standards for if she was able to do it, I will too.”
Ngatane succeeds Michelle Tau who was last year in India crowned the Face of Beauty International second runner up. The new queen will represent Lesotho at the Face of Beauty International which will be held in the Philippines later this year.
She (Ngatane) completed her high school last year and intends to study occupational health and safety when the tertiary academic year starts in July this year.
Face of Lesotho was this year sponsored by Jhpiego which is in a drive to promote the use of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by people who are at a high risk of HIV infection.
Ngatane said she would use her status to ensure that the campaign makes a huge impact in the country.
“I believe my peers are more vulnerable than any other age group so I will use this status to encourage them to use PrEP and not to be afraid to seek medical attention when there is need.
“The title will also make it easier to get sponsors for different campaigns which I will be working on. I also still believe social media which will play a crucial role in reaching out to magnitudes,” Ngatane said.