THE Beauty Pageant Association of Lesotho (BPAL) is set to host a gala dinner on August 22 to fundraise for beauty queens who will represent the country at various international pageants this year.
According to BPAL President, Tlali Tlali, the event, dubbed Thota-ea-Moli and to be held at Avani Lesotho Hotel, is meant to raise funds for the six finalists of the Miss Lesotho and Face of Lesotho 2015 pageants so they can represent the country oversees later this year.
Over the years, the association has struggled to bankroll the participation of beauty queens in international pageants owing to lack of sponsorship. This is despite pageantry’s acknowledged role in promoting the tourism industry among other benefits.
Last October, the BPAL was forced to take a loan to cover the travelling expenses of local contestant, Mohau Mokotjomela, for her participation in the Face of Beauty International 2014 held in Taiwan. Mokotjomela was crowned Miss Friendship 2014 at the prestigious pageant.
Said Tlali: “Thota-ea-Moli is meant to raise funds for the six Miss Lesotho and Face of Lesotho finalists who will be representing Lesotho at various international competitions such as Miss World, Miss Tourism World, Miss University Africa and Face of Beauty International among others.
“We have struggled a lot to raise funds for the ladies even though their role is to market our country at international pageants. At some point, we were forced sell the BMW 318i which was supposed to be the prize for the Face of Lesotho 2013 winner and to take bank loans.”
In addition to raising funds, he said, the gala dinner is also meant to celebrate the role of women in society.
“We will also make use of the event to celebrate women as August is women’s month in addition to raising funds for the ladies who will represent the country at a global stage,” Tlali said.
“The term, Thota-ea-Moli, carries significant historical meaning in the Mountain Kingdom since it was previously the seat of the Basotho parliament. The emergence of Thota-ea-Moli as a symbol illustrates the contribution of ‘invented’ traditions to national consciousness.
“The development of national identity in Lesotho was a dynamic process in which opposing political and social forces competed for the same symbols, which served to increase their cultural significance. The example of Moshoeshoe I’s representation through monuments and holidays indicates the complementary roles of popular and political culture in the construction of a national identity.”
He added that Members of the Parliament, Senators, government officials, the private sector and various associations had also been invited to the black tie event so as to bring them on board in the endevour.
Each of the six contestants needs $4 500 (about M55 000) for accommodation, return flight ticket and wardrobe.
The six contestants are Miss Lesotho 2015 Relebohile Kobeli, who will compete at the Miss World lnternational 2015 in China from November to December 2015, Miss Lesotho 2015 First Princess Molulela Monyake, who will compete at the Miss Tourism World 2015 in Venezuela from November to December 2015.
Miss Lesotho 2015 Second Princess Mosele Morema is set to compete at the Miss Freedom World 2015 in Kosovo from July to August 2015, while Face of Lesotho 2015, Mojabeng Senekal, will grace the stage at the Face of Beauty International 2015 in Taiwan from August to September 2015, with her First Princess, Mpoi Mahao,set to compete at the Miss University Africa in Nigeria from August to September 2015. Face of Lesotho 2015 Second Princess Retšepile Mohale, will contest at the Miss lnternational 2015 in Japan from October to November 2015.