Lesotho beauty scores another first

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Nthabiseng Mpakanyane.

Nthabiseng Mpakanyane.

. . . US-based Nthabiseng Mpakanyane features in international swimsuit calendar

Staff Writer

UNITED States-based stunner, Nthabiseng Mpakanyane, has once again flown Lesotho’s flag high by featuring in an international swimsuit calendar.

Mpakanyane is among 12 contestants from the Miss Africa USA pageant to grace the 2016 Miss Africa Swim Calendar, which was launched last month in New York and Washington DC.

The 28-year old beauty represented Lesotho at the Miss Africa USA 2015 pageant on 29 August 2015 in New York, and was voted Miss Congeniality by fellow contestants and bestowed with the Spirit Award from the Miss Africa USA team, which was an invitation for her to come back and work with them in any way possible.

The Miss Africa USA pageant is the biggest and the most publicised pageant that features African women in the United States of America. It began in 2005 as a small state event in Atlanta, Georgia, and has blossomed into a phenomenon with hundreds of African young women vying to participate.

The pageant is meant to be a platform for young African women in America to showcase their beauty, talent and culture. Through the pageant, the contestants also serve humanity by giving back to their communities in Africa and America as well as making their dreams come true.

Hailing from Khubetsoana in Maseru, Mpakanyane moved to the United States in 2012.

She holds a BTech Degree in Human Resources Management: Training and Development from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. Mpakanyane is also a Master of Science Degree in Management graduate from Keuka College in New York, majoring in International Business.

She told the Weekender from her New Jersey base that the Miss Africa USA organisation collaborated with American swimwear design firm Irene West in creating the swimsuit calendar.

“Irene West is the swim wear designer for such prestigious pageants as Miss Universe, Miss America among others. The swimsuit calendar is the debut edition, and out of the 22 contestants in the Miss Africa USA pageant, I was selected among the 12 featured in the calendar for the month of April, which is very exciting,” said Mpakanyane.

“However, as much as the swimsuit calendar is exciting for me, I believe it would be just as exciting to Basotho considering the amazing support I received from them during the pageant.

“Because of that, I would like to share the calendar with them in celebration of Lesotho being represented among other African countries in the calendar. I am looking for someone who can buy the calendars in bulk and distribute them to Basotho at a reasonable and affordable price. It would be too expensive if everyone was to purchase them directly from here.”

According to the Miss Africa USA website, the swimsuit calendar costs $25 (about M389) each, excluding shipping charges. Mpakanyane said the proceeds from the sale of the swimsuit calendars would go towards her Nthabiseng Mpakanyane Support Scholarship Support Scholarship – an annual full tuition bursary for High School students in Lesotho. Last year, the scholarship sponsored the education of five students.

In a previous interview with the Weekender, Mpakanyane said she started her humanitarian initiatives in April 2012 with a project called: “Where There Is an Observation There Is an Obligation: Shoe Initiative”.

“Under the project, my team and I donated shoes to children in the rural areas of Thaba-Tsekaand, Ha Lephoi in Lesotho. More projects are being planned,” she said.

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