RECENTLY-CROWNED Miss NUL (National University of Lesotho) 2016, Mpoi Mahao, has added another title to her growing quiver of accolades by winning the Miss Intervarsity 2016 pageant at the institute’s Netherlands Hall on Sunday.
The pageant is part of the annual BOLESWA Intervarsity Games in which students from the University of Botswana, NUL and National University of Swaziland compete in various sporting disciplines to foster solidarity and mutual friendship. This year, the games are being held in Lesotho from Monday to Saturday.
Botswana was represented in the pageant by three contestants, Swaziland four while the Lesotho compliment included Mahao and the Miss NUL pageant first and second princesses.
The 19-year-old Mahao clinched the Miss Intervarsity 2016 title in a hard-fought contest, with Melpha Sephikwe and Kaone Kgasa, from Botswana winning the first and second princess accolades respectively.
The Humanities first-year student at NUL told the Weekender after her triumph that she had made good on her promise to do her utmost to win back the title that had eluded Lesotho for five years. The Miss Intervarsity title was last won by NUL in 2010 when beauty queen Nesoang Mpota brought home the crown.
“I am sure Botswana and Swaziland were now looking down on Lesotho for failing to win the title for over five years,” Mahao said.
“When I won the Miss NUL title last month, I pledged to myself that I would make Lesotho proud once again by winning this pageant so I gave it my all.”
The Maseru East-based stunner said she was initially apprehensive about her prospects given the formidable competition.
“The competition was intimidating, especially the very tall ladies from Botswana and their well-executed catwalk routines during rehearsals,” she said.
“However, they could not concisely answer the judges’ questions. In any case, I exuded more confidence in my smile and poise than them and I think it gave me an advantage.”
Mahao said her next port of call would be to emulate Miss NUL 2015, Mojabeng Senekal, by competing in the Face of Lesotho pageant which would be a stepping stone to the Face of Beauty International slated for Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in September. Senekal represented Lesotho at the Face of Beauty International 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan last October and came home with the Charity Award which entails travelling around the world as the pageant’s social responsibility ambassador.
“My goal from now is to succeed Mojabeng Senekal as the Face of Lesotho next month which will give me the opportunity to represent my country at the Face of Beauty International pageant later this year,” said Mahao.
“I have been working on rectifying all my weaknesses and reinforcing my strengths, so I believe that I stand a good chance. The Miss Intervarsity contest afforded me the opportunity of competing with contestants from beyond Lesotho, and now I know what to expect.”