MASERU — A new beauty contest, Miss Teen Lesotho, will be officially launched on December 3, the Lesotho Times heard this week.
Auditions for the pageant, which is being organised by local promotions companies, Exquisite Marketing and St George Fashion, will take place this weekend.
George Malelu, an official from St George Fashion, told the Weekender the pageant is a stepping stone for talented teenagers.
“I got to work with contestants at the Face of Lesotho pageant earlier this year and most of the girls were not confident enough to take their talent to the international stage,” Malelu said.
“I felt there was a gap that needed to be filled. The pageant is targeted at talented girls between the ages of 15 and 19.”
Gabriel Rapitso, from Exquisite Marketings, said the pageant is meant to develop the local fashion and modelling industry.
“The pageant is not only about beauty or talent grooming but a channel to connect with the fashion and modelling industry in the country,” Rapitso said.
“We are providing an international platform for teenage girls who are intelligent and talented. We are not discriminating in terms of education so the pageant is expected to be interesting and competitive.”
Rapitso said two local fashion designers will get an opportunity to showcase their costumes.
“Koena Mokoena and George are going to design a few garments for the girls to wear during the show,” he said.
Rapitso said they were looking at getting about 30 finalists.
“Auditions will be held at Calton Centre on Saturday and Sunday and we are hoping to get a final list of 30 girls.”
Malelu added: “We already have five girls that automatically qualified for the finals. They were selected during the Miss Berea Teen in June.”
He said they were working towards hosting the pageant annually.
“The pageant may not be connected to Face of Lesotho who prepare local girls for international participation, but we are hoping Miss Teen Lesotho will help groom the girls for the international arena,” Malelu said.
The 2011 version of the pageant will see the girls being sent on a 30-day camp where they will engage in various activities.
“We are looking to measure their potential to check if they meet international standards. The final day of the event will be entertainment and the crowning ceremony,” Malelu said.
“There will be performances by artistes from different genres. Local companies that would have supported the pageant financially will get a chance to showcase their services and products.
“This event is a hundred percent local idea to benefit Basotho so we are not going to have South African names as highlights. We want audiences to come and view history being made,” Rapitso said.
Malelu added: “We want Basotho to come to the show and support the initiative and identify with all activities that would be happening.”
“We are also going to have local judges for the show,” he added.