MASERU — Rajoc Beauty and Hair Salon says it will not be able to host its annual Face of Rajoc Beauty pageant this year because it is broke.
The company pulled the plug on the pageant in June.
The financial woes have also forced the company to pull out of its partnership deals with other international beauty pageants it has been representing in Lesotho.
The company was working with the Miss University Africa, Miss United Nations International, Miss Tourism World, Miss World, Miss International Queens, Miss SADC and Miss Universe.
It recently helped a local model participate in the Miss University Africa in Nigeria.
Tlali Tlali, the managing director of Rajoc, says that won’t be happening anymore because the company is in the red.
“Rajoc is broke,” he says.
“We don’t have enough money to fund the girls who will represent Lesotho in international beauty contests.”
“It was really costly to organise trips for the girls as we had to provide for all expenses which include airfares and other petty expenses such as preparing profiles and attires for the beauty queens.”
Tlali says the company has handed the partnership deals to Fashion and Beauty Association Lesotho.
The association, which was formed last year, is made up of fashion designers, photographers, hairdressers and beauticians.
It aims to grow Lesotho’s fashion and beauty industry.
Tlali said Rajoc pulled out because the burden had become too heavy for the small company.
The company runs a small salon on the ground floor of the BNP Centre in Maseru. Part of its income comes from the sale of beauty products.
The partnership and the Face of Rajoc pageants were non-profit initiatives that were noble but drained the company.
“Since we have no stable income to rely on, we found it very difficult to manage these pageants which need a budget,” he explains.
“I believe handing over to the association is the best move we could make rather than abandoning the whole deal. The girls will still get the opportunity to compete in the pageants.”
He says it cost between M30 000 and M40 000 to prepare a participant for an international contest.
Tlali says the biggest problem for Lesotho’s modelling industry is lack of sponsorship.
“Our people fail to see the need for this country to be represented in international pageants. Modelling is not only a hobby but a career to be taken seriously as it can put bread on the table,” he said.
He also pointed out that it plays a vital role in boosting the country’s tourism. “When the girls are in these pageants, they get the opportunity to market their culture and country thus promoting tourism.”