BEAUTY queen, Mapitso Hlophe, flew the national flag very high in Georgia on Sunday when she scooped the Miss Planet Personality 2017 title.
The 22-year-old Miss Queen of Tourism Lesotho also made it to the top five of the Miss Planet 2017 pageant in the Eurasian country from 11 to 17 September.
She competed against 26 women from different countries and she was one of three Africans along with South African and Algerian representatives.
The pageant was won by Camila Vitorino from Portugal while Georgian, Zura Tsilosani, beat 26 other contestants to win the male category.
Hlophe this week told the Weekender upon her arrival in the country that the title would add value to her project to empower young girls.
“I already have a project aimed at encouraging young girls to overlook their physical and emotional challenges and pursue their dreams,” Hlophe said.
“This title will motivate others to see that where there is a will there is always a way. I thought being the only black person there would make me feel out of place but it became an opportunity to sell Lesotho and the personality I portrayed was rewarded.”
The main objective of the, Miss and Mister Planet contest is to promote and support the development of tourism, friendship and cultural connections among participating countries.
Contestants competed in the evening wear, swimwear, talent show and national attire categories.
The Lithabaneng-born Hlophe is an Adult Education student at the National University of Lesotho’s Institute of Extra Mural Studies.
She said she arrived late when the competition had already and started and felt she could have won had she made it on time.
“We got to the competition three days late and other contestants had already competed in the fashion category as well as being prejudged in the swimwear category.
I did not let that kill my spirit but I gave my all to the rest of the competition and was one of the winners,” she said.