NINETEEN-YEAR old Mpoi Mahao was last night crowned Miss Lesotho Sunday Express 2017 during a colourful pageant held at Victory Hall in Moshoeshoe II.
The Maseru East-based beauty won over judges at the expense of 25 other contestants while Lintle Masasa and Refiloe Pitso notched the first and second princess titles respectively.
Oozing confidence from the onset, Mahao told the Sunday Express after her triumph that she made use of her experience on the local pageantry scene which made her win a number of titles including the Miss NUL and Miss Intervarsity 2016 titles.
“I have slightly lost two titles in the past after clinching the first princess titles in the Miss Maseru 2014 and Face of Lesotho 2015. I took my time to prepare for this pageant from the moment I signed up for it at the beginning of this year and I have not competed in any pageant since then,” said an elated Mahao.
“Although I have won major titles in the past, that did not make me believe I had an advantage over the other girls because I treated this contest like any other I had never competed in.
“There were times I felt like giving up when we were rehearsing about three weeks ago. But then I felt throwing in the towel before the pageant even starts would make me a loser. I prayed so hard for God to give me strength and through His mercy, I won.”
The Humanities second-year student at the National University of Lesotho said the pageant was far from a walk in the park, as she had very stiff competition.
“The competition was tight with a number of experienced beauty queens. But through the support of my family, the crowd that kept cheering for me and God, I walked in confidence, wore a beautiful smile and answered the judges’ questions to their satisfaction.
By virtue of winning the pageant, Mahao will represent Lesotho at the 67th edition of the Miss World 2017 pageant. She also won a six-month industrial training opportunity at Africa Media Holdings, the publishers of the Lesotho Times and Sunday Express, who were also sponsoring the pageant.