MASERU — Twenty-three-year-old Rorisang Motlomelo failed to travel to the Miss Global International pageant in Jamaica yesterday after her handlers bungled travel arrangements. Motlomelo was only informed yesterday that she would need a visa to pass through London. Her flight from Johannesburg was expected to stop-over in London before connecting to Jamaica. Limakatso Makutle, who was co-ordinating the trip, said Motlomelo will now leave for London on Tuesday.
“We were not aware that she needed a visa to go via London and we were not aware that her flight would pass through London,” she said.
“All attempts to try and book her a flight with a direct route to Jamaica failed.”
Makutle said they had already communicated with the Miss Global International organisers about the problem. “Since they are the ones who had told Rorisang would not need a visa her adjudication will now be handled differently,” she said. Motlomelo said while the trip had been problematic she was “still determined to go to Jamaica and win”.
“I still have faith,” she said yesterday. Motlomelo’s trip to Jamaica has been shrouded in controversy. Speaking to the Sunday Express on Thursday, Makutle said they had only managed to book a one-way ticket for Motlomelo to Jamaica after failing to raise enough cash. She said they managed to raise M17 000, about M4 000 short of the required return ticket. “Although we gave the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture a short notice, they sponsored Rorisang with M6 000 to add towards her flight ticket,” Makutle said.
Motlomelo said her travel expenses and living costs in Jamaica will be fully catered for. “I was crowned first princess Miss Africa two months ago and that is how I qualified to represent Lesotho at the Miss Global International and my aim is to return home with the crown. “The Chinese business community has already paid for my living expenses in Jamaica. What I need is a return ticket from Jamaica but I am going to Jamaica to compete,” she said.
Motlomelo said Lehakoe Club also provided her with a trainer to help her stay in shape for the competition. “I thank all the companies and Basotho who have helped me this far,” she said. “The pageant is meant to promote tourism under the theme: Promoting Tourism with Beauty and I will be competing against models from 40 countries,” Motlomelo said. Other African countries sending their models to the pageant are Botswana, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Cameroon.
Makutle said the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation helped them approach local businesses for assistance. “I am very happy to say the government has started supporting us after Rorisang Molefe and Karabelo Mokoallo brought home international crowns, maybe they are now seeing the potential in modelling,” Makutle said.
“We urge local companies to help us raise the remaining amount of M6 000 for Rorisang’s return ticket.”
Motlomelo is a former Miss PC FM 2008, Miss Lesotho Companies 2010 and first princess Miss Africa 2012.