TWENTY-YEAR-OLD Hlompho Khotloanyane was crowned the 2014 Miss Fokothi at a packed function held at Lerotholi Polytechnic on Friday.
Khotloanyane, who is in the first of a three-year Civil Engineering diploma, beat Malori Potloane and Ntsejoa Ntsane who clinched second and third-place respectively.
Born and raised in Ficksburg, South Africa, but now based in Mohalitoe in Maseru, Khotloanyane was the crowd’s favourite among the nine contestants, with the judges duly awarding her the coveted crown.
Miss Fokothi is now a non-bikini pageant, in which the contestants are judged on the way they articulate themselves before the judges, the catwalk and their different talents such as dancing, art, and reciting poems. The pageant seeks to instill confidence in students, while also bringing out their natural beauty and intelligence.
Overwhelmed with excitement, which was accompanied by tears of joy, Khotloanyane told Xpress People she still could not believe her victory, considering she had only been involved in such pageants twice in high school.
“I was very nervous when we were backstage, seeing all these ladies who looked so stunning as if I don’t see them every day; that added to my anxiety.
“But I gained some confidence when we got on stage, and told myself the judges would be blown away the moment they see me.
“I believe the bold character I displayed gave the judges the qualities they were looking for, although I still think they had to make tough decisions.
“I am going to use this title to inspire other ladies who lack confidence to believe that they can win pageants as they are no longer only about beauty but brains too,” she said.
Lilaphalapha’s Bofihla Neko and Thuso “Shorts” Dlamini co-hosted the event, and added a humorous flavour to the pageant by cracking jokes that had the audience in stitches all night long.
The Captain Movers and Gumba Fire groups brought back old memories back with scintillating Pantsula dance moves, further making the pageant a memorable event.
Although they arrived later than the scheduled time, Basali All-Stars put up a solid performance capping a night to remember for those who attended.