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Use pageants for change  – Rorisang Motlomelo

Nthatuoa Koeshe

PAGEANTRY is a platform that empowers women to take a lead in community building and be more than just beauty queens, modelling specialist Rorisang Motlomelo has said.

Rorosang said this in a recent interview with the Xpress People where she also spoke about her 20-year journey in the modelling industry.

Rorisang participated in her first pageant at seven being crowned queen in the Miss Standard 2 Mohale’s Hoek English Medium back in 1997.

She however, quit 2013 and is now involved in the beauty pageant industry as the National Director of Miss Heritage Lesotho, mentoring young models.

“I am a change agent and I was drawn to beauty pageantry after I noticed that it was a platform for empowering ladies to take a lead in community building,” Rorisang said.

She told this paper that at the time when she noticed that modelling was a platform for empowering women, the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Basetsana Khumalo and Mpule Kwelagobe (all former South Africa models) were leading change in their respective communities and she decided to do the same for her country.

During her as a model, Rorisang was also crowned Miss PC FM in 2008, Miss Lesotho Companies in 2010, Miss Earth Lesotho in 2011 and Miss Heritage Lesotho 2013.

She has also been the first Princess at Miss Guys’ and Girls Store Mohale’s Hoek 1999, Miss Africa 2012 and Miss Queen of the Universe 2012.

Rorisang said she has learnt to use her title to impact her society positively and build networks.

“I have been in the industry for over 20 years and the biggest challenge has been to make the corporates, non-governmental organisations and the government understand the value they can derive through partnerships with beauty queens.”

She said beauty queens have a mandate to drive stakeholder engagement in solving community problems and can have crucial impact in corporate social responsibility initiatives and can also be government ambassadors.

“Miss Botswana 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe won Miss Universe and went on to be appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by United Nations focusing on youth and HIV and Aids. I have also helped set up a charity organisation during my 2008 reign and currently run a consultancy fostering social entrepreneurship,” she said.

She added that she has now decided to use her expertise and networks to help younger models to ensure a mindset shift in Lesotho.

Rorisang (30) grew up in Mohale’s Hoek, Mohlakeng and Holy Cross. She currently resides in Maseru.

She is also a holder of an Honours Degree in Software Engineering from the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology.

She also has a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg.

“I pursued this certificate to help jump start Impact Edge Consultancy which uses innovative business models to solve social ills through partnership with the government, NGOs and the corporate sector,” Rorisang said.

She is currently employed as a business analyst at Vodacom Lesotho and the founder of See Clearly.

“I run See Clearly, a trendy eye wear shop which promotes fashion and inclusivity by ensuring that the end user gets spectacles at almost half the cost of the traditional business model,” Rorisang said.

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