‘MANALELI Putsoane was on Friday evening crowned the best dressed woman in a seshoeshoe designer outfit as Avani Hotels celebrated Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s 43rd birthday.
Putsoane also walked away with a grand prize of M10 000 courtesy of Avani Hotels following a gruelling contest against 24 other contestants during a seshoeshoe cultural dress design competition dubbed Khaba Joalo Ka ‘Mabasotho (loosely translated to Dazzle like the Mother of the Nation) for the ultimate crown.
The design competition was launched in 2017 where local designers and Basotho women in general to showcase their best seshoeshoe designs.
The competition is also aimed at celebrating Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s birthday while at the same time raising funds for Her Majesty’s children’s initiative, Hlokomela Bana Foundation.
The competition is open to ladies who are citizens of Lesotho and do not have immediate family members working at Avani Hotels.
From the 25 finalists, the panel of judges (who included Small Business development ministry Principal Secretary, Lerata Pekane and Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Mpaiphele Maqutu initially cut down the list to 10, before trimming it to five. It was from the five that the three winners were announced.
‘Makamohelo Khakhau who, walked away with M5 000, came second while the second runner-up was Nozigcawu Ntili Tikiso, who walked away M3500 richer. The first and second prizes were sponsored by Avani Hotels while the third prize was sponsored by Botho University.
Putsoane also capped the memorable evening by being asked to shift to Her Majesty’s table to eat and dine with her while exchanging a few words.
Addressing the event, Her Majesty said she was happy that the seshoeshoe dress is breaking down new barriers as creative designs allowed it to be rocked even by slim ladies.
“I am happy to see that today’s Basotho women continue to wear their seshoeshoe with pride,” Her Majesty said.
“I used to think that in order for you to wear the seshoeshoe dress, you have to be a woman of ample figure but today even us (slim ladies) are able to fit into it!”
She added that her collection of seshoeshoe dresses come in handy whenever she does not know what to wear.
Her Majesty also expressed gratitude at the rate at which the competition has grown since its establishment; a development augurs well for raising funds for Hlokomela Bana.
“I am impressed by the rate at which this competition is developing. The number of men is also increasing as compared to when it first started and the quality of designs is also improving better each year.”
Her Majesty also thanked the Avani Hotels for choosing to support the Hlokomela Bana Foundation, which helps orphaned and vulnerable children.
She also thanked all the corporates and persons who contributed towards making the event a success.
“On behalf of Hlokomela Bana, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the contribution you are making for us,” Her Majesty said.
“There are many charity organisations you could have chosen but you opted for us. It is through your support that we are able to achieve more at Hlokomela Bana.”
Entertainers included Sentšo, Botala Ba Linare, Bokhabane Ba Talenta and ‘Malehlohonolo Mphou Gospel group among others.
Companies which supported the event included Harvest Radio, Bokamoso Radio, Perfect Foods, Serene Spa, Double B Décor and DJ Bootz. The organisations which pledged their support through booking tables at the event included Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC), Perfect Foods, FNB Lesotho, Econet Telecom Lesotho, Harvest Radio, Hlokomela Bana Foundation, Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), DHL Lesotho, Ministry of Small Business Development, Lesotho PostBank, Matekane Group of Companies, Maseru Business Machines, Kao Diamond Mine, Med Suppliers and NedBank Lesotho.