Once she was crowned the opinions started to rage. Social media was alight with both negative and positive, but mainly negative comments. The gripe was that she was not black enough or she did not represent the Motswana woman; her critics went as far as wanting her to be substituted with either the first or second princesses.
Difficult as it was, the mature 19-year-old from Mmadinare village did her best to focus on her task at hand and leave the naysayers aside. “People spoke about different issues including the colour of my skin not being dark enough for the crown. I was very sad. My initial thoughts were that I am not being accepted. I had to quickly change my attitude and realise that people will always talk. I will never be the number one for everyone. I chose to focus on thinking that I am the right candidate for the crown.”
The beautiful and friendly Mabengano had to develop a thick skin quite early in life. The bombardment of negativity from her critics only served to make her stronger. She reveals that her mother passed away when she only 14 years, she has since been raised by her aunts and uncles. She also has an older brother who is now 23-years-old.
“There was a time when I was young and my mother was the only thing I had. I then lost her and learnt a lot- most importantly to depend on myself, and not on other people.” Mabengano is aware that everything happens for a reason and has since accepted her loss.
“I have people who have played their role in my life since my mother passed on and I would not be here without them – my aunts and uncles.” On the night she was crowned all her loved ones were there and she is happy she made them proud.
Being genuine and original is something that she prides herself in. “I like to say ‘be original and don’t repeat legacies’. Sometimes when you look at people you see a little bit of Beyonce or Rihanna. You have to be you at all times.” The pretty face has had to suspend her Design Studies until 2017, when her year of reign ends. Her project for the ‘beauty with a purpose theme’ is called, ‘They need us’.
She started the project after a visit to Princess Marina Hospital where she had discussions with social workers who explained that there are abandoned children in the hospital who have no home to go to due to poverty.
“The project ‘They need us’ aims to nurture and protect these children who are underprivileged, sick and abandoned. We want to bridge the gap between social workers and the community. We will aim to give emotional support to the children; play, talk and mobilise resources for them to help with food, clothes and housing. I hope the next beauty queen will also take it over.”
Despite the backlash after her crowning, Mabengano is adamant that she would have still entered, that she has no regrets. “I have always wanted to be an influential woman and I saw Miss Botswana as providing the first step to this goal. Miss Botswana is actually not about me, it is about what I can do for the people of Botswana. What I will bring to the table.”
Missosology.org, a pageant site also ran with the story of the backlash Miss Botswana received based on the social online commentary by Batswana. In conclusion the article’s writer stated that, ‘Unfortunately, racism though goes both ways. If the European nations are hailed for crowning dark skinned women, why do fair skinned women get bashed in most of the African nations? If we expect that being black should not impede victory, why should being white be fair? But what Botswana should do in the future is to clearly define the criteria so that they can fully justify the winner regardless whether she’s black, white, yellow or green skinned for that matter.
This is the 21st century. Haven’t we learned enough from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that we shouldn’t be judged by the colour of our skin but by the content of our character?’
Tshepo Maphanyane, the event organiser says they will continue to host the pageant and to meet all the international requirements set. “I am hesitant to comment about the criticism from Batswana. We have set standards we must meet, based on how Miss World operates. All I can humbly emphasise is that people should seek clarity and information to gain a better understanding before criticising.” Maphanyane explains that they are more motivated than ever to host the next Miss Botswana.
The idea is that the public must be involved with the pageant from the starting phases of the competition, when they skim down the contestants. “We are very ambitious about the next pageant but we need a lot of support from the public, starting with the auditions to the end of the competition.
Everyone should know that they have a role to play because after all this country and this beauty queen representative is ours, together. Whether we win or lose at the Miss World pageant we are in this together.” Maphanyane urges the public to take ownership of the pageant because without the public support the pageant will be not run. “We need the support of the public to run the pageant. Lastly we need financial support we cannot be able to run this project without finances.”
VACANCY: President of the UDC
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Advocate Sidney Pilane says Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) does not have a President.
He revealed this week that UDC leader, Advocate Duma Boko was given the leadership of the coalition on a temporary arrangement. Advocate Pilane who was addressing the media this week, following the expulsion of his party from the UDC stated that in the buildup to 2014 general elections it was agreed that Advocate Boko should be presidential candidate for UDC, an arrangement that ended at the time when the UDC lost the 2014 general elections.
“It was decided that Botswana National Front (BNF) should be given the presidency so that Advocate Boko could be our presidential candidate. The late Gomolemo Motswaledi of BMD was to be his running mate. We made this arrangement in preparation to taking over state power.
So, all that has passed, we contested and lost so it is all in the past,” said the BMD leader. He stated that constitutionally, the UDC has no president because the president has to be elected during the UDC elective congress. Advocate Pilane pointed out that UDC according to the Constitution should hold its congress every three (3) years.
He stated that even all the members of UDC National Executive Committee have to be elected at the congress and as it stands, “there is no president or Vice Presidents because they were not voted into those positions.”
Advocate Pilane said instead of building the UDC brand their colleagues at Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front have resorted to petty issues. He told the media that the leadership of the two parties have taught their members to insult BMD leadership and its members on social media and any other forum.
He had no kind words for the BCP, calling the party a divisive party that thrives on insults and divisive tendencies. He said the BCP leadership had encouraged its foot soldiers to use social media to insult him and members of the BMD.
According to Advocate Pilane, these are some of the things that have made the two parties remain in opposition for far too long without even coming close to toppling the ruling party. He described them as dishonest people who will plunge the country into chaos and that is why Batswana do not want to give them power.
VIDEO: A Gaborone hotel Prophet caught in the act
In a matter that closely resembles that of a South African Cabinet Minister, Melusi Gigaba’s masturbating video clip, a visiting Zimbabwean Prophet, Ronald El Melchizedek of Altar of Grace this week denied that he has been sending nudes to church sisters and demanding same from them.
In fact, the ‘man of God’ has earned himself the name, ‘Botswana’s Omotoso’ by girls that allege he has sexually exploited them. Pastor Timothy Omotoso is a Nigerian clergyman accused of sexually exploiting over 30 young girls from his church in South Africa.
“He is an Omotoso and even though they hide it at his church, some of us have received messages from him asking for our nudes. Actually, he has asked for my nudes several times,” says one church sister.
The Midweek Sun has gotten hold of a 34 seconds video clip of the youthful prophet playing with his manhood. Looking like he is in a hotel room, the man stands fully naked in a muted video that, depicts him speaking and teasing the recipient. In a standing position, he starts off by caressing his manhood, giving it a close up and ends up lying on the bed, facing up.
At least three young women say they received the video from the prophet and that he usually asks for nudes from them. One of them actually says he has been pestering her, demanding to have sex with her. “He likes to send me messages of how horny he is for me. But again, he likes asking for nudes from women.
Even married women at his church have fallen victims of his sexual harassment. I left the church because he disgusted me by doing such things yet calling himself a man of God,” she says.
The woman however says that Melchizedek, a Zimbabwean who holds services at Gaborone Hotel when he is in the country, is a man of accurate prophecies. “He moves mightily in the prophetic but he likes harassing church sisters. It is known in his church. He is married but controlled by the spirit of lust,” she says.
The Prophet responds
Melchidezek told The Midweek Sun that he was aware of the video of him doing the rounds through WhatsApp, but was quick to label the whole thing a scam.“Yes we are aware. Those are scammers from Benin who hacked into my wife’s Facebook account and phone and stole our videos and pictures. So they wanted to blackmail us and we refused, that is why they are doing that.
It is just an effort to harm the work of God but God is in control,” he told The Midweek Sun. He would not be drawn into responding to, or even discussing the allegations levelled against him by church sisters, but instead gave this reporter a mobile number of a person he said was his wife.
The said woman confirmed that the video was posted by scammers. “That was done by scammers. We have reported them to Benin police,” she said. She however would not give the name of the police station nor go into further details.
This incident follows on last week’s revelations reported by this publication, where several girls spoke anonymously about pastors, prophets and ‘men of God’who were using them sexually in church. Many were uncomfortable to reveal their names, forcing this paper to also conceal the identies of the accused churches and pastors involved in the dirty acts in the name of God.
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