LOCAL beauty, Mosele Morena, notched the Miss Freedom of Africa title at the Miss Freedom of the World 2015 pageant held in Prizren, Kosovo on Sunday.
Morena represented Lesotho against 21 contestants from around the world in the fifth instalment of the glitzy pageant which was held from 17 to 30 August.
The 22-year-old stunner is a second year student at the National Health Training Centre studying nursing. The Sehlabeng, Thuathe-based beauty has been in the catwalk game since 2012 when she became Face of Mapholi Natural Spring Water first princess and Miss NHTC in 2014.
She is also the current Miss Lesotho second princess, an accolade which landed her the opportunity to contest in the Miss Freedom of the World 2015 pageant.
The Miss Freedom of the World 2015 title went to Albania, with the runner-ups from Sweden, Philippines, Taiwan and Australia respectively.
Morena’s Miss Freedom of Africa accolade was awarded to a winning contestant from Africa, and was among the nine sub-titles in contention. The other sub-titles included Miss Image, which was won by Norway, Miss Personality: Canada, Miss Best Body: Austria, Miss Press: France, Miss Photogenic: Sweden, Miss Bikini: Hungary, Miss Freedom of America: Paraguay, and Miss Talent: Miss Siberia.
Meanwhile, United States-based stunner, Nthabiseng Mpakanyane, who represented Lesotho at the Miss Africa USA 2015 pageant in New York on Saturday, was voted Miss Congeniality by fellow contestants.
The Khubetsoana-born Mpakanyane was also bestowed with the Spirit Award from the Miss Africa USA team, which is an invitation for her to come back and work with them in any way possible.
The Miss Africa USA 2015 crown went to Nigeria, with the first runner-up from Guinea and the second runner-up from Ghana.
Writing on her Facebook page after the event, Mpakanyane said: “Just as planned, I had fun on that stage, walking and posing pridefully (sic) with Lesotho on my mind. I did my best, and without a doubt I know I represented you all well.
“It’s been an amazing, interesting, fun, stressful, overwhelming experience, not to mention the expenses. Thank you to those that supported financially, I still have outstanding balances and I trust that God will take care of them. It’s been one of the experiences I will cherish for life.”
The Miss Africa USA pageant is the biggest and the most publicised pageant that features African women in the United States of America. It began in 2005 as a small state event in Atlanta, Georgia, and has blossomed into a phenomenon with hundreds of African young women vying to participate.
The pageant is meant to be a platform for young African women in America to showcase their beauty, talent and culture. Through the pageant, the contestants also serve humanity by giving back to their communities in Africa and America as well as making their dreams come true.
According to Miss Africa USA organisers, the pagent is premised on the concept of beauty for humanity, and enables African girls in America to “shine the spotlight on Africa, tell their stories to the world, inspire one another, build self-esteem, and feel beautiful inside and out”.
However, unlike other pageants, the contestants come from some of the most venerable educational institutions in North America, with careers spanning from the sciences to the arts. Mpakanyane, who moved to the United States in 2012, holds a BTech Degree in Human Resources Management: Training and Development from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa.
She is also a Master of Science Degree in Management graduate from Keuka College in New York, majoring in International Business.
Contacted for comment, Beauty Pageant Association of Lesotho President Tlali Tlali said although the contestants did not win the main titles, the accolades they received were commendable.
“The titles they received show that we are not stagnating but heading somewhere,” Tlali said.
“We see these sub-titles as the port of entry to greatness and we believe that with the other five ladies who will also contest in international pageants, we still have a chance to bring more prestigious crowns home.”
The other beauty queens who will represent the country at various international pageants include Miss Lesotho First Princess, Molulela Monyake, who will compete at the Miss Tourism World 2015 in Taiwan in November.
Face of Lesotho 2015, Mojabeng Senekal, will strut her stuff at the Face of Beauty International 2015 in Taiwan tomorrow, while her Second Princess, Retšepile Mohale, will compete at the Miss lnternational 2015 in Japan on 5 November.