POPULAR Motswako rapper, Khuli Chana, is set to headline a Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) pageant for tertiary institutions on 17 October 2015.
Dubbed Miss Tertiary Institutions, the pageant, which is meant to provide the youths with sexual health information and other related LPPA services, will be held at Netherlands Hall in Roma. According to LPPA public relations officers, Tlali Matela and Puleng Mokati, they opted for Khuli Chana because of his popularity which makes him a drawcard for young people to the event.
“Although the pageant’s contestants will be female, we are still expecting a lot of male attendees at the event,” said Mokati.
“This is why we chose an artist who appeals to both sexes. Khuli Chana is a popular rapper who is loved by Basotho youth and has not performed in the country for a long time.”
The contest is open to female students of tertiary institutions between the ages of 18 and 24. The winner will walk away with a M20 000 cash prize, while the first and second princesses runners up will take home M10 000 and M5 000 respectively. The Miss Tertiary Institutions and her two princesses will serve as LPPA ambassadors over the year of their reign and work closely with the association in its campaigns.
Miss Tertiary Institutions would not be the first pageant the association has hosted, as it also initiated the Miss Thakaneng contest two years ago targeted at high school students.
“Miss Thakaneng was a tool we used to bring youths together to equip them with life skills and address such issues as teenage pregnancy, HIV and STI infections as well as tips on how to tackle them,” Mokati said.
“This time, we are targeting tertiary institutions since we are normally invited to address first-year students, at various colleges in Maseru, to prepare them for the challenges they are likely to face. We are hoping that with Khuli Chana headlining the event, many young people will attend so that we can mix business with pleasure.”
Matela chipped in saying they had injected a large amount of money to ensure they reached as many young people as possible.
“Our plan is to have ambassadors in different institutions, so the pageant will serve as a feasibility study to enable us to get an accurate picture of what we are dealing with,” he said.
“They will also bring to our attention the different challenges they come across so that we can be able to design campaigns that will suit each institution precisely, which will benefit us in the long run.”
To ensure the pageant is transparent and operates smoothly, Matela said they had engaged an external coordinator who is experienced in pageantry to handle the organizing process.
“The panel of judges will also consist of independent people who do not work for LPPA or from the tertiary institutions to avoid biased officiating,” he said.
LPPA provides family planning, sexually transmitted infections management, screening for cancers of the reproductive system, distribution of contraceptives and emergency contraceptives, pregnancy testing, post-abortion care, voluntary counselling and testing as well as management of infections.