Lesotho beauty scores a first

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Nthabiseng Mpakanyane
Nthabiseng Mpakanyane

. . . set to contest in Miss Africa USA pageant

Mohalenyane Phakela

UNITED States-based stunner, Nthabiseng Mpakanyane, is set to fly Lesotho’s flag high when she takes on other African beauties in the prestigious Miss Africa USA pageant on August 29.

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, it 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.

Hailing from Khubetsoana in Maseru, Mpakanyane moved to the United States in 2012.

She holds a BTech Degree in Human Resources Management: Training and Development from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. Mpakanyane is also a Master of Science Degree in Management graduate from Keuka College in New York, majoring in International Business.

Her profile on the pageant website reads: “My name is Nthabiseng Mpakanyane, a proud Mosotho from The Kingdom of Lesotho. It is a great honor to be the one, for the first time in 10 years, representing my country and I must add this is yet another dream come true.

“I aspire to inspire and be inspired. Putting a smile on someone’s face puts even a bigger one on my face.”

In an interview with the Weekender from her New Jersey base, the 28-year old said her love for pageantry and modelling developed at the tender age of six when she clinched the Little Miss Khubetsoana Second Princess title. She went on to become Miss Lesedi 1999, Miss ABEMS 2003 and Miss Vodacom PC 2010 First Princess.

“I always loved watching beauty pageants on television, and never missed any. I even recorded them on video cassettes as they were the only means of keeping duplicates back then, which I still have today,” said Mpakanyane.

Over the years, she has participated in voluntary charity initiatives promoting education and community service.

“Growing up I have always been fortunate and blessed enough to receive financial support towards my studies and in giving back and showing my gratitude to God and the people that contributed towards my education financially including my dear parents, I have founded my scholarship, NATe Support Scholarship,” Mpakanyane said, adding that NATe is an abbreviation of her nicknames, Nthabie Abie Tabz.

“This is an annual full tuition scholarship where I fund High School students in Lesotho and this year 2015 being the first year, I am sponsoring five students.

“I look forward to the growth of NATe Support Scholarship and one day sponsoring 200, 2 000, 20000 and more students. The fact of the matter is that, a dollar goes a long way in my country.”

She continued: “I want to make a difference in the communities, be it in Lesotho and/or the world at large. I want to lead by example by being the change that I would love to see.

“With NATe initiatives, I initiated my first project in April 2012 called: Where There Is an Observation There Is an Obligation: Shoe Initiative, where my team and I donated shoes to the children in the rural area of Thaba-Tseka Ha Lephoi, Lesotho. More projects are being planned.”

In addition to her humanitarian work, Mpakanyane will contest against 19 other beauties on knowledge of current affairs, originality, creativity, stage presence, personal style, beauty, elegance and talent.

“With that said, I am excited for the opportunity of being a part of this prestigious platform and most importantly representing my beloved country Lesotho,” she said.

To vote for Mpakanyane, click on her profile picture on the missafricausa.org website, and then click on the thumb up on their profile page. You can vote for the same contestant only once every 12hrs.

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