MASERU — Lieketseng Nkune arrived home on Monday afternoon empty-handed after she flopped at the Miss University Africa (MUA) 2011 beauty competition.
The 1.7 metre-tall stunner failed to raise Lesotho’s flag high at the Gloryland Cultural Centre in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, Nigeria last Saturday.
“The competition was very tight,” Nkune told the Weekender.
“I was the fourth shortest girl among all 30 contestants of the pageant so making it would have been a miracle.”
Nkune, 19, said the competition was so tough that at one point she thought of withdrawing.
“I was competing with reigning super models from African countries and I really felt the pressure on arrival. I wanted to just withdraw.”
The beauty however said she returned home with pride.
“I am disappointed for not making it into the top list on the final day. I didn’t return home with the MUA crown but I received an award of MUA President’s choice which is one of the important awards of the pageant,” Nkune said.
“The award was given to the most disciplined contestant who was always punctual, best dressed and confident so I am proud to have won the award. It means I was on the right track and only failed to see victory because of my height,” she said.
Nkune said the experience was not what she had expected.
“I thought we were going to be given a chance to live in a hotel and tour Nigeria to allow flexible interaction among the contestants. We were instead stuck at a place and were prevented from talking to anyone,” Nkune said.
“When I arrived in Nigeria I was so bored and disappointed with the situation. Communication was a struggle because not all the girls spoke English, I wanted to return home immediately,” she said.
She said she had to adapt to the atmosphere so as to compete.
“I had to settle in and managed to make friends. I learned a lot of things including non-verbal communication,” she said.
Nkune said the 14-day boot camp entailed a lot of different activities that empowered her with important life skills.
“We were involved in a debate, charity activities, motivational speaking and training,” she said.
“We visited the royal palace where we were taught the values of a woman and I learned that educating one woman is educating the whole nation.”
Nkune said she is looking to use the experience to prepare for other international pageants.
“I am looking to participate in different pageants locally to build my portfolio in preparation for other international pageants.”
Nkune became the second Mosostho to participate at the Miss University Africa.
Last year Nomasondo Mphakisoane managed to make it to the Top 10 of the Southern Africa Universities pageant.
Nkune said not all 40 countries participated.
“The likes of Botswana and Swaziland among other countries failed to make it. The competition saw 30 African beauties taking part,” she said.