MISS Crown Royale, Thotoane Motlomelo, stole the show at the Miss Mohalalitoe pageant on Sunday with her dress adorned with recycled materials.
Crafted from old cardboard boxes, soft drink cans, flour bags, egg trays and wires, the quirky dress stood out during the pageant which was held at Maseru High School hall.
Motlomelo was the mentor for the contestants in Miss Mohalalitoe, which is meant to expose girls from the ages of 13 to 16 to the world of pageantry.
The Miss Mohalalitoe crown went to Puseletso Theko, with Ithabeleng Thanya and Retšepile Molekane the first and second princesses respectively.
According to Motlomelo, the unique outfit had been a work in progress over the past year and initially meant for former Miss Maseru Second Princess Nyakallo Motaung.
She said the premise of the “eco-friendly” dress was to promote the reuse and recycling of discarded items.
“Nyakallo wanted to wear the dress at the Face of Lesotho 2015 pageant in the evening gown category, but it was not yet finished,” said Motlomelo.
“I have since applied some finishing touches to it and decided to wear it. The dress is meant to show people that what they perceive as waste material can be used to make other interesting stuff since we need to recycle for the sake of the environment.”
The 21-year-old stunner, who is also Miss Heritage Second Princess, added that instead of the costly long-tailed gowns, the recycled dress only requires ingenuity and craftsmanship in designing.
Motlomelo, however, conceded that the rapturous reaction to the dress from the crowd came as a surprise.
“I was a bit taken aback by the response of the audience even though the intention was to draw their attention, but I am glad for the mad love they showed,” she said.
On her role as a beauty queen, Motlomelo said it went beyond strutting the catwalk and looking pretty.
“I have to be close and open to people, mostly those within my vicinity, and be an example to them,” she said.
“One does not only need a slender body or a lengthy dress to be crowned a beauty queen but also to have a beautiful heart, open mind and soul.”
Hailing from Motse Mocha in Motimposo, Motlomelo also organised the Miss Back to School contest early this year to raise funds for pupils who could not afford school uniforms.
She has also initiated a number of activities within her community to assist vulnerable children and bringing them such forms of entertainment as jumping castles.
Although she will be passing on her crown soon, Motlomelo said she had no intention of stopping the good work she is doing.