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Shattering stereotypes

Publishing Date : 28 October, 2019

Author : TLHABO KGOSIEMANG

Inspiring, confident and not just a pretty face- Miss Botswana 2019 2nd Princess Winfred Motcher has shattered stereotypes and made a mark for herself. She was the shortest of them all, and most probably the youngest, but rose to the top nonetheless.


Over the past years a stereotype has been established around the term beauty queen or fashion model. And so the word beauty pageant brings a definite image in our head- tall and thin women posing designer clothes and high heels and layers of makeup on their skin. But there is definitely much more to the life of some beauty pageant winners. Motcher is a model and Miss Botswana 2019 second runner up. This lady has several feathers in her cap.


Motcher is a young entrepreneurial digital marketer and a model that is passionate about the beauty and creative industry, and she is Miss Universe 2013 Top 5 Finalist, Miss Tertiary Schools 2015, Miss Chobe Tourism 2015 as well as Miss Petite 2016. In an exclusive interview with Weekend Life this week in Gaborone, she said ‘’I started modelling, in particular pageantry as a hobby in high school. The first big pageant I entered was Miss Universe 2013 where I was the youngest contestant and made it to Top 5. It was a very controversial pageant and it one way or the other inspired me to enter other pageants that would be fair and recognize my capabilities, talents and confidence on stage’’


‘’I joined Miss Botswana 2019 as a way of breaking the stereotype that you have to be tall to be a great model, I wanted to inspire other petite girls to ignore height limitations because what matters most is the skill and confidence one portrays on stage. I can confidently say most incredible young women out there are driven into dark spaces and their dreams are shattered because of delusions they get to catch on corridors about pageants such as the Miss Botswana, and inevitably that slays their poise to ask more even. It is blue but true, these stereotypes should be dealt with and this is what I will be in favour of during my reign’’


She told Weekend Life that Miss Botswana was not an easy task, as it incorporated all elements of hard-work, endurance, disenchantments as well as diligence. ‘’frankly speaking, I wasn’t laid-back as I presumed. This is a whole project that would obligate one to be prepared mentally, physically and if you were never ready, you would never reach the semi-finals. Achieving the 2nd Princess title was purely based on determination, and I entered the pageant knowing that the end goal was to get a spot in Top 3 and that pushed me to always do my best in everything leading up to the finale’’


Beauty pageants are not all about parading on the runway. The biggest gains from pageant participation were a greater awareness of self in social situations, how to stand, sit, and speak, speech patterns, mannerisms as well as excellent interview skills in corporate career. As a contestant has faced a panel of judges, a job interview is a piece of cake!


Still, it has its own disadvantages. These pageants are not for those who want to use them to burnish their self-esteem. If you need to win a pageant in order to feel good about yourself, do not enter! Your chances of doing well are greatly diminished if you are not confident in your true self and attempting to show the judges what you think they want to see instead of the real you.


For Motcher, entering Miss Botswana was a blessing in disguise. She has learned many things about herself and her confidence has increased over the course of her journey in becoming the second runner up. ‘’I now have confidence to me more outgoing, to speak up about a certain issue or situation, and just talk among a crowd of people. I was nervous, I had mixed emotions but that comes with it; it’s a learning experience and an adjustment. I also enjoyed getting to meet and bond with the variety of girls some of which I’m still close to.


I learned how to take advantage of being different from others, being short meant I got to be centred in almost all photos thus I was visible and memorable. I didn’t let any height remarks get to me because at the end of the day I earned my position amongst other finalists’’
She however implored the private sector, corporate world to join hands in executing Miss Botswana, saying collaboration and concerted efforts can help revamp the pageant.


‘’what needs to improve is the sponsors involvement; Miss Botswana needs more sponsors to reach its full potential. Corporate and government entities should benchmark on how other countries invest in pageants because at the end of it all, a country ambassador is chosen to represent the nation in various platform across the globe’’


‘’there is always room for improvement, yes the pageant is trying to empower young girls but what tends to happen is that most of the benefits goes to the winner, who is the Queen in this regard. As seen this year they did try to get separate deals for other contestants which is a great start to empowering them. For that, I commend them and hope they continue doing so’’ she said


As the second runner up, Motcher will be collaborating with the queen in her projects by volunteering with her at a children’s shelter, as she believes it is better to join forces and do great than try to start her own project with the same mandate. ‘’I also hope to maximize my reign by using my influence to work with and model for local brands as a means of building my portfolio’’ she stressed


Miss Botswana second runner up has a hair business, and I must say she is an angel. Instead of charging Miss Botswana for her hair needs, she offered to sponsor some hair extensions for whenever the Queen Oweditse Phirinyane wants to change her look. This is incredible! This is literally my first time to come across such as amazing gesture, I mean, wow! Anyway, Motcher had this to say ‘’to any girls who wish to enter Miss Botswana competition, do it. Do not let any doubts or negativity hold you back from achieving greatness, believe in yourself’’ You heard it girl, go for it. One last question I had for her, would you come back for Miss Botswana 2020? ‘’I am not 100% sure I’ll be back next year, I might surprise you all’’

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