Gaborone — It is no secret that Miss Botswana 2017/2018 Nicole Gaelebale has been eyeing the Miss World Botswana crown for years; for over 10 years to be exact.
The 18-year-old girl, who auditioned, fired up with passion, drive and dedicated was rejected so many times, which made her wonder if her dream would ever come to pass.
For Gaelebale, it all started as a dream at the age of 10 when she was watching the crowning of Miss World 2001.
It was the day she told her mom that she too will grace the Miss World stage and be crowned Miss World.
Little did she know that achieveing her dream was going to be difficult.
"I have had to show strength, persistence, hardwork and of course had to shed a few tears through this journey I embarked on," she said.
She auditioned for the Miss Botswana pageant six times before finally winning the coveted title.
She said she was given reasons as to why she could not be crowned Miss Botswana in the previous years, but she became more determined than ever to win.
"When doubt crept in, it took faith and inspiration to keep me going every time I was hit with rejection year after year," she said.
Despite her not winning the Miss World title, she said her biggest achievement was getting into the top 40.
"One has to be strong in order to make it and I am happy to have not come back empty handed as I got satisfaction from being amongst the judges' selection which proved the potential they saw in me," she said.
"I am pleased to have entered the Dancer of the World category in the pageant in which I worked extremely hard if I must say to represent by country by performing our traditional dance," she added.
She is the second to enter the category in Botswana; Emma Wareus being the first.
Galebale said she had no regrets and was grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent her country at the Miss World stage.
She said it was easy for one to get demoralised when at Miss World but she had to keep reminding herself why she was there in the first place.
"Being surrounded by 123 beautiful women with different personalities, different professions one can easily get intimidate. So every day one has to remember who she is and why she is there to remain focused," she said.
She thanked Batswana for the support they gave her throughout her Miss World journey.
She hope Batswana carry on with the supportive spirit with future queens because the organisers at Miss World pay attention to the reception one gets from their country.
She urged Batswana to refrain from posting negative comments on social media about the reigning queen and always be positive to help build Botswana as a powerful pageantry house.
Gaelebale advised aspiring pageantry queens to train, perfect their talents and do projects well on time.
She is currently working on a project entitled 'BELIEVE' in which she encourages children into believing their dreams and see how they can use their dreams and talents to better the world.
"I want to be a pillar of strength, of hope and inspiration for the youth. If one child can be moved and inspired by my story, then I would be making the impact I want," she said.
She said it was her dream to see youth know that it is good to dream and not to listen to people who would tell them that they would not make it as well as not to let other people determine their future.
She said children need to be encouraged to believe in themselves and their dreams, and to start working towards their dreams at an early age. BOPA