BONGISWA Hesman, a beauty queen from Qacha's Nek, is the inaugural winner of the Miss Democratic Congress (DC) beauty pageant after beating a bevy of other beauties last Saturday at Lesotho High School in Maseru.
The event, organised by the country's biggest opposition DC, is the culmination of several regional competitions held across the country during 2019.
For her efforts, Miss Hesman walked away with a brand new Toyota Corolla car worth M200 000 and other prizes. Her first princess was 'Matšeliso Mabula, and the second princess was Tebello Lekeli, who both walked away with cash prizes of M30 000 and M20 000, respectively.
The pageant was graced by judges from Bloemfontein, South Africa, who assisted three other local judges who had presided over the regional contests during the year.
Lesotho High School hall was painted red during the event with hundreds of people from the ten districts of Lesotho who came to support their own.
Despite the challenges faced by the event which included the issue of starting time and power interruptions, it was evident that people had much fun as the DJ knew exactly how to tick their boxes.
The event, which had been long-awaited, took place the whole of Saturday night with various performances by artists such as Mahlomola Makhube and Seleso Mokali, who had everyone, including the DC) Mr Mathibeli Mokhothu on their feet.
The beauty pageant commenced on 6 April 2019 in Mafeteng where three girls won medals based on their personalities and behaviour during training. Miss DC Leribe was on 18 May and was followed by Miss DC Maseru which was held on 22 June.
Officiating the pageant, Mr Mokhothu said the party had taken an oath to engage everyone either individually or in groups, hence they decided to host Miss DC 2019 to accommodate the women and girls of the party.
"We thought of what we could do for the youth in the DC party and youth of the country in general to convince them that politics are their future and they should take part in them. This is why we came up with a programme of this nature," he said.
Mr Mokhothu revealed that the party had spent well over M700 000 in making the programme possible and that they intended to extend their purse next year as well as to participate internationally.
"If DC is able to spend over M700 000 a year then it means that it can send these girls to competitions as big as Miss Universe and other big pageants," he said.
DC Youth League President, Mr Moeketsi Shale, said the pageant was in the spirit of empowering the DC girl-child.
Mr Shale said the competition was birthed from realising that unlike the boy-child in the DC who had many activities such as football and pool clubs to take part in, very little was being done for girls.
He said the competition was also looking at luring younger women into the DC through the pageant, adding that the attendance had been amazing thus far.
"We took a minimum of two people per constituency but the number varied with each district as some constituencies were bigger than others," Shale said.
He said the pageant was to give girls a sense of belonging in DC while at the same time attracting more people to the party.
"We took women and girls from the age of 18 to 35 and we requested that the participants should be females who were not married, never been pregnant and without kids," he said.
He said Miss DC pageant competition was no different from any other pageants held elsewhere in the world as the requirements were much the same