Mahlatse Mabotja, Grade 5 learner at Laerskool Pietersburg Noord Primary was crowned Miss Polokwane Observer Cover Girl 2018 during the pageant final hosted by Katryn Celliers owner of Limpopo Beauty Modeling Academy at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World on Sunday evening.
She succeeds Marné Thompson who won the title last year.
Mahlatse also won the Miss Polokwane Observer Junior Teen 10-12 years category and walked away with R1 000 in cash and many other amazing prizes.
She showed all the qualities of a good model: interesting looks, a great level of confidence on the ramp and answered every question from the judging panel with aplomb.
A second time entrant, the 11-year-old said she was happy to finally win. “I entered the competition in 2016 and I was the first princess in my age category. This year I told my mother that I want to enter and win the major title and I am glad that I did.”
She said that she will use some of her winnings to buy food parcels for underprivileged children. “I am excited to have won such a huge amount. It is a lot for an 11-year-old and I told my mother that I only need R100 and the rest will go to charity,” Mahlatse said.
The pageant, regarded as the biggest in the province, attracted 50 gorgeous contestants from all over the province.
More than 30 imported rhinestone crowns, one-of-a-kind sashes and big prizes were handed out at the event. Each contestant received a certificate and a beautiful diamond bracelet as gift from Limpopo Beauty Modelling Academy for their participation.
The overall winner of the Public Choice competition, determined by SMS votes, was Tshepiso Mphidi who participated in the 13-15 years category and managed to get
5 053 votes.
Contestants were judged in three categories namely one-on-one interviews; a smart casual pageant walk as well as evening wear.
The judging panel consisted of head judge and editor at Polokwane Observer, Yolande Nel, Olive Media owner Karina Botha and manager at House of Asante Spa, Kabelo Maditse.
According to Celliers, the contest builds confidence in young girls and encourage them not to give up on their dreams and ideals. “We believe everyone is a winner and what an honour it has been to make every entrant feel special.”
Asked about the criteria they were using to select the overall winners and some of the qualities that Miss Polokwane Observer should have, Celliers, said they were looking for a model that can represent their brand well and someone who will make a positive contribution in society. “ Some of the criteria included smile, eye contact, personality, intelligence, ramp skills, public speaking skills to only name a few.”
“This pageant also acted as a food drive for the Bannaphele Drop-In centre in Mankweng and each model had to collect five cans of food. We are promoting beauty with a purpose,
Instilling a spirit of giving amongst young girls, creating role models in our community,” added Celliers.
The public choice sms voting competition had more than 21 000 votes and Tshepiso Mphidi managed to amass more votes to win the category, she walked away with a Vodacom Smart Phone.
Congratulating the winners in all the categories Celliers said she was blessed with so many beautiful and talented contestants every year. “Thank you for all your support, I am so proud of each and every girl. They all looked spectacular and I am looking forward to our next pageant in partnership with Polokwane Observer, Queen of the North on 25 November. We thank Sun Meropa Casino for being our venue partner as well as Polokwane Observer. Thank you to our make-up artists from Kiley Kreations make-up Jonel Erasmus and Elita Lee, promoting Alila Professional Make-up and our Photographer from Kiley Kreations Photography.”
Little Miss Polokwane Observer 4-6 years
Winner: Mohludi Dithipe
1st Princess: Bokang Mojela
2nd Princess: Makhotso Motloung
Miss Public Choice: Ohlotse Modise
Miss Evening Wear: Ofentse Mothapo
Miss Polokwane Observer Junior 7-9 years
Winner: Onthatile Mogadime
1st Princess and Miss Interview: Paballo Selolo
2nd Princess: Refiloe Dipela
Miss Public Choice: Thato Tibane
Miss Evening Wear: Lynnmarie Stroh
Miss Polokwane Observer Junior Teen 10-12 years
Winner and Miss Public Choice: Mahlatse Mabotja
1st Princess: Nikiwe Nkonyani
2nd Princess: Lethabo Letsoalo
Miss Evening Wear: Bridget Moloto.
Miss Polokwane Observer Teen 13-15 years
Winner: Tokollo Masekoameng
1st Princess and Miss Public Choice: Tshepiso Mphidi
2nd Princess: Thato Moyo
Miss Evening Wear: Tokollo Masekoameng.
Miss Polokwane Observer 16-24 years
Winner: Elizabeth Chokoe
1st Princess and Miss Public Choice: Dichegofatjo Mosoane
2nd Princess: Tamryn Terblanche
Miss Evening Wear and Miss Interview: Abbygail Smit
Story and photos: Herbert Rachuene