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18 November 2022 | Story Anthony Mthembu | Photo Supplied
Lerato Pitso
Lerato Pitso, who will represent Lesotho in the Miss Supranational competition in 2023.

Lerato Pitso, a Bachelor of Social Sciences student at the University of the Free State (UFS), has been selected to represent her home country of Lesotho in the prestigious Miss Supranational competition, which will be held in Poland in 2023. “I’m still nervous about the fact that I have been selected to represent my country in this competition. However, the selection means that I have a lot of people who actually believe in me,” Pitso stated.

Miss Supranational

Miss Supranational is an internationally recognised beauty pageant overseen by the World Beauty Association.This is the third time that a UFS student has participated in this international competition. Earlier this year Boitumelo Sehlotho, a Bachelor of Accounting student at the UFS, who was also named the Face of Lesotho in 2019, represented her country at the Miss Supranational pageant 2022.  Thato Mosehle, a graduate from the Faculty of Health Sciences, was runner-up in the Miss Supranational pageant held in Poland in 2021.

Pitso perceives the pageant as a platform to encourage young women to do more to change the world. She was selected to represent Lesotho in the competition based on the contributions she made in and around her community.

Community Engagement

Pitso’s community engagement includes participation in a digital inclusion campaign in Lesotho. “The campaign intended to involve accountable ministries in addressing technological issues to empower students with technological skills to be competent for the global environment. Pitso was also involved in the Meal in a Jar initiative, which was run by the Office for International Affairs at the UFS. Through this initiative, high school learners in the Grassland community in Bloemfontein were taught to recycle materials, and to produce new products which they could then sell for profit. “The project aimed to spark an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Pitso. In addition, she has also worked with the SHE-HIVE Association, a non-governmental organisation based in Maseru, Lesotho, which offers counselling and legal assistance to those who have been affected by gender-based violence. As such, Pitso asserts that she is the best to represent her nation based on the work she has put in.

Preparing for the Miss Supranational stage

Pitso said getting ready for a competition of this magnitude is a huge undertaking. “Preparation for the big stage includes rigorous training in which one learns to walk in a certain manner, and a commitment to the gym in order to be physically fit for the competition.” She also asserts that taking care of her mental health is a priority before walking on that stage.

It is also important to note that the last two winners of the competition are from Africa, and this serves as motivation for Pitso. “The fact that people who come from a similar society to me could attain the prize makes me believe in myself. It means that it’s also possible for me to put in the work and excel in the competition,” she said.

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