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November 6, 2002

Modo crowned Miss Lobatse African Decade

From: Republic of Botswana, Botswana
Nov. 6, 2002

A Lobatse Senior Secondary School Form Five student with disabilities Keneilwe Modo has been crowned Miss Lobatse African Decade 2002.

She was crowned during a well-attended beauty contest for people with disability at Woodhall community hall over the weekend.

Keneilwe was flanked by Nametso Selwe, 26, who is deaf and dumb and Mameh Ramakgwa, 25, who impressed the crowd on her wheelchair by dancing to Franco Lesokwane's latest album.

Keneilwe, whose left hand is impaired, expressed delight at being crowned out of 15 contestants.

Although she seemed not be serious on her first appearance Keneilwe did well to finish among the top five to qualify as the queen.

The competition was tough and no one could have ever imagined that the contestants were disabled people.

Slender and pretty Keneilwe and her runners-up wore sleeveless summer black dresses.

All of them, including the deaf and dumb, walked nicely and in tandem with the beat of the song.

As the results were announced, the crowd shouted Keneilwe's name as the queen and the director of ceremony Manfred Kono, who was equally impressive, did not fumble.

Keneilwe will represent Lobatse in the next Miss Botswana African Decade 2002 at the end of this month in Gaborone.

According to trainer Tankiso Sechele, Keneilwe could win the next competition without much ado.

She said Keneilwe was walking like a model and able-bodied person, a clear sign that "disability does not mean inability".

She thanked the Lobatse residents for making the event such a rousing success.

© Botswana Press Agency (BOPA)