Mr Confidence a resounding success

22nd November 2017
HAPPY MOOD: The top three of Mr Confidence. Source:The Midweek Sun

The inaugural Mr Confidence 2017 pageant attracted an impressive crowd on Friday evening at the Civic Centre in Gaborone, where Edward Dhliwayo was crowned king. Thuso Rrasetapa was crowned first prince. The organisers pulled all the stops for the unique and meaningful pageant that showed inclusion of everyone in the community. The gentlemen were dressed to the nines in their elegant suits and stunned the audience as they graced the ramp on their wheel chairs in full confidence. The MC for the evening Matlhare Matlhare did a sterling job of ensuring that proceedings went smoothly.

The audience was quite receptive and supportive as they happily cheered on the seven gentlemen who vied for the crown. Second prince, Leatile Kgokong impressed the judges as he tried by all means to utilise the time he was given on stage. Despite his disability, he danced and showed off happily, much to the crowd’s delight. Kgokong cannot speak but everyone could tell that he was excited about the opportunity as he enjoyed himself on the stage, let alone the happiness that he expressed when he was crowned the second prince. His emotional mother could not contain her excitement.

“I am so grateful for this contest because it brings hope to our children living with disabilities. My son can’t do anything for himself and he cant even talk but I thank God for the initiative because here he is. He has emerged the winner tonight,” she said. Spokesperson of Botswana Society for the Deaf (BSD), who also forms part of the organising team, Mpho Tapela stated that Mr Confidence is a build up activity for the commemoration of International Day for People living with disabilities to be commemorated on November 29th. “The committee is comprised of different stakeholders who advocate for disability and lead by Gaborone City Council. Every year there has to be a celebration via a beauty pageant to encourage people living with disabilities,” she said. Tapela further explained that they started with deafness and last year the pageant was focused on Intellectual disability, while this year they chose to embrace physical disability through Mr Confidence to give men in wheelchairs a chance to express themselves.

“This initiative was meant to instil confidence in the disabled thereby making them to realise that they can do anything that the so-called able bodied can do because their disability should not be a stumbling block in their lives,” she added. Mr Confidence 2017 Dhliwayo commended the initiative, saying that they too need such opportunities. “I was not expecting the crown since it was the first time I have entered such a competition, but thanks to my dearest wife who believed so much in me, however, I am not doubtful that I am the winner because I am confident in everything that I do. I am just overwhelmed as I build my legacy and enduring the spirit of respect from the community and environment around me,” he said. Dhliwayo uses a wheel chair as a result of car accident he was involved in several years ago. He noted that he looks forward to advocating for other disabled people during his reign. “My intention is to change our country Botswana and better the lives of people living with disabilities. I plan to inspire them and encourage them to face their fears and make their dreams come true. I often hold workshops, and address gatherings and hold motivational talks to inspire the disabled to overcome their challenges,” he said.

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