Botswana's Gaseangwe Balopi crowned Miss Africa 2017

Friday December 29 2017

Botswana’s Gaseangwe Balopi was crowned Miss

Botswana’s Gaseangwe Balopi was crowned Miss Africa 2017. PHOTO | MISS AFRICA 

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Botswana’s Gaseangwe Balopi was crowned Miss Africa 2017 in the second edition of the beauty pageant hosted in Nigeria.

Ms Balopi beat 24 contestants from across the continent in the event held at the Calabar International Convention Centre in Cross River State on Wednesday night.

The 21-year-old took home $30,000 and a brand new Ford Edge sport utility vehicle.

Runner-up was Rwanda’s Fiona Naringwa, while Luyolo Mngonyama of South Africa was placed third.

Ms Naringwa walked away with $10,000 with Ms Mngonyama taking home $5,000.

The pageant is sponsored by the coastal southeastern Cross River State in Nigeria and is part of the local government's month-long Calabar festival.

Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade said this year’s theme –Climate Change and Migration– was aimed at raising awareness on the need to protect the environment and caution the youth against illegal migration.

Thousands of African youth lose their lives every year making the journey to Europe.

“Our theme for this year should caution our youths about the tedious journey through the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert to Europe in search of greener pasture,” he said.

“How can a continent like Africa that is blessed with abundant natural and human resources be poor?

“We are not gathered here to pick the most beautiful woman, but rather, we want to pick the true African woman who can use her beauty to change Africa.

“The Miss Africa pageant is meant to tell the true story of Africa to the world,” Governor Ayade said.

Ms Balopi will serve as the Miss Africa Climate Change and Migration Ambassador.

In 2016, Angolan Neurite Mendes was crowned the first Miss Africa Climate Change Ambassador in Calabar. The theme was ‘Green Economy, a tool for Sustainable Development’.