MASERU – Beauty queen Liteboho Lillian Makoetje sees herself becoming one of Victoria’s Secret models in a few years to come. Liteboho, 23, hails from Tšenola, Majoe-a-litšoene. She went to school at Itekeng Primary School, before proceeding to Maseru Day High School and is currently a student at the Lesotho College of Education (LCE) where she is studying religion and English in secondary education.
She is in her third and final year. “I am a beauty queen by profession, I started my journey back in 2014 where I competed high school education at Maseru Day High School at the age of 15. Growing up in Tšenola made my life miserable at school as I was regarded to be a hustler from the ghetto and not ‘lady material’.
“I always admired ladies in heels as they made me understand better the ethics of a woman and what it feels or looks like to be a respected lady walking with confidence,” Liteboho told Life&Style in an interview. “I got inspired and highly motivated and I wanted to change the mindset of my community in Tšenola which only believes that high heels are for rich women or young girls who run after money.
“I felt I had a bigger role to play in making the young generation understand that heels are for all women regardless of their background and indeed they make you stand tall and different in a beautiful unique way,” she adds. “I then took a huge step to wear my heels and claim the crown of Miss Maseru Day High School in 2014 where, unfortunately, I was not placed in any position at all which impacted negatively on me as my confidence took a dent. “I thought I was not good enough for the crown and wanted to quit. I never set my foot on the stage, at the same time I reminded myself why I started and thought to myself that every journey to success needs construction and construction is never easy, it demands patience, passion, hard work and confidence.
“I decided to keep trying until I get where I wanted to be. I joined a lot of pageants, about 30, in my eight years in this industry,” she recalls. Liteboho was crowned Miss Back to School 2015, Miss Maseru Day High School 2016, Miss High Schools Maseru 2016, Miss Lesotho 2015 Runner-up, Miss Face of Lesotho 2015 Runner-up, Miss World Diversity 2018 2nd Princess, Miss Queen of Globe International 2018 2nd Princess, Miss World Diversity Lesotho 2019, Miss Lesotho College of Education 2019, Miss Tertiary Institutions Lesotho 1st Princess and Miss Tourism South Africa 2021 2nd Princess.
Apart from pageants she has also modelled for major brands and is currently the brand ambassador at Naizos Boutique, face model at leading make-up studio in the country, @LinkMakeup in collaboration with Frost Imagery Studio.
She has similarly walked in various other fashion shows that include the Limkokwing University Fashion Show, the Maseru Fashion Show, Moshoeshoe’s Day Fashion Show and had the opportunity to be the VIP guest at the Lesotho Fashion Week. Liteboho is not only a beauty queen but also an MC. She has hosted Harambee Global Concerts at Setsoto Stadium, hosted the Maseru Colour Festival in 2017 and the Maseru Summer Fest in 2018, among many others.
“I come across lot of challenges in the industry and finding sponsors has been my biggest challenge when attending international pageants and fashion shows. “To build my brand on my own without connections and without a manager is really hectic but worth it at the same time. Sending proposals to model for certain brands in the Mountain Kingdom is so challenging since the modelling industry is not recognised, so they just do not understand what we mean, but I keep pushing and I believe in future it will be easy sailing,” she says.
Her biggest achievement in pageantry was when she recently competed in South Africa where she was the only black girl among 30 other white beauties. She says it was a tough competition and still does not understand how she made it to the Top 3. “I am praying to Almighty God to bless me with great opportunities for the future, because I believe in Him I can only get to where I wish to be, which is the Miss Grand International Stage in 2023 representing Lesotho and to live the life of brand ambassadorship on the next level of billboards,” she says.