Newly crowned Miss Botswana has come under fire for her tattoos

Thata Kenosi was crowned last Friday at the Gaborone International Convention Centre, and before the confetti had settled feathers started flying when it was discovered that she had tattoos. Kenosi has a tattoo of a cross on her neck and another around her rib area.


Enthusiasts complained that her body art automatically put her at risk of disqualification at the final stage of the Miss World competition where she is to represent Botswana in November in the US. Images of the tattoos have exploded on social media leading to some calling for her to be stripped of the crown, something which Kenosi dismissed with a smile in an interview.

Speaking to Sowetan, Kenosi wouldn’t be dragged into the matter, simply saying: “I cannot confirm nor deny that I have tattoos.

Thata Kenosi“I want people not to focus on the negative. Let’s work together so that everyone rallies behind me and maybe we can win the Miss World title,” she said.

The 21-year-old from Moshupa, a village in the southern district of Botswana near the border with North West, has also been touted as the golden jubilee queen since her crowning coincided with the country celebrating 50 years of independence from Britain.

It has been a rough start to her reign as Kenosi was accused of being the judges’ favourite and her mother’s visits during a boot camp. In a statement, the Botswana Council for Women (BCW) – the licensees of the Miss Botswana pageant – sprang to her defence, saying that the requirements for winning were that the candidate should be a Motswana by birth and must be of appropriate height and weight.

Although they stated that candidates should also not have any visible body art, BCW spokesperson, Tshepo Maphanyane, failed to adequately explain this requirement. Kenosi is a second-year Political Science and Public Administration student at the University of Botswana.

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