BIOGRAPHY OF MPULE KWELAGOBE MISS BOTSWANA 1997
I was born 17 years ago at the Princess Marina Hospital in
Gaborone, on a rainy day,  hence the significance of my name
"Mpule" which means,  "one who comes with the rain".  I was born
to Justice, a politician and Dibelang, an accountant, being
their third and last child in a family of two girls and one boy.
 Although neither one of my parents was born or raised in
Gaborone, my siblings and I were to know it as our only home.
My parents divorced when I was barely three, and we were raised
by a single parent - our mother.  She later become my
inspiration and source of strength as I grew up.
I started my education at Thornhill Primary School where I spent
8 years, I excelled at sport , particularly athletics and
netball.  During my last year there I played for the school
netball A-team, captained the athletics team that won the
inter-schools competitions.  I was awarded the senior victrix
lodurom shield for best sportswoman of that year.  While at the
same school I played the recorder in a number of performances
having played it for four years.  I finished off by sitting for
the Primary school leaving examinations (PSLE) and obtained a
first class pass.  I went on to Maru-A-Pula Private Secondary
School where sport remained one of my strongest fields.  I
stayed there for three years in which I played for the school
netball team and was a member of the athletics team as well.  I
also learned to play the marimba - an African instrument which I
played in a number of performances in and outside the school.
Our Marimba band  was called on to perform at different
functions in Gaborone.
I am currently at Lobatse Senior Secondary School,  waiting to
sit for my Cambridge Overseas School certificate examinations. I
am pleased to say I am still playing the recorder and take an
active part in arranging pieces of music for the marimba band.
I enjoy swimming and playing tennis for recreation.
My Achivements
I won my first beauty pageant in 1995 which was organised and hosted by
the Leo Club of Gaborone West, which falls under the Lions Club
International.
I am a member of the Peer Approach to Counselling by Teenagers
team (PACT) in Lobatse.  This opened  up my eyes to the needs of
people around me and as Miss Teen, I automatically became a
member of the Leo club.  When I moved to Lobatse I became a
member of the Lobatse Leo Club where I am currently their
treasurer.  Although newly established, the Leo club of Lobatse
has some on-going major projects, one being at Rankoromane
Camphill  which is a school and home for the disabled children
since the early 70's.   We have successfully managed to finish
off that project which was to build a playground and garden for
the children.  The Camphill communities were started by an
Austrian Paediatrician ,Dr  Karl Koenig, in 1940 in Scotland.
They are now in 17 different countries around the world helping
children and in some cases adults, with disabilities or the
disabled.
My Hopes..
I still remember with such clarity the day I won our national
Pageant.  To me it was not just the winning, it was taking a big
step towards my success and determining my future.  For the
first time since taking office 17 years ago, His Excellency the
President of the Republic of Botswana and Lady Masire were there
putting a stamp of approval and thus acknowledging that Miss
Botswana was more than just a beauty queen.
To me there is no set age at which one must succeed, and I
realised that I have come a long way in such a short time.
During one of my first official functions, which was a dinner
hosted by the Lions club of Gaborone,  in honour of James Erwin,
second vice president of the Lions Club International, who was
visiting with his wife Lady Lion Betty,  I felt honoured to be
part of a group of such people who were trying to make an effort
to improve peoples lives. I felt at that moment that I had
started my official duties in the right direction.
I know that my place is amongst people less fortunate than
myself.  I will continue to help them long after my reign as
Miss Botswana, as a Leo club member and eventually  as a Lion
Member.
I hope to be a paediatric neuro-surgeon, and any family I will
have will be built on a successful career.  To many in my
country , I am a role model, especially to the youth,  and I
hope I am and always will be a motivation in their lives.  I
hope I give the same determination to succeed in life to the
youth as my role model gave me.
Engagements as Miss Botswana 1997
My second official engagement was to meet the South African K TV
presenters on their arrival followed by an interview for M- net
Africa.  The same day I  flew to Francistown, which is 437 km
from Gaborone to receive the President and Lady Masire who were
attending the celebrations of that towns' centenary
celebrations.  On that same occasion, the President declared
Francistown a city.
The Botswana International Trade Fair was official opened by
President Chissano of Mozambique.  President Mandela then,
unannounced, dropped in to the delight of those present.  I was
at the Show to endorse my support and involvement with the AIDS
project done by the Botswana Council of Women (BCW) who had a
stall.  Unfortunately, statistics show that Botswana has the
highest AIDS victims per capita, and it is for this reason I am
involved in helping to fund raise for better conditions for
those inflicted with this terrible illness.  This was
highlighted during a memorial service held for Princess Diana in
Gaborone recently.
It was a pleasure meeting the Debswana office staff at their
headquarters in Gaborone for tea and to hold discussions with
their Public Relations Officer, Communications officer and of
course the staff.  I have a visit scheduled for Orapa Diamond
Mine, which is the third largest kimberlite producing mine in
the world producing the most valuable diamonds per carat in the
world.
Sports will remain one of my strongest talents and hobby.  I
will continue with it as a means of keeping fit as I believe a
healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
Modelling on the other hand,has moulded me into the lady I am.
But mostly I hope to be the epitome of toady's woman:
successful, independent, confident and fighting to make those
less fortunate than us live better lives.  As Mother Teresa once
said - "Spread love everywhere you go, first of all in the home.  Give
love to your children,   your husband and neighbour - give love
to a stranger.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving
better and happier."
That is what I am hoping to do.  What ever happens from here,  I
know my life will never be the same again.