South African beauty queen Reabetswe "Rambi" Sechoaro hopes to write her name in the history books as one of the few African contestants to compete in the Miss International beauty pageant in Japan today.
Sechoaro could possibly become the first African beauty to win the title.
She was crowned Miss International South Africa 2018 earlier in the year, giving her the opportunity to fly the South African flag high at the third-oldest international pageant.
The prestigious Miss International pageant will be held at the Tokyo Dome City Hall where the reigning queen, Kevin Lilliana of Indonesia, will crown her successor. This year, 77 countries will compete in the pageant, making it the biggest turnout in Miss International history.
Sechoara, a 25-year-old BCom accounting sciences student, jetted off to Japan two weeks ago.
She took some time off her busy schedule to speak to IOL about her journey thus far.
From Miss SA 2016 Top 12 to Miss International SA 2018, how has the journey been for you?
This has been a great journey and great learning experience for me, albeit, many challenges as I had to juggle between my reign as well as my studies.
Going through the list of previous Miss International pageant winners, there hasn’t been a winner from Africa, why do you think no African beauty queens have ever won the title since 1960?
The Miss International pageant is fairly new to us Africans. South Africa only started participating in 2016, I am the third participant. There are very few African countries participating compared to Asia; Europe and America, which means that there hasn’t been a large pool of beautiful girls to choose from in this pageant
What lessons have you learnt in Japan?
The Japanese are proud of their culture and willing to showcase it to visitors. They are hospitable and very welcoming. It's instilled in me the importance of embracing and valuing all cultural aspects of one's country.
What would winning this pageant mean to you?
It would mean absolutely the world to me as it would make history for South Africa and Africa.
Sechoaro was crowned Miss Supermodel International at the age of 18, in Thailand six years ago.
We are all rooting for you Rambi!