Mpule Kwelagobe was crowned Miss Universe in May 1999.
Kwelagobe began her career in modeling and pageantry as a teenager. In 1997, she entered Miss Botswana in 1997 while still a high school student. She ultimately won the title, becoming the youngest woman to ever win Miss Botswana at only 17. As Miss Botswana, Kwelagobe represented the southern African side at Miss World 1997 in Mahé, Seychelles, where she was unplaced.
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Kwelagobe returned to pageantry two years later, being crowned Miss Universe Botswana 1999, becoming the inaugural holder of the title. She became the first black African to win any of the Big Four international beauty pageants, and the first woman from Botswana to win a major international title.