Mpule Kwelagobe captured the title for Botswana in 1999, becoming the first representative of an African country of African descent to win the crown. She was the first representative of Botswana in the pageant’s history. Today she is a UN Goodwill Ambassador and a self-described sustainability and eco-lifestyle expert.
The 1999 pageant was the first time two black women won two years in a row (in 1998, Trinidad & Tobago took the crown). It was also a landmark year for Africa, which had three of the top 10 semifinalists (the other two were Ghana and South Africa).