Miss Universe 1999 Mpule

She was the first African woman to win an international beauty pageant title. Since being crowned Miss Universe 1999, Mpule has been recognized and honored as a human health rights activist, especially for her fight against HIV/AIDS and advocacy for youth and women to have greater access to sexual reproductive education and services.

Miss Universe
Mpule Kwelagobe participated in the Miss World pageant (in 1997) but did not place. She was the first Miss Universe Botswana and the first Miss Botswana to participate in the Miss Universe pageant. Following her reign as Miss Universe, Mpule became a spokesmodel for Clairol. The two page ads first appeared in magazines in the US while Mpule was still Miss Universe.

Goodwill ambassador
In 2000, she was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations, focusing on youth and HIV/AIDS. Among others, she has addressed the United States Congress (the United States House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services. Mpule testified on the socioeconomic impact of AIDS in Africa and proposed a bill to set up a World Bank AIDS prevention trust fund). Mpule Kwelagobe is now married to a New York based businessman, who previously had a child.

Other activism
In 2015 she signed an open letter which the ONE Campaign had been collecting signatures for; the letter was addressed to Angela Merkel and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, urging them to focus on women as they serve as the head of the G7 in Germany and the AU in South Africa respectively, which will start to set the priorities in development funding before a main UN summit in September 2015 that will establish new development goals for the generation.

Other awards
Mpule Kwelagobe was honored with the Jonathan Mann Health Human Rights Award by the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC). She was honored alongside the principal administrator of the European Commission HIV programme, Lieve Fransen, and former American president William Clinton. In 2003, she was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum, joining nearly 500 individuals from business, politics, public interest groups, the media, and the arts and the sciences, including Bill Gates, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Dell and Bono, who have been selected since the programmes inception in 1993. In 2006, she was again selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader (YGL). The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a newly formed, unique, multi-stakeholder community of the worlds most extraordinary leaders who are 40 years old or younger and who are ready to dedicate their time and energy to jointly work towards a better future. Mpule now holds a degree in political science (international political economy) from Columbia University in the City of New York.