Ms. Geek and Miss Rwanda are two different contests

Editor,

RE: “By saying nothing, Ms. Geek says everything about Miss Rwanda” (The New Times, May 9).

The two are completely incomparable: one is about the pleasing lines of the external packaging and the vanity (mirror, mirror on the wall, I’m the fairest damsel of them all!) that must go with it in order to even consider participating in such ‘competitions’; the other is about the underlying brainpower that thinks about your society’s technical problems/challenges and devises technological solutions to overcome them.

One is about the ephemeral characteristics of a young body that is pleasing to many eyes (beauty, as the Bard said, is in the eyes of the beholder!), the other is about the practical application of knowledge to problem-solving.

It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to know which, between these two competitions, is likely to bring enduring benefits and which is pure fluff.

Of course I have nothing against beauty contests (as oxymoron as it seems to call such vanity shows contests or competitions). They can be a source of easy mirth and light entertainment. What I can’t understand is the excitement they seem to generate among ordinarily intelligent people, or the reason government institutions should be involved with them. They should be left entirely to their private sponsors.

Mwene Kalinda