I don’t think so
I recently had an off-the-record chat with some of the organisers of Miss Rwanda and was somewhat convinced by their staunch and unrepentant stance on the topic in question.
To them Miss Rwanda is not just a fun activity but a profession they want to scale according to international standards and rules.
By that they mean that for as long as an individual desires to be a contestant, they must adhere to every regulation therein.
They argue that the winner of Miss Rwanda is obliged to live their normal lives according to these regulations while she still holds the crown; and that one of the most important roles Miss Rwanda plays is to be a beacon of moral mentorship to the young women in society.
Yes. This convinced me to understand why Miss Rwanda, Grace Bahati, was stripped of her crown-it is a sad story that cannot rival the joy she got when she gave birth to her baby son.
I believe that Miss Bahati is a victim, first of all, to poor organisation of the event, because, she has held the crown for almost three years instead of one.
If the contest hadn’t disappeared for all this time, she sure would have crowned someone else and been in the clear to do what she wants as an adult.
But unfortunately for her, it wasn’t the case. She was held captive by the beautiful crown, and for those years without the contest, I’m quite sure that she could have thought it was a little meaningless to be considered Miss Rwanda.
And yet, rules remain rules. Yes the organisers messed up somewhat, but the event has to stick to its values if it is to have the impact it wants to have in our society or if it should be considered internationally.
Miss Rwanda is not just a celebrity profile; the bearer of the title is meant to be some sort of moral example to society, especially to the young people.
The things she does, where she goes and what she speaks, is supposed to be a reflection of good virtues and morals that young people can pick from.
Therefore, for the organisers, it was just a matter of swallowing a needle and following rules rather than acknowledging Akazuba and thus opening a Pandora’s Box for the future contestants.
As a matter of fact, Miss Bahati retained her crown; it could have been worse, most probably stripped away if she belonged to some harsher nations.
But the organisers played it calm and only denied her one right, and thank God the whole issue wasn’t blown out of proportion.
All over the world, beauty queens have had their crowns stripped away for the slightest of mistakes.
Some have lost it unfairly, like in the case of Fijian, Torika Watters, who lost her crown simply because she did not look “native” enough, whereas others have lost it deservedly, like Carlina Duran from Dominican Republic, who lost it after news came out that she had been married while contesting.
Therefore, by not inviting Bahati to crown the next Miss Rwanda, it sends out a strong message to future contestants; that nothing is more important than adhering to the rules of the contest.