Let the private sector handle it
I loved reading Angel Uwamahoro’s article in Thursday’s New Times paper because it somewhat helped me appreciate the role Miss Rwanda plays to empower young women. In short she said that although only one of the beautiful girls is eventually crowned, the others are equipped with a lot of self-help virtues, as well as the never-say-never patriotic attitudes that stay with them for the rest of their lives.
However, the fact is, you must first of all be beautiful to compete. We are not talking about beauty-on-the-inside but rather real physical beauty. If you are not rendered beautiful by the recruiting judges, you surely won’t make it to the finals regardless of your brain prowess or Mother Theresa tendencies.
This means one thing. Only beautiful girls will forever benefit from all those girl-empowerment drills that the Miss Rwanda contest offers. From that, someone can rightfully argue that the contest is in fact unjust and unfair to the entire female population.
Therefore, let’s not get swallowed into the misleading notion that Miss Rwanda is more about girl empowerment than glamour or physical beauty.
It will always be labeled as entertainment and not educative and let’s not get it wrong; appreciating beauty is not a sin nor is it unjustified. All human beings appreciate physical beauty and will pay a lot to catch a glimpse of it.
That is why I frown at people who think that money invested in beauty pageants is a waste. They surely don’t know what they are talking about. The beauty industry has the power to change the economy even more than sugar or fuel prices would.
Therefore, as an entertainment industry, I obviously see no room for the government in Miss Rwanda. The government should be more concerned with improving people’s welfare than mingling with affairs that the private investor is well equipped to handle.
If, for example, the contest has been stalling due to lack of funds, the government should have kept away until someone, probably an investor or a group of investors, became willing to commit their money to keep it alive.
There is no reason why the government should be bailing out such initiatives that are supposed to be private sector led.
If the Rwandan private sector is still sleeping in this day and age, we should not expect to shift the load to the government.
There are big companies in Rwanda that make millions of dollars every year- but unfortunately are stuck in the mediocre ages and are scared to invest or to sponsor entertainment events like sports or beauty pageants.
This is where I get so jealous of our neighboring countries; unlike yours faithfully, the private sectors of Kenya and Uganda will sponsor anything because they know the power of commercial advertising.
Unfortunately for us, its all about waiting to be spoon-fed by the government! Our artistes are poor simply because the private sector is too sluggish to partner with them; our footballers are broke unless they are given money by the government- shame!
Now imagine a government-fed Miss Rwanda contest- where on earth is the Rwandan private sector?