Some of the events that occurred this year were simply too loud to be ignored, and The New Times was almost at each and every one of them, ready to break the news to its readers.
This year is not yet over and has the possibility of pulling one event that may be the loudest of them all, but we shall have space for it too.
For now, sit back, relax as countdown the top four surprising and fan events that the year 2013 should fight hard to beat if it is to be a better year than this one.
Miss Rwanda pageant returns reloaded
After disappearing from the entertainment industry for almost three years, the Miss Rwanda pageantry raised its beautiful peacock feathers and started afresh once again in 2012.
The organisers promised that this time the event has come to stay and hitches such as financial dwarfism would not affect them. Oh, and that the girls who take part in the pageant would be given world-class treatment unlike the previous contestants.
This comeback not only surprised Rwandans who had almost given up hope, but also the crown holder, Cynthia Akazuba, who seemingly thought her tenure had come to an end and decided to start a family.
She was denied the right to crown the new Miss Rwanda by the organisers, albeit with their tongue in cheek, because they knew they were to blame for keeping the event for a way too long, well knowing these young and beautiful girls have lives to live other than to keep the crown.
Either way, the comeback went well, and Aurora Mutesi was crowned the new Miss Rwanda, paving way to a new and feisty event that Rwandans all over the country love to follow.
Papyrus is saved by Twitter
There is no event that was more talked about on Twitter in Rwanda, on one specific day, than the “closure” cloud that surrounded Papyrus Restaurant and bar.
Papyrus seemed all but closed until the news leaked to the press. One story that run in the New Times citing that City of Kigali authorities had issued a warning to the restaurant for lack of parking space and noise pollution affecting local residents.
This angered Rwandans who took to social media to voice their disagreement with city authorities. That day Rwanda trended on Twitter as one of the talked-about places. Although the situation with Papyrus was indeed murky without clear information, it later emerged that the city authorities only wanted the owner to use the building as a restaurant and not a night disco.
To save himself, the owner emphasised that he did not have a night club there, although the basement indeed looks like one.
The New Times visited the place recently and it seems like both the authorities and the proprietor buried the hatchet. The place which was argued not to be a disco at one time now has a post indicating that it is “Papyrus Night Club.”
No Africa Cup for Rwanda
Sports enthusiasts have to wait a little longer before Rwanda does the magic it did in 2004 when it qualified and played surprisingly well in the Africa Cup of Nations. For the first time, Africa Cup will be played in two consecutive years, this year (January) and next year- and Rwanda will feature in neither.
The Cup is being pushed from even to odd years, meaning that it has to be played next year as well. Rwanda has failed to capitalize on its exploits in 2004 and now has a mediocre team that can be beaten by almost every side in the world.
Rwanda didn’t feature this year when Zambia lifted the trophy in the tournament that was hosted in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon… as if that is not bad enough, the land of a thousand hills will be reduced to spectators again in South Africa next year.
Sad as that may seem, Rwandans have always hoped and continue to attend international qualifies and friendly games in large numbers.
Airtel joins the fray
Rwandatel could not cope with the pressure from MTN and Tigo and left the market instantly. In its place came another telecom company, a more aggressive advertiser and competitor.
Launched in March, Airtel gave a new colour option to Rwandans, from only yellow (MTN) and blue (TIGO).
The fun in this is that although it is something we will never know, the fact is that communication prices would have been higher than they are now if Airtel hadn’t come into Rwanda.
Them joining the industry means that the already two established telecom industries have to compete favorably only by making sure that their services are the most affordable and more reliable.
This is absolutely worth noting in this countdown for those Rwandans who refer to call cheaply.