Grace Bahati, 18, a senior six student from Lycee de Kigali, was crowned Miss South, after beating off stiff competition from nine beauties, in the ongoing Rwandetel sponsored Provincial search for candidates for Miss Rwanda.
Bahati exuded confidence, eloquence and elegance. She was unflinching as she responded to questions from a panel of judges, Jolie Murenzi, Jeanne de Chantal Eminente and Daddy de Maximo Mitali.
The 1st runner-up was Carine Rusaro Utamuliza, the 2007 Miss National University of Rwanda. For Rusaro, it was a foray into familiar waters having participated in different beauty pageants at an international level.
Rusaro, was crowned Miss Africa International during the Miss Tourism beauty pageant held in China in 2008.
She was elected Miss Popular at the Miss tourism of the Millennium held in Ethiopia and first runner up of the Miss FESPAM contest held in Congo Brazzaville.
The contest held at the National University of Rwanda’s main auditorium attracted 10 contestants. Four were selected to represent the Province at the finals to be held in Kigali in December.
Others are; 18-year-old Lilliane Umuhoza, and Cynthia Rupali, 23, the reigning first runner up to Miss Grand Lacs. The four will join other beauties from other Provinces and the City of Kigali to tussle it for the Miss Rwanda crown come December.
From Nyamagabe with confidence
The few people who turned up for the pageant were resigned, watching one of the poorly publicised public functions in the recent past until a tailor, a business woman and a student from Nyamagabe ‘matched’ on stage.
For Edith Byumvuhore, it was like any other day at her tailor shop, her conservative dress code, and the catwalk sent the audience into rib cracking laughter, the judges were not spared either.
Francine Mukamurigo, a businesswoman couldn’t be deterred by the thunderous laughter her ‘march’ on stage led to. Hers was not a catwalk but can be described as a ‘hurried walk’ for loss of words.
They were however, cheered on by the enthusiastic sizable crowd for their courage and self confidence.
‘Q and A’ session and the issue of language
This exposed most of the contenders for the Miss Rwanda crown; it was a case of beauty without brains.
Rachael Mukandutiye could not name the Minister of Culture and Sports, while another contestant couldn’t define the term Genocide.
All of the contestants save for Bahati and Rusaro faired poorly in this session. There was a glaring lack of general knowledge, confidence and eloquence.
There was another disturbing observation during the contest; the failure by most contestants to express themselves in either English or French.
Two contestants, could not speak let alone understand any of the two languages despite their level of education.
The audience was also treated to rousing performances by local artists; Meddy and Tom Close.