IT was a glamorous event shrouded in an aura of excitement as hundreds gathered for the Tourism University (UTB 2016) beauty pageant at Lemigo Hotel in Kigali, last weekend.
At the end of the contest, Albine Nishimwe Uwiragiye and Patrick Ruti were crowned Miss and Mister UTB 2016, respectively.
Uwiragiye, 21, and Ruti, 22, beat eighteen other contestants at Saturday night’s beauty pageant, which was returning for the third time since it was last held in 2012. After several sessions that included modelling and a question and answer segment, the judges zeroed on the two.
Shortly after being crowned, Uwiragiye said: “To me beauty isn’t always about one’s appearance, where you come from or your economic status. Beauty is about being able to earn respect from people regardless of what you look like.”
The 1st year student in the faculty of Tour Travel Management shed tears of joy when her name was announced as the winner.
The newly crowned beauty queen promised to use her title to raise awareness on the issues affecting society.
“As Miss UTB, I will be a good ambassador for my university and my country. I will focus on encouraging the youth to engage in local tourism. I will also organise events that will reward the youth who will participate in my campaign to promote the domestic tourism,” Uwiragiye said.
Uwiragiye added she was inspired to take part in the beauty contest by her family and friends, who supported her up to the final day. She also attributes her victory to confidence and determination among other factors.
On his part Mister UTB, Ruti, vowed to promote the University and tourism in the country and in the region.
“I’ll promote cultural tourism among young Rwandans and market the country’s profile as a tourist destination,” said the 1st year student doing Hotel and Restaurant Management.
The event featured performances by music group Active, singing duo Charly & Nina and rapper Paccy.
Kabera Callixte, the vice chancellor of the University of Tourism Technology and Business studies, explained that this event is important because it helps students to showcase their talents and capabilities.
Miss and Mister UTB 2016 were each awarded a cheque of Rwf350,000, tuition fees for the whole year and goodies from Sulfo, Airtel and Konka.
Other winners in their respective categories are as follows below:
Kazeneza Marie Merci, 1st runner-up
Buranga Cynthia, 2nd runner-up
Kazeneza Marie Merci, Miss Photogenic
Tidjalat Uwamahoro, Miss Popularity
Rugamba Charmant, 1st runner-up
Pacifique Cubahiro, 2nd runner-up
Gilbert Maboneza, Mister Photogenic
Enock Nkurunziza, Mister Popularity