The final round of auditions of Miss Rwanda 2017 took place in Kigali this weekend with the city making its pick of beauties to represent it in the national pageant.
Nervous and anxious contestants arrived at the Hilltop Hotel on Saturday afternoon, with hope that they will convince the judges that they have what it takes to be the next Miss Rwanda and take the crown from Jolly Mutesi, the current Miss Rwanda.
The City of Kigali became the destination of the final round of auditions following the completion of the provincial search which saw 21 girls secure their passes to represent their respective provinces.
Western, Northern, Southern and Eastern provinces have already made their picks in that order. City of Kigali auditions were expected to be as competitive as always.
The auditions attracted some of last year’s contestants including AbiGaelle Gisubizo, who this time round said that she has come up with a startup to make biscuits from soya beans. She said she also wants to use Miss Rwanda platform to encourage girls to come out of their comfort zones.
Fiona Ashimwe also returned to give it another shot and told the jury that she considered contesting again because she made improvements in her project that seeks to empower girls and women.
A total of 16 girls qualified to contest but only five girls were selected. Those who were picked include Fiona Ashimwe (22) who contested last year, Yvonne Umutoni (20), Judith Iradukunda (21), Carine Mukabagabo (20), and Ashley Umutoni (19).
The five who were given passes convinced the judges that they deserved to win and presented good ideas which will be of value to City of Kigali.
The judges in Kigali were Mike Karangwa and Gilbert Rwabigwi. They were joined by musician Mariya Yohana, as an elder and opinion leader.
The trio took on the task to choose the number of contestants that would make a list of 26 contestants who will compete at the pre-selection event, to pick the finalists.
They chose the representatives considering, among other criteria, beauty, brains, expression, and content.
Having previously given the Miss Rwanda crown a shot but fell short, Ashimwe, who this time got a pass and wants to give her best said that she picked lessons from her previous attempt and hopes to do better.
“Last year, I wasn’t fully ready to compete but I decided to come back. I have worked on my confidence and plans. Getting far in this competition would be a great achievement and would mean a lot to me and my life goals,”
“I want to use this opportunity to empower girls using reading and writing as a platform,” said Ashimwe.
Ashimwe is the only one from last year who was given a chance to continue to the next level although there were two who competed last year that came back to try their luck.
The three week-long search of Miss Rwanda representatives will be followed by the Pre-selection event which will take place this weekend at the Petit Stade in Remera, where 15 girls will be selected to go to the boot-camp.
The two week-long boot camp will take place at Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata. All the 26 girls from different locations across the country gathered at the Kigali auditions and were given numbers, which they will be using throughout the campaigns, which starts on Monday.