Miss Rwanda 2018 kicked off Saturday afternoon with auditions in Musanze District, Northern Province amid a slight drizzle.
Six lucky contestants were picked to represent Northern Province out of a total 19 applicants, who were then stripped down to ten. The following day, auditions headed to Rubavu District in Western Province.
A total of 30 contestants (six from each province) will vie for the coveted Miss Rwanda 2018 crown at the grand finale that is slated for February 24 at the Kigali Convention Centre’s main auditorium.
Auditions head to Southern Province, in Huye District, on Saturday January 20, and the following day in Kayonza District in Eastern Province.
This year’s pageant comes with a number of changes, including among the judges, with Mike Karangwa and Carine Rusaro not returning as judges.
On the judges table this year is journalist and Kiss FM presenter Sandrine Isheja, Gilbert Rwabigwi, who was part of last year’s panel and Dr Jean Pierre Higiro, a lecturer at the University of Rwanda.
Both Isheja and Higiro are known in the beauty pageant history in Rwanda and their inclusion among the judges this year brings in more experience and maturity.
From Northern Province, those who made it to the national level are Shamim Usanase, Paula Umutoniwase, Belly Stecy Ishimwe, Natacha Irebe, Linda Umuhoza, and Divine Ingabire.
In the west, 11 girls registered for the auditions and seven had met the requirements in terms of height and size.
In the end, six were chosen to represent Western province and they are Alliance Uwimbabazi, Belyse Gacukuzi, Nina Neema, Liliane Iradukunda, Chanelle Isimbi and Fiona Uwase.
According to organisers, this year’s edition is already seeing a record number of girls auditioning. The theme this year is “Beauty, Brain & Culture”.