After a flawless launch in Musanze District (Northern Province) on Saturday afternoon, the Miss Rwanda auditions proceeded to Rubavu, in the Western Province.
In Musanze, the auditions kicked off at approximately 2:30pm, and even the stubborn drizzle that followed did not dampen the mood. In less than three hours, six girls had been picked to represent the Northern Province at the national level. In all, 19 girls applied for the Musanze auditions, out of which ten were picked to face the judges. It is from these that the six finalists were eventually chosen.
After Musanze, members of the press and the Miss Rwanda team drove on to Rubavu in the Western Province, ahead of auditions the next day.
The group had dinner and spent the night at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Hotel. In the morning after breakfast, we headed straight to the audition venue, the Hill View Hotel by the shores of Lake Kivu.
At both auditions, it was obvious that most applicants were students. Some of them came along with their family members, who sat sipping sodas and hoping for the best for their own.
Successful applicants were then put to an aptitude and general knowledge test by the three-member judges panel of Kiss FM presenter Sandrine Isheja, Social entrepreneur Gilbert Rwabigwi, and Dr John Pierre Higiro, who lectures at the University of Rwanda.
The judges were versatile in their questions, encouraging contestants to feel free to express themselves in Kinyarwanda, English, French, or Swahili. In the end, however, English ruled, followed by Kinyarwanda.
Questions ranged from; “do you have a boyfriend?” “do you love travel?” “what would you want to do if you become Miss Rwanda?”, to “what do you love about Rwandan culture” and “what do you know about the Made-In-Rwanda campaign?”
The auditions were graced by reigning Miss Rwanda Elsa Iradukunda, who has until February 24 on the throne, before a new Miss Rwanda is announced.
In Rubavu, a total of ten girls applied for auditions, although only eight showed up. Of these, one was disqualified for not meeting the minimum height requirement of 1”70 m.
In the end, it was Fiona Uwase, Chanelle Isimbi, Belyse Gacukuzi, Alliance Uwimbabazi, Nina Neema, and Liliane Iradukunda that made the cut from Rubavu.
This weekend, auditions head to Huye District in Southern Province (Saturday), and Kayonza district in the Eastern Province the following day.
The search for Miss Rwanda 2018 will culminate in a grand finale at the Kigali Convention Center on February 24.