Miss Rwanda 2018 beauty pageant enters crucial stage


Seven girls were picked to represent the City of Kigali at the Miss Rwanda 2018 pageant.(Photos by Nadege Imbabazi)

Who will be Miss Rwanda 2018? That question will be settled in less than a month from now, at the Miss Rwanda 2018 grand finale slated for February 24, at the Kigali Convention Centre.

A contestant gets a yes from Judge Sandrine Isheja Butera.

The finale will come after a month and a half of auditions that saw the Miss Rwanda organizers and judges traverse all the provinces of the country, before final auditions in Kigali – at the Hilltop Hotel in Remera – on Saturday evening.

The auditions kicked off from Northern Province on Saturday January 13, at the La Palme Hotel in Musanze town. A total of 19 girls turned up for the auditions, out of which ten were selected to face the judges.

The following day, auditions headed to Western Province. Here, auditions were staged at the Hill View Hotel on the shores of Lake Kivu in Rubavu District. In Rubavu, eleven girls registered for auditions, out of which seven were selected after meeting the requirements in terms of height and size.

A girl registers for Miss Rwanda 2018 beauty pageant at Hill Top Hotel, on Saturday.

Next, the auditions wet to Southern Province, which saw the biggest turnout of not only Miss Rwanda 2018 hopefuls, but also the public. The venue was the Hotel Credo in Huye District. From the onset, the Huye auditions were beset by sound glitches caused by intermittent power outages, but still the auditions here towered over all the others.

A total of 30 girls turned up for the auditions, double the number for places like Kigali, which only managed a paltry fifteen applicants. Out of the thirty, ten girls were selected.

Regional auditions wound up in Eastern Province on Sunday January 21, where six girls were selected out of the fifteen that auditioned. The Silent Hill Hotel in Kayonza District hosted the auditions.

All smiles in Rubavu after six were selected to represent Western Province.

The auditions yielded a total of 35 contestants, of which 20 will be selected on Saturday for the Miss Rwanda 2018 boot camp at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Nyamata. It is these 20 that will then tussle it out for the coveted crown when the exercise climaxes into a grand finale on February 24.

The pre-selection exercise takes place on Saturday February 3 at the Gikondo Expo Grounds in Kigali.

At the boot camp, organisers will be keen to furnish the girls with international beauty pageant etiquette and trends, with the main focus on the Miss World beauty pageant.

Contestants from Kigali during the auditions at Hill Top Hotel on January 27.

In 2016, history was made at the Miss World beauty contest in the US when, for the first time since the pageant’s inception in 1951, Rwanda was represented by Miss Rwanda 2016 Jolly Mutesi.

In 2017, Rwanda again took part in Miss World pageant, this time represented by reigning Miss Rwanda Elsa Iradukunda, who has been a part of the just-concluded audition process.

“There are some stages that we don’t have in Miss Rwanda which are part of Miss World contest, like the head-to-head challenge, talent shows, sports challenge and multimedia challenge,” explained Dieudonne Ishimwe, the CEO of Rwanda Inspiration Backup, the organisers of Miss Rwanda.

The winner of Miss Rwanda 2018 pageant will walk away with a brand new Suzuki Swift and a monthly salary of Rwf800, 000 for a whole year, courtesy of lead sponsors Cogebanque.

Six advanced from Northern Province.
Six girls who will represent Eastern Province. File photos.
Reigning Miss Rwanda Elsa Iradukunda witnesses the auditions.
Only 15 girls from Kigali applied for auditions and had their measurements taken.