[PHOTOS & VIDEO] Miss Rwanda 2018: Flurry of activity at boot camp

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RALC Director of Culture Jacques Nzabonimpa engages Miss Rwanda contestants about culture, at Golden Tulip Hotel over the weekend. / Courtesy

The 20 finalists of Miss Rwanda 2018 started their weekend travelling east to the Nyamata-based Golden Tulip Hotel for the semi-final phase of the beauty pageant.

For two weeks, the girls will be camped at the hotel in what is popularly known as boot camp, where they will undergo several trainings to polish their public speaking skills, fine-tune their projects and take part in group activities.

By 2p.m on Friday, the premises of Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC) in Remera was abuzz with activity, as contestants bid emotional good byes to friends and family who had come to see them off.

RALC was the set-off point for the contestants, organizers and journalists. Outside the premises, TV journalists set up their equipment to capture the moment when the girls would finally walk to their waiting van.

At the reception, travel bags of different sizes and shapes belonging to the contestants could be seen in one corner. In an upstairs room, the contestants freshened up one more time in anticipation of the waiting cameras.

However, organisers failed to honour the 3p.m departure time earlier communicated to journalists. The journey did not begin until shortly after 4:30p.m. One of the causes for the delay was a standoff between Miss Rwanda organisers and the transport company hired to shuttle contestants.

Organisers rejected the bus brought in to ferry the girls, describing it as old and shabby. In the end, the contestants swapped buses with journalists, whose bus was in a much better condition.

We set off to a mild public spectacle caused by the presence of a police bike at the head of the convoy, and some journalists sticking out their heads from the bus windows to film the journey.

Our first stop was Gikondo, at Rwanda Motors, one of the partners for this year’s pageant. The car dealer will be giving out a car to the winner of Miss Rwanda 2018 come February 24.

Indeed, contestants were able to see the grand prize – a brand new Suzuki Balenocar which awaits the winner, among other prizes. Previously, the winner walked away with a much smaller Suzuki Swift.

From Rwanda Motors the convoy headed to the Golden Tulip Hotel.

Here, each of the contestants was welcomed with a smile and a glass of fresh fruit juice amidst camera flashes as photographers scrambled for the best shots. The girls were then helped to check into their rooms.

Activities

In two-week boot camp, the girls will learn a host of things in preparation for a life as a beauty queen; from the country’s history, culture and traditions, to social etiquette and social philanthropy. They will get up close and share experiences with each other, and also jointly develop some projects or causes to champion.

There is also daily morning exercise routine as group to keep the girls physically fit. On Saturday, they had a quick trip back to Kigali to watch a CAF Champions League football game at Amahoro National Stadium pitting Rayon Sports and Lydia Ludic of Burundi.

On Saturday evening, the girls were visited by senator Tito Rutaremara who delivered a discussion on Rwandan values. The senator urged the contestants to promote and uphold values of humanity, dignity, patriotism and heroism.

Earlier, the Director of Culture at RALC had lectured the contestants about the role of culture in national development and the need to uphold it.

On Sunday, the contestants were given a talk through Rwanda’s liberation struggle by Lt Col Sosthene Kabayiza from the Ministry of Defence.

The grand finale will take place on February 24 at Kigali Convention Centre.

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Catching the action live before heading back to the boot camp
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Lt Col Sosthene Kabayiza taking Miss Rwanda contestants through the country's liberation struggle
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Miss Rwanda 2018 contestants enjoyed a football game between Rayon Sports FC and Lydia Ludic Academie
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Senator Tito Rutaremara talking to Miss Rwanda contestants
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The CAF Champions League game ended in a one all draw
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The contestants were accorded front row seats
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The girls followed the discussion attentively
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The girls watched the game as a group
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The girls were lectured about Rwandan values by the senior politician
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The RALC official urged the contestants to uphold Rwandan culture
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The RDF officer narrated to contestants what the liberation struggle was like
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The seasoned politician urged the contestants to uphold values of dignity, patriotism and heroism

editorial@newtimes.co.rw