Carmen Akineza, 22, was on Saturday crowned the winner of the City of Kigali pre-selection for the subsequent Miss Rwanda 2014. Emmanuella Erica Urwibutso,19, and Nadia Uwera,23, emerged first and second runner-ups.
Six contestants reached the final stage but more than 20 girls had turned for the auditions.
The City of Kigali Miss Rwanda 2014 pre-selection was an event worth attending. Even when the skies threatened to open up amid a lightning and thunderous afternoon, people slowly turned out to witness as Kigali selected its own representatives for this year’s national beauty pageant.
By 4p.m, two and a half hours later than the scheduled time, many a people had trickled in to fill the pavilions of the Petit Stade in Remera.
The much anticipated function kicked off with thrilling music performances from several artistes.
New-kids-on-the-block Active proved to be the crowd favourite, putting up and electric performance which saw them shed off some of their clothes as they pulled off rare moves to the amazement of the audience.
The boys invariably made the crowd go wild with the youth particularly enjoying every move the ‘Aisha’ singers made. Also to spice up the evening was Bruce Melodie who equally put up a good performance.
Then came the contestants – as usual, what the judges looked for was beauty and brains. There was some sort of anxiety in the room considering that the contest has of late come under scrutiny due to the contestants’ failure to express themselves, particularly in foreign languages.
From the word go, the judges’ intentions were clear. They were not looking for physical beauty but again to make things easy, they gave the contestants the option of choosing from Swahili, Kinyarwanda, English and French.
Yet many, if not all, misfired even in the language of their choice sending spectators into murmurs.
The event was characterised the crowd chanting in disapproval to some of the responses made by the wannabe beauty queens. But at least not all of them goofed. Praises were made particularly for two contestants, namely Akineza and Urwibutso.
After the laughter and cheers that characterised the catwalk and question-and-answer session, the night degenerated into a series of eliminations, with the judges downsizing the contestants from six to eventually three.
The beauties were knocked out one after the other after a series of technical questions that were mainly aimed at evaluating the intellectual capability of those who would progress.
As anticipated by many, the crowd’s favourite Akineza took the ‘Miss Kigali City’ pre-selection title, while Urwibutso emerged the first runner-up and Uwera completed the trio by taking the second runner-up.
The tearful Akineza, 22, bounced back after trying and failing to make it to the top three in the 2012 pageant, this time returning to claim the City of Kigali crown. The University of Rwanda-CBE student has experience having competed in several pageants before.
Going by the crowds’ approval and the skills exhibited, the three are no doubt very formidable contenders for the ultimate Miss Rwanda crown.
It was a wonderful evening, perhaps forecasting what the finale will look like.
Held under the theme “My Beauty, My Skill, My Tools for Reliance”, the main event presents a whole lot more than what was covered in Kigali preliminaries alone.
Integrating all the beauty and brains Rwanda has to offer from all the regions, a show not worth missing is set for February 22, when all the 15 girls picked from the different regions of the country, will tussle it out for the Miss Rwanda 2014 crown.
The girls are set to enter the boot-camp at La Palisse Gashora where they will spend about two weeks being trained on etiquette, catwalk, public speaking skills and getting polished in many other aspects.
Miss Rwanda 2014 is organised by the Ministry of Sports and Culture in collaboration with East African Promoters and Rwanda Inspiration Back-up.
The main sponsors are Mutzig and Cogebanque.
The finale will be held at the Petit Stade.
Final 15 who will battle for the national crown
City of Kigali
Emmanuella Erica Urwibutso