Major changes as Miss Rwanda 2020 auditions kick off this weekend

Rwanda Inspiration Backup’s Ishimwe (centre), Miss Rwanda 2019 Meghan Nimwiza, and representives from the sponsors adressing journalists on Wednesday. Courtesy photos.

As Miss Rwanda 2020 auditions edge closer, a number of emerging changes have been made for next year’s edition.

 The beauty pageant, which is organised by Rwanda Inspiration Backup, has seen changes in terms of sponsorship which saw Cogebanque pulling out as main sponsors of the annual pageant to pave way for new sponsors MTN Rwanda, Ecobank, and Africa Improved Foods.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Dieudonne Ishimwe, the brains behind the beauty contest, said some of the changes reflect on the public’s feedback while others were dictated by sponsors’ willingness and commitment to be part of Miss Rwanda’s vision.

“We are proudly committed to play our role in youth empowerment, especially girls, through Miss Rwanda, because we only wish that the platform will give them exposure of what they dream to achieve. The changes made are for a positive cause,” Ishimwe said.

In the next edition, aspiring contestants will also have the chance to answer the questions in a language of their choice, that is officially recognised in Rwanda, namely Kinyarwanda, French, English, or Kiswahili.

Reigning Miss Rwanda Meghan Nimwiza will hand over her crown on February 22, 2020.

“We took this decision to let everyone feel free to express themselves and explain their projects in any language they are comfortable with,” he said.

Miss Rwanda is arguably the most followed social event on Rwanda’s social scene, attracting over six million people on Instagram every day, during the contest.

As aspirants continue to register for next year’s beauty contest, the search for the successor of reigning Miss Rwanda, Meghan Nimwiza kicks off tomorrow December 21, in Western Province at Western Mountain Hotel in Rubavu District, and will then to Northern Province on December 28, at La Palme Hotel in Musanze District.

On January  4, the exercise will be held in Southern Province, at Hotel Credo, in Huye District, before concluding the upcountry auditions in Eastern Province at Silent Hill Hotel, in Kayonza District.

The auditions exercise will wind up in Kigali on January 11 at Hill Top Hotel.

Each province will have at least six representatives at the beauty contest. However, Ishimwe noted that judges have the right to increase or reduce the number depending on the potential of the contestants.

The Suzuki Swift brand new car that will be handed to Miss Rwanda 2020 by Rwandamotors.

This time round, aspirants will be allowed to audition once as opposed to last year’s auditions when some aspirants would try their luck elsewhere whenever they failed to impress in a province.

In addition, this year’s edition will see only 20 contestants heading to the boot camp, contrary to the previous edition which saw 25 contestants head to the boot camp.

At the boot camp, contestants will sit exams, oral and written, besides other challenges, and only 10 contestants will go through to the grand finale slated for February 22, 2020.

At the grand finale, the jury will choose the top three finalists to pass one last question-answer session and present their projects to find the crown winner, first and second runners-up in the process.

At this stage, Ishimwe said, “Aspirants are advised to design a project which is feasible and fits their area as they plan to implement it”.

Meanwhile, Miss Popularity will be decided based on the votes accumulated from online voting, SMS voting, and the impression she gives the audiences during the pre-selections.

The ultimate winner will win an automatic ticket to compete at the 70th edition of Miss World next year in Thailand.

The winner will also walk away with a number of big prizes, including a brand-new car of Suzuki Swift’s brand, courtesy of Rwanda Motor, a monthly salary of Rwf800, 000 from Africa Improved Food (AIF), and additional bonus and goodies from Miss Rwanda’s partners.

The sponsors will also support the crown winner in implementing her project throughout the period of one year.

Notably, sponsors showed commitment to recognise the first and second runners-up to Miss Rwanda as well the Miss Popularity.

 Among the prizes, the first runner-up will walk away with Rwf1, 200, 000 to be given by Multi Design Group, which will also provide a free air ticket to Miss Rwanda to spend her post-contest vacation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Miss Popularity will walk away with Rwf1, 500, 000, courtesy of MTN Rwanda. She will also become the telecom’s brand ambassador for next year’s Yolo campaign.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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