A peek at Miss Rwanda 2019 auditions in Rubavu

As the search for Miss Rwanda 2019 commenced over the weekend, five girls were selected to represent Northern Province while six qualified to run for the pageant in Western Province.

The turn up for this year’s edition was launched in Musanze District on Saturday and a total of 32 applicants from Northern Province registered for the auditions.

The auditions kicked off a bit late at 3:30pm as the selection for applicants took a little longer; this resulted  in 15 given passes for auditions and 17 dropped after they failed to meet the required height or weight requests.

Accompanied by friends and parents, some successful applicants were taken to La Palme Hotel conference hall for a Q&A session before an all-female panel of judges, led by Miss Rwanda 2016 winner Jolly Mutesi, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA)/ Magic FM presenter Michelle Iradukunda, and Marie France Uwase.

Each of the contestants were asked questions related to culture, tourism, and Made in Rwanda campaign, among other things.

They were allowed to express their views in Kinyarwanda and one additional language between English, French and Kiswahili. English dominated the session.

The session was short but challenging as jurors asked tricky questions. Some proved to be ready for the competition as they managed to answer the questions with ease and confidence, while others did not seem prepared for the audition at all.

Beauty (30 per cent), intelligence (40 per cent) and public speaking (30 per cent) were the three main principles that jurors used to rate contestants.

As a result, only five passed the auditions while 10 failed to make it through. They, however, still have a chance to compete in the next auditions.

Those who passed were Ange Nicole Teta Mugabo, Anita Gaju Munezero, Adeline, Ishimwe Bella, and Rica Michaella Kabahenda.

After Musanze auditions, pageant organisers and the press shifted to Rubavu and spent a night at Dian Fossey Gorilla Hotel as the search continued on Sunday to find out who will represent Western Province in the 2019 pageant.

Unlike Musanze, a smaller number of applicants showed up for the auditions in Rubavu at Inzozi Beach Hotel.

Of the 17 girls who registered to represent Western Province, 13 were picked for auditions while four were dropped for failure to meet the registration requirements. However, six girls; namely, Josiane Mwiseneza, Triphine Mucyo Uwimana, Mireille Igihozo, Vanessa Tuyishime, Deborah Mutoni and Aisha Uwase, were picked to officially represent Western Province.

The surprise PASS was given to Josiane Mwiseneza, 23, who walked about 10 miles from Nyundo to the auditions venue in Rubavu town by foot. She accidentally wounded a toe.

Obviously, applicants at both auditions were high school graduates while only a few are starting university. It is also notable that the majority of applicants, especially in Musanze, came from Kigali to compete outside the city.

After the selection, Michelle Iradukunda, a 2009 Miss Rwanda contestant, said that the selected girls have what it takes to compete for the crown if they keep up confidence in themselves.

“They need to stop being shy. They are brilliant but they need to be well prepared to express themselves.

The auditions were graced by reigning Miss Rwanda 2018 Liliane Iradukunda who is fresh from the recently concluded Miss World pageant in China.

The auditions will continue this weekend in Huye, Southern Province, on Saturday before heading to Kayonza, Eastern Province, the following day.