Nineteen year-old Anastasie Umutoniwase is upbeat and hopes to raise the Rwandan flag high when she represents the country in the forthcoming Miss Earth, 2018, slated for November in Philippines.
Umuntoniwase was unveiled as the winner of the just-concluded Miss Earth Rwanda auditions held last weekend at Kigali Serena Hotel.
Umutoniwase, also Miss Popularity at Miss Rwanda 2018, took over the crown from Honorine Uwase Hirwa, who previously represented the country at the global pageant, last year.
The crown handed her the ticket to represent Rwanda after overcoming stiff competition from nine other opponents, including first runner-up Darline Igihozo, and second runner-up Doreen Phiona Ashimwe.
Other contestants were Belinda Uwonkunda, Shannelle Isimbi, Belise Umutoni, Mireille Destiny Bideri Umutoni, Rutayisire Isimbi Phiona Ingabire, Phiona Uwase and Fiona Uwase.
All contestants were targeting one ticket for the global beauty competition after a week-long boot camp at Onomo Hotel, Kigali, during which they were participating in different activities aimed at protecting and conserving environment besides sports and project development.
The panel of judges was led by showbiz journalist Mike Karangwa (right).
The event started over two hours past the scheduled kick off time as the organisers were waiting for the numbers but it was all in vain as the turn up was low.
The contestants hit the runway in different outfits and appeared before a panel of three judges led by Mike Karangwa for the oral interview.
The majority of the questions asked to the contestants during the oral session related to environmental initiatives that Rwanda has been putting in place to conserve the environment –from the banning of plastic bags to using renewable and green sources of energy for domestic use.
Only five contestants passed the interview to advance to the final stage where they were supposed to present their projects.
Umutoniwase emerged the winner of the pageant at the national level after combining all the marks based on confidence (30 per cent), appearance (30 per cent) and content of their projects (40 per cent).
“I am very happy that I am going to represent my country on the international scene. This is the right time. I need more support from Rwandans so that I can perform well at Miss Earth,” Umutoniwase said.
She said that she has a lot to learn for her predecessor Honorine Uwase Hirwa before flying to Philippines to participate for Miss Earth 2018.
Umuntoniwase said she is delighted and honoured to represent the country at the Miss Earth 2018. Courtesy photos.
“Uwase has shared with us a lot from her experience on how Miss Earth is like, as someone who participated at last year’s edition. I hope to learn from her and even do better in the global pageant,” she said.
Besides winning the ticket for Miss Earth 2018, Umutoniwase and the two runners-up will be supported during their project implementation while all the ten contestants at this year’s edition were given free scholarships to study at University of Kigali for either undergraduate or Master’s programmes.
The annual pageant is a franchise of the World Miss Earth and its aim is to raise awareness on the issues of environmental degradation, global warming as well as climate change.