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Uwihirwe, Murebwayire in final run for Miss Africa Calabar

Yasipi Casimir Uwihirwe (L) and Irene Murebwayire. / Photo: Courtesy

Yasipi Casimir Uwihirwe and Irene Murebwayire are the last two contestants battling it out for the top spot to represent Rwanda at the 5th edition of Miss Africa Calabar slated for December 27 in Nigeria.

The annual continental beauty contest is organised by the Nigerian Cross River State. It aims at promoting lifestyle through fashion, beauty, nature, and charity.


 Nineteen-year-old Uwihirwe and Murebwayire, 23, are vying for the ticket through online voting, which runs until Friday, November 13,  after pageant judges in Nigeria picked the duo out of the top five Rwandan contestants selected during the Kigali auditions held late in October at Hotel Villa Portofino in Nyarutarama.


Voting is open to the public via Miss Africa Calabar’s website.


Each person will be charged one dollar (USD 1) to vote for their favourite contestant and only visa cardholders are allowed to vote online.

The two contestants, however, said that the organisers of the pageant should have considered other payment alternatives to facilitate the public to proceed with their voting process but were told that it is too late to change the system because the voting process will take ‘ a few days’.

“We tried to reach out to the organisers at the headquarters and asked them whether people can use Mobile Money but we were told that they can’t do anything about it because it would take them at least a month to change the system,

 “I am now focused on mobilising my people to use it,” Uwihirwe told The New Times in a telephone interview.

She said that she won’t blame the system if she doesn’t make it to Nigeria for the finals “because we are both using the same voting alternative.”

It’s not the first time the duo have met in the same beauty competition. They were both among the Miss Rwanda 2019 finalists.

That time, Uwihirwe went ahead to become the first runner-up to crown winner Meghan Nimwiza.

This year’s edition will bring together contestants representing 25 different countries across Africa, including host nation Nigeria.

The winner of this year’s pageant edition will be announced during the contest’s glamourous grand finale on December 27 in Calabar, Nigeria.

She will replace Kenya’s Irene Irene Ng’endo Mukii, last year’s crown winner, and will walk away with a cash prize of USD 50, 000 (Rwf47 million) to successfully implement her project.

Should she win the beauty contest, Uwihirwe told the publication that she would immediately invest in kids’ talent to shape their professional careers at a young age, while Murebwayire targets to support teen mothers with capital start-ups so they can start their own businesses.

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