Rosine Mukangwije and Divic Niyirora Nshongore were crowned Miss and Mister Elegance 2018 respectively, at a colourful event held on Saturday at Kigali Marriott Hotel.
The duo takes over the crowns from 2016 pageant winners Nasra Umutoni and Chris Junior Rutagengwa respectively.
Hosted by radio personality and MC Phil Peter, the event started a few hours late as organisers had to wait waited for people to show up.
When it eventually started, the pageant was characterised by vocal, sections of supporters who showed up to support their favourite contestants as they appeared on the runway and during the questioning by the panel of judges led by Jean de Dieu Ntabanganyimana, commonly known as Jay Rwanda.
Contestants made three runway appearances both in casual wear and traditional outfits to the delight of the audience.
Each of the contestants seemed to be well prepared for the catwalk and people often struggled to make a choice of who was better than the other. It was the same during the question-and-answer session.
The majority of the contestants preferred to answer the questions posed by the jury in Kinyarwanda. But things started to change when contestants from each category were eliminated and reduced to three.
The three contestants from each category were given time to present their projects either in English or French as a condition before judges compiled all the marks, based on beauty, elegance, intelligence, answers, and catwalk skills.
In the end, Mukangwije and Niyirora emerged the best and they were crowned Miss and Mister Elegance 2018 respectively.
Mukangwije could not hide her joy after she was announced Miss Elegance, hugging her fellow contestants in a fair-play gesture. Her predecessor Nasra Umutoni was present to crown her.
“This is an incredible achievement for me and I appreciate everyone who supported me. I will not let them down,” said 18-year-old Mukangwije.
Her project will focus on creating a website to promote Made- in-Rwanda fashion products. She says the platform will help designers to easily market their products across the globe.
Meanwhile, Niyirora, 19, attributed his win to hard work and focussing on the pageant.
“I sacrificed a lot of things to win this crown and I am happy that things worked out. Public speaking and runway were two things that were giving me strength and confidence that I can win the competition,”he said. “I had enough time to prepare myself and improve on my skills. I am looking forward to working with different partners to successfully implement my project,” he said.
Each of the winners walked away with a cash prize of €500, an airline ticket to Mombasa for a two-day holiday, one-year supply of Sulfo Rwanda products, and one-year bonus to access gym and pool services from Body Marks among other prizes.
In addition, they will be facilitated during their project implementation in terms of financing and capacity building on how they can run a successful project in a period of one year.
R&B artiste Yvery Rugamba entertained the audience alongside his band.
The event ended few minutes to midnight.