Pageants should include other categories, not only beauty

The search for Rwanda’s next beauty queen is on. The event has over the years grown in stature, attracts a lot of media and corporate attention and has opened careers for some young girls.

Today, many young girls dream of getting on the podium and many go to great lengths to get their wish come true; and it could be having some sort of psychological effect on them.

Stories abound in the local media of some young girls who fail the pre-selection process in one district and move to the next in the hope of striking gold, fail again and applies in another with the same results.

That behaviour is very revealing and disturbing at the same time. Vanity seems to have won the day. Organisers seem to have lost the plot completely by not putting forward to would-be contestants that what is aimed is not physical beauty but smartness in every sense.

It is a stage to nurture their self-confidence, patriotism and the courage to face the world, not just how to pout and swirl on the stage. Miss Rwanda should not hog the stage exclusively; there are many positive things to showcase from our girls.

Miss Geek for example. It should be taken to all districts before selecting the final team for the Grande finale, and why not Miss Entrepreneur or celebrating girls who are role models to their peers?

For someone to run from one district to another trying to get a slot among the most beautiful girls is a really disturbing obsession.