Mike Karangwa is a local musician, journalist and radio programme presenter. He has featured in a panel of judges for several university beauty pageants and is also expected to be one of those to adjudicate in the Miss Rwanda 2014 contest slated for next month.
When did you start being involved in beauty contests?
I started being a judge in beauty contests in 2008 at the National University of Rwanda. Since then, I have also been on a panel of judges for beauty pageants orgainsed by several other universities as well as for Miss Rwanda.
How do you rate the quality of beauty contests today?
Although we still have a long way to go, it is important to note that at least we have moved a step since this initiative started in 2007. This can be seen right from the way events are organised and the standard of evaluating contestants—who stands out or who deserve to lift the title.
What exactly do you think has improved?
The procedure followed by the judges has improved. Things have been improving in that judges are more professional when doing their job and this has boosted public confidence. This is a vote of confidence in the process because contests have faith in the judges as more and more girls are picking interest in the competitions.
What else do you think is attracting more contestants?
I also believe that the youth have realised that these contests identify people with talents for a purpose that benefits them as well.
Talking about purpose, what do you have to say about the fashion industry in the country?
Well, there is a great improvement in the fashion industry as well. This is evident in the growing number of fashion designers who have come up since 2005 and are showcasing new products and designs.
What is the craziest thing you have ever experienced while judging in a beauty contest?
I asked a contestant a question which she never understood and I stood up to demonstrate to her what I meant.
What inspired you into beauty pageants?
I was inspired by what I used to see on TV stations, especially on MTV. I realised that judges there are very serious when adjudicating in music contests. So I wanted to introduce the same level of seriousness in adjudicating our beauty contests.
You are into many things—radio, show biz and now beauty contests. How do you balance your time?
It is a matter of being focused and making clear programmes. I make sure that I follow a planned schedule and work hard to accomplish every task according to plan.
How do you spend your leisure time, if any?
I spend most of the time reading fashion books, magazines, watching entertainment TV programmes. This actually helps me to keep improving my skills. Such books and programmes help me become creative in my line of activities.