The preliminaries for the Miss Rwanda beauty contest kicked off over the weekend, in the eastern province headquarters of Rwamagana.
20-year-old Sharon Bamukunde emerged the over all winner in the eastern province, followed by Marie Louise Mukazana, the first runner-up. Geraldine Umutoni Kayizarwe and Winney Uwineza were second and third runner-ups respectively.
The Miss Rwanda event is mainly organised and sponsored by Rwandatel.
Rwandatel’s Corporate Communication Manager Cleophas Kabasita, said the first round of competitions is scheduled to take one month and thereafter the finals will be held in Kigali.
“We will select suitable candidates during the preliminary stage of the contest from the Kigali city, Northern, Eastern and Southern provinces of the country,” said Cleophas.
Only four contestants will be selected from each province to compete for the title of Miss Rwanda 2009-2010, and the grand prizes. Meanwhile, the finals are scheduled to take place in Kigali, on December 19.
Aspiring contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 25, taller than 1.69 cm, not married, no children, Rwandan and must be able to speak either English or French.
The language concern was not explicit, because one may be able to speak it while never having been to school and hence not eligible.
Jolie Murenzi, one of the judges however, said that fairness will be paramount.
“In the Miss Rwanda beauty contest, we are very particular about the transparency of the judging process,” Mrs. Murenzi said. “The organizing committee has always done its best to make sure that the judges’ decisions are fair and objective”.
During the contests, it was noticed that some aspiring candidates could not answer simple questions from the jury and some knew no foreign language.
“How do you bring some body to contest for Miss Rwanda at any level, who cannot tell that Kilimanjaro is not a Lake but a mountain? There is evident lack of seriousness by some people,” Gilbert Muhire said.
Beyond the substandard level of learning, was poor dressing code, which most of the candidates showed. In fact, the audience was stunned by the way some of the attires the girls wore.
“Even myself at this age, I can’t dress like that…somebody did them a great disservice,” Alice Kanengwa, 48, said.
The organizers saved people from worries, when they said the chosen will undergo a one month intensive training before the finals.
According to the event’s organizers, the winner will bag $20,000, several other expensive awards, not to mention a chance to participate in local and international charity and cultural exchange events.