Allow me to react to the letter, “Why we shouldn’t sneer at Miss Rwanda contestants” (The New Times, January 29).
First of all, no one is forced to participate in the Miss Rwanda beauty contest; they all go there seeking personal fame. If you are not confident, fluent or eloquent then stay away from such public contests as Miss Rwanda (or Big Brother). If you do then you should be ready for whatever comes your way and you will only have yourself to blame for rushing into something you were not ready for. Don’t blame the public for having a laugh at your expense, our lives are hard enough and God knows we could all do with a good chuckle.
Secondly, being Miss Rwanda is just a start and not the end. It’s a ticket to even bigger contests and exposures where the audience and the judges will be even more critical and the spotlight brighter. So, if we became nice and lenient to them we will be setting them, and to some extent ourselves, for a spectacular fall down the road. Miss Rwanda represents a whole people, so let’s make it more critical and weed out those that are misplaced, for our own sake.
Thirdly, as someone suggested in the original blog, if it was done in Kinyarwanda we are likely to get the same comedy because there are also issues with reasoning, forming argument and a general lack of awareness of global issues. To address both of these you need to have a culture of reading and following real national and global issues, to widen your horizons and improve your vocabulary. Also public debates in schools will help their confidence.