Almost three years since its inauguration in 2009, the search for Miss Rwanda 2012 gathers steam with the preliminaries due before the end of the year, according to the Coordinator of the Miss Rwanda Project, Lauren Thecle Makuza.
Makuza, who is also the Director of Culture Promotion Unity in the Ministry Youth, Sports and Culture, said that although the event took so long, it will be well organised and consistent.
The second edition of Miss Rwanda will start with provincial pre-selections with all the five provinces to be represented by three contestants [winner. first and second runners-up), to compete at the national level.
Makuza said that the delay was occasioned by lack of a competent sponsor to take charge of the Miss Rwanda Beauty Pageant, since the ministry only supervises the activities.
“We might have taken a long time to organise the second edition. But at least we are trying to make sure that by the time we have it, it is better organised and consistent,” Makuza said.
The ministry has set up a Miss Rwanda committee to organise the preparatory activities of the pageant. The committee will source and vet any interested sponsors.
“Miss Rwanda is a serious project. That is why we thought its best we sit and discuss how to manage it with proper strategies to make it sustainable,” Makuza stated.
The committee will be sanctioned to follow up on Miss Rwanda activities, and with such mechanisms in place, next year’s pageant is expected to be better and much more organised compared to the previous event.
“Initially, we thought that giving the project to a sponsor would be the best alternative, but it turned out that many people were disappointed by the way Miss Rwanda 2009 was managed and, that is why the ministry decided to wait and look for a potential sponsor,” Makuza explained.
He said the revised calendar would boost the number of sponsors, as he also acknowledged the public’s supportive role in the event.
“The public has always been supportive of the event which helps promote young Rwandan women in both their intellectual and aesthetic qualities,” Makuza noted.
“We’re still on the technical part and many companies are competing to come on board – but we are very keen on their commitment and visibility.”
Rwf120 million budget
In an interview with The New Times, Makuza announced that the proposed budget for the pageant is Rwf120 million. This implies that the company selected to manage the project is expected to part with a minimum of at least Rwf5million.
Although the 2009 pageant winner Grace Bahati, did not participate in international beauty contests, she attended several national events and others organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture.
“We regret that the past winner was left all by herself, but we are very optimistic that her successors will be able to enjoy all the privileges that come along with the crown,” Makuza promised.
The winner will have a clear programme to follow such as participating in different social and cultural events, either in the country or abroad as well as participate in international beauty contests including Miss Africa and Miss World.
Where is Grace Bahati?
Grace Bahati, who was crowned Miss Rwanda on December 18, 2009, is currently pursuing her studies in the U.S.
Among the prizes she was awarded included US$10,000 in cash from Hooters, a brand-new Suzuki worth Rwf24 million, and a fully financed trip to the United States by Atlanta based novelist, Elizabeth Dewberry.
Makuza said that the 20-year-old will be invited to crown the newly Miss Rwanda 2012.