It’s official. The eagerly awaited Miss Rwanda beauty pageant will not be held this year. This means that reigning Miss Rwanda 2012, Aurore Mutesi Kayibanda will still hold the coveted title until February 22, 2014 when her successor will be known. Kayibanda was crowned Miss Rwanda in September last year.
The new date was announced yesterday by the Minister for Sports and Culture Protais Mitali, at a press conference held at the ministry headquarters at Amahoro Stadium, Remera.
Mitali said all measures are in place to ensure that Rwanda holds a beauty contest that meets international standards under the theme, My Beauty and Skills for Self-reliance.
The minister reiterated that Miss Rwanda 2014 is going to be a fertile ground for women empowerment. It will build their confidence and capacities in a bid to showcase their abilities using their beauty and skills, for the ultimate purpose of dignifying the Rwanda nation.
He added that it was not possible to hold the beauty pageant this year, noting that Rwanda has only had two beauty contests since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi almost 20 years ago.
“I can assure you that what we have learned is enough to make sure that the pageant is held successfully every year,” Mitali promised.
Also present was the outgoing Miss Rwanda 2012, who talked of the success and challenges it takes to wear the crown. She encouraged those who are eyeing the prestigious title to be confident and participate with the self-belief that they will eventually triumph.
The winner will drive away in a grand prize of Hyundai 110 car. She will get cash as well as other prizes on top of representing the country in Miss World beauty pageant in London next year.
Apart from representing Rwanda in various future international beauty pageants, the winner is also expected to participate in numerous socio-economic activities in the country.
“The winner is not just going to be a Miss Rwanda. This is going to be a full-time work that will also be geared towards improving the image of the country,” Mitali added.
The search for new Miss Rwanda will officially kick off on December 28 in the Eastern Province, in Rwamagana at Centre d'Accueil Sainte Agnès.
One week later, on January 11, the focus will shift to Northern Province and the venue will be Musanze Hall. The Southern Province will hold its contest on January 25, at the University of Rwanda, (NUR), followed by Southern Province a week later and finally Kigali City will close the preliminary contests on January 31, 2014 in Petit Stade, Remera.
Each province will produce three contestants to compete in the finals. The 15 finalists from the 5 provinces will then move to the Boot Camp at La Palisse Gashora, where they will undergo intensive training and orientation before the grand finale.
Those to participate are expected to fulfill the international beauty pageant rules that include: being a citizen of Rwanda aged between 18-24 years, at least 1.7 metres tall, having an upright posture and possessing good public speaking skills.