OVER the weekend 19-year-old Colombe Akiwacu was crowned Miss Rwanda 2014 in a glamorous ceremony at Petit Stade in Remera, Kigali.
The function was a climax of a long journey that took organisers to all parts of the country in search for Rwanda’s next beauty Ambassador.
Held under the theme “My Beauty, My Skills, My Tools for Self-reliance,” the pageant drew criticism in some circles as opponents called it an immoral venture which is against the Rwandan cultural values.
While critics of beauty pageants are entitled to their views, the world over beauty queens play a critical role in the promotion of their countries and spearhead great causes.
Because of their young age and beauty, most of them instantly become role models, especially among the youth.
It becomes easy to use them as Ambassadors in addressing critical issues affecting society.
For instance, during the pre-selections for Miss Rwanda, Ms Akiwacu said that if she wins, she would use her reign to fight drug abuse among the youth. Now that she has made it, she could be a turning point in the fight against drug abuse, especially among the youth.
Drug abuse is a big problem among the youth and if she is given support by all stakeholders, Miss Rwanda could play a major role in efforts to stamp out this vice.
Beyond the reasons behind the criticism, let’s look at the broad advantages and the good we can harness from Miss Rwanda.
As for Miss Rwanda 2014, as a young girl who will be in the limelight for the next one year or so, the beauty queen must keep the highest standards of dignity and morals expected of her as a symbol of the country’s values, aspirations and dignity.
Congratulations to Ms Akiwacu and may her reign as Miss Rwanda 2014 bring honour to the country and inspire many of her peers.