SHE would pass for the girl next door; no makeup, no high heels and no fancy phone. When she strolled in the newsroom, no one noticed. She quietly walked to the board room. Dressed in a red skirt, a white top and a matching pair of red shoes, she cut a posture of a humble girl. She occasionally smiled as she clasped her laps.
Her short hair and infectious smile completed a picture of a newly crowned 19-year-old beauty Queen. Miss Rwanda 2014 is dazzled by the new status. Everyone seems to know her and wants to say hi or take a picture when she walks on the street.
“I did not expect to be famous overnight. It is only four days into my term, but everyone seems to recognise me wherever I go. It is quite new for someone like me and at times I feel like I am under pressure. I do not mind it though; I am happy and humbled by this gesture,” Akiwacu says.
But behind the humble Akiwacu- is a fat bank account, a new Nissan ALTIMA car and, of course, the fame that has come with being crowned Miss Rwanda 2014.
But if you expect her to exude the excitement of a teen who has just found fame and money, you will be disappointed.
Even attempts to squeeze words out of her about the luxury she will enjoy with her new found fame were futile. In fact for her there is even no honey moon to celebrate her crown.
“Hard work is what will define my reign not a life of luxury as many want to think,” she says as she looks straight in my face.
Rather than bask in the glory and prestige, the beauty Queen is up and working already.
Akiwacu is already drawing plans to fulfill the pledge she made during the pre-selection exercise.
In her first interview since she was crowned, she decried drug and alcohol abuse, especially among the youth.
The teetotaler says that she has seen drugs and alcohol abuse ruin young people and hold them back from being productive.
“Under the influence of drugs they stop being in control of their lives. Their health gets ruined and they cease to be productive,” says Akiwacu.
The beauty queen says she will work with the youth to help them achieve their dreams and play a role in society’s development.
“It begins with having confidence and believing in yourself and then all other things follow. It is important that girls and women have confidence in themselves and their abilities for them to fully pursue their life ambitions,” she notes.
“At the end of my time as Miss Rwanda, I will evaluate my success or failure on the number of girls and women I will have reached out to and inspired,” adds Akiwacu.
Look out for our exclusive interview with Miss Rwanda 2014 in tomorrow’s issue.