My criteria for Miss Rwanda 2030

Among the greatest revelation of recent was the decision by the Ministry of Sports and Culture to revive the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant 17 years after the last event was held. Telecom giants Rwandatel have offered to organise and co-sponsor the great spectacle. 
Young Rwandan ladies perform a cultural dance
Young Rwandan ladies perform a cultural dance

Among the greatest revelation of recent was the decision by the Ministry of Sports and Culture to revive the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant 17 years after the last event was held. Telecom giants Rwandatel have offered to organise and co-sponsor the great spectacle. 

The beauty of Rwandan girls is quite legendary that some of the visitors to this country find themselves returning not to just see the gorillas again but to try their luck at winning the hand of a Rwanda girl for marriage.

Miss Rwanda 2009 contestants are required to meet certain specifications (set to Miss World standards). A contestant should be a Rwandan citizen of 18-25 years of age, at least 1.7 metres tall, morally upright, and with good public speaking skills.

The contestants will also be judged on aspects to do with catwalk, confidence, eloquence and intelligence.

When I closed my eyes and wandered into dreamland, I came up with what I thought would be ideal guidelines for a beauty contest in this part of the world. My dream session sprung me fast forward to the year 2030.

In this year, I am no longer a writer but a popular and wealthy real estate dealer in the region. I have therefore offered to sponsor this colourful gala for the year 2030.

New guidelines have also been set for the competition and they are quite different from what people had been used to for ages.

In 2030, my dear friends, Rwanda is already a superpower! The only problem is that it no longer exists as it did in 2009 as you are yet to find out. It is also ten years since the magical Vision 2020 was achieved. After 2020, the country went on to become a global ICT giant.

Unlike the past events, in 2030 the contestants do not necessarily have to be Rwandan citizens. Instead, they must be East Africans.

This is because the Republic of Rwanda was merged with four other states to form the mighty East African Federation.

This therefore means that the title of the story needs to be changed too. But that is too late because you are already reading this!

The reason for this is that, consequently the name of the event changed from Miss Rwanda to Miss East Africa Federation 2030 (Miss EAF ‘30).

Contestants only have to be above 18 years to compete in this beauty pageant.

The 2009 version of this event required participants not to be above 25 years of age as if to imply that the moment one clocks 26, she instantly loses her beauty.

My mother is 60 years and she is still so beautiful, but the organisers of the 2009 event will not let her compete! This year (2030) she can try her luck. 

There will not be a height limit for the 2030 beauty contest. This change means that my sisters from the Twa ethnic group and other pygmy tribes around Mt. Rwenzori will for the first time in history qualify to take part in a beauty contest. How amazing? 

The contestants for the Miss EAF 2030 will not be tested on the catwalk. Hell no! They will be expected to walk gracefully like African ladies not like some sly cat.

The 2030 judges will be looking out for the true attributes of African beauty and pride such as compassion, intelligence, sense of hard work and motherliness, and the confidence to take on global challenges.  

Contestants will be expected to bring forth, their fluency in any of the local East African languages, exhibit excellent skills in the preparation of local dishes, and dancing to authentic East African sounds.

Contestants can claim an edge in the contest by donning unique outfits made out of local materials made by local East African designers.

There will be no need for the ladies to wear artificial hair extension or excessive make up. Marks will easily be fetched by those who bring out authentic natural beauty and grace.

And before I forget, the winner of Miss EAF 2030 will not go for the Miss World competition. We do not need other people to tell us about our beauty. She will instead win a round trip to visit 20 African countries of her choice. See you in 2030!

You can now wake up with me as I finish writing this. Yes we are back to October 11, 2009. It is high time we liberated ourselves from the conventional stereotype of beauty.

Unique African beauty in form of black skin, thick lips, big butts, wide hips and thin waists ought to be celebrated not despised and fine tuned to standards set by the Western world.

Face of Africa judge and TRUE LOVE editor Busi Mahlaba had this to say: “There’s no beauty like African beauty - our skin tones, our figures and our shapes are distinct and unique in the entire world!”

I totally agree with her and for this reason I hate to awake from this 2030 dream. Beauty should not be confined by specifications; it should instead be celebrated in its various unique forms.

ssenyonga@gmail.com