First and foremost congratulations to the newly crowned Miss Rwanda, Grace Bahati and Cynthia Akazuba the winner of the Miss East Africa beauty contest. Akazuba flew Rwanda’s flag high in Dar-es-salaam when she emerged the best in a highly competitive contest
There’s no doubt that the new Miss Rwanda, Bahati, after many years, will also bring more silverware from the international scene.
When beauty pageants first started, they were viewed as ‘trivial’ events whose interpretation required no scholarly effort.
Even today, some people still question the relevancy of this cultural gala. The conservatives see it as an immoral act where young ladies are paraded “half naked” infront of strangers.
Today, beauty contests are considered one key strategy that has contributed significantly to the emancipation of women.
Pageants emphasize the various qualities of women and highlight their success. They strive to give women the opportunity to rise to the top. Beauty pageant winners go through their hometowns and engage in humanitarian work.
The winners of pageants are supposed to be role models for young girls and teenagers.
The key role in being a beauty queen is to understand and support a pertinent cause. Some have become champions of environmental protection; others are renowned human rights promoters while the largest percentage engage in humanitarian work like promoting awareness and rallying support for HIV/AIDS victims.
For Rwanda, this is an addition to the way we promote our culture and market the country as a tourism destination. Beauty pageants are, therefore, not just events but a reflection of a progressive society.