•As Akazuba scoops Miss East Africa
KIGALI - It was double victory for Rwanda’s growing beauty industry. While 18 year old Grace Bahati was crowned Miss Rwanda, for the first in 17 years, Cynthia Akazuba was also being crowned Miss East Africa.
For Bahati, it came as a surprise since this was the first time she was taking part in a major beauty contest, but for Akazuba it was the routine.
‘I am very surprised I made it,” said Bahati. “Not that I didn’t expect it totally but most of my colleagues were capable of winning as well,” she told Sunday Times after being crowned.
She walked away with a brand new Suzuki courtesy of the organisers Rwandatel. She also received $10,000 from Hooters and a fully financed trip to the United States by Atlanta based novelist, Elizabeth Dewberry.
The favourites Carine Rusaro Utamuliza and Winnie Ngamije became first and second runners-up respectively.
Utamuliza walked away with $5000 while Ngamije got $3000, in addition to other gifts from Bank Populaire.
Ngamije was voted ‘Miss Popular’ after tallying the highest number of SMSs and votes online.
Even before the results were announced, Grace Bahati had already scooped ‘Miss Photogenic’ awarded by photographers basing on a contestant who is camera friendly. Winnie Uwanyuze was voted ‘Miss Congeniality’ given to contestants who related well with their colleagues in the competition.
Akazuba shines in East Africa
While Rwandans were enjoying their national pageant, Cynthia Akazuba was on national duty where she did not disappoint. She was crowned Miss East Africa in Dar-es-salam’s Mlimani City Complex.
‘Words can’t express how I feel at this time, but I am extremely happy I managed to get the crown,’ Akazuba told Sunday Times in a telephone interview.
Rwanda didn’t leave it at that as Akazuba’s compatriot, Annet Mahoro was also voted “Miss Popular.”
In the Miss Rwanda contest, the girls were tested in three categories; creative wear, beach wear and evening wear in addition to a series of questions from the judges.
The colourful event held at Gikondo show grounds was graced by people from all walks of life.
Joseph Habineza Minister of culture and Sports praised the organisers, Rwandatel for a job well done.
Miss France 2000, Sonia Rolland Uwitonze, Rwanda Television’s Kije Mugisha Rwamasirabo, tourism and tour operator, Manzi Kayihura, Hooters’ Vice President, Kate Cole and Christine Tuyisenge of Rwanda Women Empowerment were the judges.
‘It’s not easy to please everyone. Miss Rwanda was selected basing on our (judges’) assessment of the contestants,’ said Sonia Rolland.
“Our assessment was based on some factors like; composure, the energy the contestants put in, intelligence and their ability to move the audience,” Kije Mugisha Rwamasirabo said.
The night was graced with performances from RnB crooners, The Ben and Meddy. The night’s MCs were Dr. Mich Ronnie Egwang and Anita Muneza.