As each contestant kisses heaven, seeking the blessing to win Miss Rwanda 2009/2010 beauty contests, a trend that is reviving 17-years after it was last held; Rwandans give their view on beauty pageants.
“For one to qualify for Miss Rwanda she should have the brains and beauty—these two factors are fundamental, one complements the other. Miss Rwanda should be a girl, who is smart and confident enough to represent the country in the region and at the international level.
Miss Rwanda should dress decently but of course follow international rules governing beauty competitions. For example I see no problem with bikinis, it’s occasional attire. In any case, they don’t go swimming in a tracksuit.”
Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya is Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion.
“ Miss Rwanda should be fine-looking, intelligent, civilized and confident. She should be a good ambassador for Rwanda, and able to profile the country in all affairs.
And as a fashion designer, I think Miss Rwanda should be able to compromise with the international beauty standards. She should be able to wear all the clothes, without being rigid.
I don’t support the idea of going naked but if the event is beauty contest, she should be able to compromise with the rules. Judges consider beauty from different angles, and in this case, the contestant is expected to reveal her body structure through the attire.
There is no way one can ever notice your body structure unless you wear fitting or revealing attires.”
Amani-K, a professional fashion designer and founder of Amani-K fashions, Rwanda
“I don’t think beauty should be the priority quality when choosing Miss Rwanda, it should be the brains. Miss Rwanda should be intelligent, and smart enough to express herself in public. She should respect her status as a Miss, and should be morally upright.”
Celine Kayitana Mucyo, a student at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
“Miss Rwanda should be girl, who can easily express herself in public, knowledgeable about the country’s current affairs, and of course of the region since Rwanda is now a member of the East African Community. A girl, who can step in for Rwanda and promote the country’s culture at all levels. As for swim suits on stage, it’s not an offence, it escorts a woman’s beauty.”
Simon Rwema is a local film star.
“First and foremost, Miss Rwanda must be a Rwandan by nationality, and below the age of 25. She should be elegant, brilliant, and ready to represent the country at any levels.”
Brigitte Kaneza is a Rwandan professional model, and student at Kigali Institute of Management (KIM).
“Miss Rwanda is expected to be brilliant, capable to represent the country both at the regional and international level. She should also be able to profile the country on the international level about its progress in unity and reconciliation, politics, education, and other factors that show that Rwanda is doing tremendously great, despite of the 1994 tragedy.“
Dady de Maximo Mwicira Mitali, a Professional fashion designer, Judge on the Miss Rwanda panel.
“Miss Rwanda should be able to respect and promote the Rwandan culture. She is not expected to wear revealing attires like mini skirts and swim suits. It’s against our culture to reveal the body.”
Dafroza Kadrine, a housewife, and mother of five.
“15-years down the road, Rwanda has changed in all aspects. And this is why the Miss Rwanda beauty contestant has revived after 17 years. However, this doesn’t necessary mean that the country has lost its culture; it’s a sign of development. In my opinion, Miss Rwanda beauty contests should be done to the international standards. Miss Rwanda should be in position to compete with other international beauty contestants; she should be knowledgeable about Rwanda’s politics and social-economic affairs. She should be beautiful, elegant and tall.”
Willy Ndahiro, a local movie actor.
“Of course this issue is one that is for Rwandans not muzungus to talk about. But I can say that I have never supported the Miss Australia context [my home country]. The competition is supposed to be about intelligence and other characteristics as well, but we all know that the sex aspect is the most important. If it is such a wholesome competition, why not a Mr Australia contest?
Rwandans should use its potential to reinforce the good aspects of Rwandan culture and undermine ethnic discrimination. I would really encourage sponsors to think about something like the Nobel Peace Prize for Rwanda. Ms Rwanda and a Mr Rwanda contest that selects people on the basis of their contribution to society, for example, in peace building, conflict resolution, poverty reduction or economic development.”
Professor Shirley Randell, Director of the centre for gender, culture and development studies at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).