NEW TIMES FEB 23 2020
As years go by, organisers of the Miss Rwanda pageant are working hard to grow its brand and become one of the country’s most entertaining shows.
The grand finale that took place last Saturday, saw a huge turn up of revelers at the Intare Conference Arena, some clad in T-shirts and banners showing photos of their favourite contestants, while others were glued to their TV sets to watch the show that was streaming live.
A number of beauty queens also graced the event, and they included Miss Ghana 2019, Rebecca Kwabi, Miss Ghana 2nd runner up, Deborah Opoku, Miss South Sudan 2019 Mariah Maget Nyayiena, Miss Botswana 2019, Oweditse Phirinyane, Miss Uganda 2019 Olivia Nakakande and Miss Tanzania, Sylivia Sebastian.
In a glamorous setting of the arena, with perfect lighting and décor, the event kicked off at 8pm with the 19 contestants showcasing their choreographed cat walking skills, followed by the question and answer session.
Donned in beautiful evening gowns by Ian Boutique, the girls took turns in answering questions that mostly centered on the country’s development programs.
Different from the previous years, the contestants had the choice to answer in the language of their choice and they exuded confidence with their answers. As a result, the jury that comprised of Sherrie Silver, a choreographer and actress, television personality, Evelyne Umurerwa, journalist and editor, James Munyaneza, Jolly Mutesi, Miss Rwanda 2016 headed by comedian Diogene Ntarindwa had a hard time picking the ten top finalists.
Accompanied by national ballet, Inganzo Ngari, the girls entertained the audience with a traditional dance, before they left the stage for the troupe who entertained the audience for about half an hour.
Soon, the top ten finalists were announced, amid loud cheers from the audience. The finalists Hope Akaliza, Gaudence Ingabire, Chanice Mutenwantebe, Musana Teta, Nicole Ndenga Teta, Anitha Umuratwa, Denise Umutesi, Phiona Umwiza, Alliance Irasubiza, Naomie Nishimwe, who won the most public votes, shared their projects with the audience.
As the jury took time to pick the top three from the finalists, Inganzo Ngari gave an astounding performance of Gakondo before DJ Ira took to the decks to play the audience’s favorites. They did a good job in entertaining the crowd for about an hour before the judges returned with the results.
In the end, Naomie Nishimwe was announced Miss Photogenic, Diane Ingabire became Miss Congeniality, Nicole Ndenga Teta became Miss Heritage, while Alliance Irasubiza became Miss Popularity. Josiane Mwisineza, Miss Popularity 2019, caused loud cheers as she took to the stage to congratulate her successor.
Phiona Umwiza was later announced as the first runner up, followed by Denise Mutesi, as second runner up of the contest.
Naomie Nishimwe was eventually crowned Miss Rwanda 2020 by Miss Rwanda 2019, Meghan Nimwiza, whose evening gown was the talk of the show given its size and uncomfortability.
The announcement stirred excitement from revelers and social media followers, who had betted on her win since the preliminaries when she represented Kigali City.
The new beauty is part of the Mäckenzies quadruple famous on social media for their performing skills.
The high school graduate completed in Mathematics, Economics and Geography. Her project is about raising awareness on mental disorders, particularly depression among the youth.
As the overall winner, she walked back home with a brand-new Suzuki Swift, courtesy of Rwanda Motors, a monthly salary of Rwf800,000 from Africa Improved Foods (AIF), as well additional goodies from Miss Rwanda’s partners that include a fully paid vacation in Dubai, Arab Emirates.
Nishimwe will also represent Rwanda at the Miss World pageant.
Among the prizes, the first runner-up will walk away with Rwf1, 200,000 to be given by Multi Design Group, which will also provide a free air ticket to Miss Rwanda to spend her post-contest vacation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Miss Popularity, on the other hand, bagged Rwf1,500,000, courtesy of MTN Rwanda, and will become the telecom’s brand ambassador for year’s Yolo campaign.