The preliminary auditions of Miss Rwanda 2015 kicked off with Northern Province on Saturday where the first five contestants to take part in the national pageant were picked. The auditions kicked off with the organisers pitching camp at Virunga Hotel in Musanze town before embarking on screening and registering the participants.
Unlike during the previous years, this year’s participants can also apply online through the Miss Rwanda Website.
Among the 26 girls who turned up, 15 met the requirements. To contest, one has to have a height of at least 1.7 metres and weighing between 45 kg to 65 kg, be fluent in Kinyarwanda and either English or French and aged between 18 and 24 years, among others.
After a rigorous screening process, 15 girls made it to the audition phase. Several contestants challenged the selection team to redo to measurements. Unfortunately not everyone could make it.
The contestants from the Northern Province were eliminated based on age, height and size.
There were tears of disappointment among some contestants who didn’t make the cut, as well as tears of joy for those who went past the first hurdle.
A height of at least 170cm is a requirement for all contestants. Iness Mugeni was 170cm and weighed 57Kgs.
Contestants should weigh between 45Kgs and 60Kgs. Doriane Kundwa weighed 53kgs and stood at 174cm tall.
After the nitty-gritty, it was time for serious business. The real auditions started behind closed doors, with no audience, to avoid last year’s scenario where embarrassing video clips of would-be participants who failed to answer questions went viral on the internet.
The auditionees were interviewed by a panel of judges made up of gospel artiste Aline Gahongayire, CEO Kigali Fashion Week John Bunyeshuri and showbiz man Mike Karangwa.
Most questions were about general knowledge, style and culture. In the end, five girls made it to the national contest stage while two girls were picked as wild cards. They will be called upon in case contestants in the other provinces don’t make the number.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Gahongayire said that beyond beauty, contestants have to be knowledgeable on current affairs and the Rwandan culture, something judges will not compromise about.
“It was hard for us to pick the girls because all the girls from Musanze were beautiful. At the end of the day we had to look for not only beauty but also brains and culture and that is where some girls performed better than others.
“Even then it became a bit had for us to choose only five because most girls turned out to be articulate and well informed,” Gahongayire said. Inès Mugeni, Amanda Mellisa Uwase, Doriane Kundwa, Colombe Uwase and Florence Asifiwe got the nod to proceed to the final stage while the wild cards are Yvette Rubazinda and Diane Uwamahoro.
Lauren Makuza, the head of culture at the Ministry of Sports and Culture, read out the names of the seven girls
The Minister for Sports and Culture Amb. Joseph Habineza took time to advise the youngsters.
“Even those who have not made it at the end of the day, don’t feel defeated. The defeated ones are those who didn’t come here to contest. This happens in any competition, you lose today and win tomorrow. You most important thing is to draw lessons. You are ambassadors of our culture," Habineza told all the contestants.
The auditions moved to Rubavu on Sunday.
This year’s theme is ‘Beauty, Brains and Culture’.
Source : The New Times