Annual Miss Rwanda Debate Open

IT IS ON. Rwanda’s leading news websites have published this week stories, resulting from a presser that happened Wednesday afternoon, on Miss Rwanda 2016. Of course, the sponsor-in-chief COGEBANK reveals the car they’ve reserved for the winner and talk about anything – plus how much they’re investing and, importantly, how much the queen will be earning per month during her one-year reign. It’s frw800,000 this time, they say.

According to reports, the organisers will adopt the Imihigo style – they want us to believe it’s going to be different, that they’re introducing performance contracts; that now is the time. The time to have a beauty-queen that performs, as expected – one that “represents young girls and youth” and acts as ambassador of Rwandan culture, have a significant impact in the society, you name it. Only now.

In many ways, zillions of Rwandans have expressed anger towards the organisation of this competition over the years. But nothing much seems to have been done, if you ask me. Apart, perhaps what MINISPOC deemed necessary, the fact that the cause will now function under the supervision of the dormant Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC).

Since 2014, Miss Rwanda’s organisers were unable to gain trust from the winners – Colombe Akwiwacu and Doriane Kundwa refused to sign management contracts and ended up working on the own, of course with little significant institutional support. And it’s not clear whether the new crown holder will end up in good hands.

Miss Rwanda remains one of the most controversial topics but, at the same time, it is one on which we all at least seem to have an opinion. And, as much as the organisation remains so ludicrous, I still cannot understand how we expect a crown to do the magic and transform a beauty pageant, whose backgrounder we completely ignore, into that hard-working, ambitious, and useful role-model.

I have committed to writing more about this noble cause – I wish I had enough time – but just how sensitive I am to poor branding, I would like to point out how the new logo has irked me enough.

After years of using a plagiarized logo, the organisers now have something new but, like I commented, it is undoubtedly the worst thing to happen to the history of graphics and design in Rwanda, since the existence of the logo of University of Rwanda. We should not allow these kinds of Gakinjiro-made graphics to happen. Not to our brand Rwanda.

Welcome to the annual Miss Rwanda debate.

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