The New Times (Kigali)

24 July 2012

Rwanda: Former Miss Rwanda Gives Birth to Baby Boy

So the rumours that had been doing rounds over the social media networks that Grace Bahati was pregnant were true. According to reliable sources, the maiden Miss Rwanda has given birth to a baby boy, the first child for the beauty queen and her boyfriend William Muhire.

The couple have named the baby boy Ethan Jedidiah Muhire.

A proud young father, Muhire, posted a photo of himself cuddling the newborn baby on Facebook and wrote: "Welcome to the world baby Ethan Jedidiah Muhire. You are truly God sent: Daddy and mum love you so much - with Grace Bahati".

Happy fans and friends of the couple have responded positively to the good news, despite recent rumours that the couple had split.

Muhire, an upcoming Rwandan rapper, better known by his stage name K8 Kavuyo, began dating Bahati in early 2009. However, they didn't to make their relationship public until after she was crowned Miss Rwanda.

Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday, the advisor to the Minister in the Ministry of Culture and Sports Lauren Thecle Makuza said the Ministry welcomed the news of the birth of Bahati's baby. He, however, said that Bahati, who is actually still holding the Miss Rwanda title, would not be allowed to hand over the crown to her successor because she gave birth to a child out of wedlock.

"In the Rwandan culture, it's a taboo to give birth to a child out of wedlock. So it's in this regard that the 2009 Miss Rwanda, Grace Bahati, won't be invited at the coronation ceremony to officially hand over the crown to her successor," said Makuza, who is also on the advisory committee for Miss Rwanda 2012 beauty pageant.

"We chose a matron who would crown the winner of the 2012 Miss Rwanda title," he added.

The Miss Rwanda 2012 theme is: Beauty with a purpose, with a vision to advocate for and resolve social and economic causes in Rwanda by embracing the concept for beauty.

Makuza explained that Rwanda follows the international rules governing the beauty competitions - which include among other factors, reigning for only one year.

"Bahati was crowned Miss Rwanda in 2009, which means she is no longer holding the crown. Her reign ended almost three years ago," he said.

Bahati was only 18-years and in Senior Five when she was crowned Miss Rwanda in 2009.

"This year we're very vigilant about the age. We're only auditioning girls who have completed secondary school and who are mature," concluded Makuza.

The first Miss Rwanda beauty pageant took place on December 18, 2009, after 17 years. The winner, Bahati, was chosen by a panel of five judges who included, Miss France 2000 Sonia Rolland Uwitonze.

She walked away with grand prizes, including $10,000 from Hooters, a brand new Suzuki, worth Rwf24 million and a fully financed trip to the United States by Atlanta based novelist, Elizabeth Dewberry.

The finals of Miss Rwanda 2012 will take place in Kigali on September 1, 2012 and provisional scouting for potential crown candidates started July 14.

Miss Rwanda pageant is an annual contest that provides young Rwandese women from all over the country with the opportunity to enrich not only their own lives, but the lives of others in the community.

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