MISS East Africa beauty pageant fever is soaring up after new contestants from Kenya and Rwanda were unveiled at the weekend ahead of the grand finale planned for Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam next month.
Miss East Africa organizer Rena Callist named the new entrants as Rwandan Umwari Neema (22) and Kenyan Joan Wambui Ndicho (18). They will join other finalists from Tanzania, Burundi, Southern Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Somalia and Uganda for the final on December 7.
They are Joycelyne Maro (Tanzania), Akuot Philip Suzan (Southern Sudan), Rahwa Afeworki (Eritrea), Lula Teklehaimanot (Ethiopia), Mugisha Nadege (Burundi), Annabelle Marvel Pointe (Seychelles) and Ayisha Nagudi (Uganda).
Callist named the countries which are yet to pick their representatives as Malawi, Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion, Comoros and Mauritius. Callist said more than 3,120 contestants had registered to compete in the preliminaries. "Preparations for the finals are in top gear," he said.
"We are finalizing some of the key logistical issued with the National Arts Council so that we stage it in a needed manner taking into account that they will compete candidates from 16 countries."
He said Rwanda's Umwari Neema is a third year student at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) but she also works for a mobile phone company, Tigo, in Kigali. Joan is set to join Machakos University College pursuing tourism Course. Callist reckoned that this year's event will focus at promoting traditional and cultural beauties within the region as well as cultural attractions.