12 January 2018

Rwanda: Miss Rwanda Winners, Where Are They Now?

Photo: Nadege Imbabazi/The New Times
Miss Rwanda 2017 Elsa Iradukunda receives the crown from Miss Rwanda 2016, Jolly Mutesi.

Elsa Iradukunda

She is the reigning Miss Rwanda who will be handing over the crown this year. During her reign she had trips to various countries including Germany and Sweden in a quest to promote 'Made in products'.

During her reign, the beauty queen also became the second Miss Rwanda to take part in the coveted Miss World pageant that was held at the Crown of Beauty Theatre, Sanya, China on November 18, 2017.

Jolly Mutesi

She won the Miss Rwanda pageant in 2016. Aside from the numerous initiatives she organised during her reign, Mutesi has been at the forefront of a number of other initiatives even after her reign. She spearheaded an inter-generation dialogue which she initiated to sensitise the youth on the values and norms of Rwandans in a campaign dubbed "Agaciro Kanjye" or "My Dignity". She was also a guest speaker at a global forum organised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - (UNESCO) in Gabon late last year. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at University of Rwanda.

Doriane Kundwa

She won the crown in 2015. During her reign, she got the chance to take part in the inaugural Miss Africa Continent but unfortunately she lost the crown to Rebecca Asamoah from Ghana. Kundwa is currently living in Canada pursuing further studies and a modelling career.

Colombe Akiwacu

Miss Rwanda 2014, Akiwacu, faced a great number of challenges, one would say.

Controversy surrounded her reign regarding poor management and projects that never saw the light of day.

However, she focused on helping the needy and fought tooth and nail to see her plans as the reigning Miss Rwanda get fulfilled. She launched a modelling career and is now based in France but she is also into philanthropic work.

Aurore Mutesi Kayibanda

She was crowned Miss Rwanda in 2012 and her reign carried on till 2014. She participated in the Miss University Africa contest in Nigeria, Miss Supranational in Belarus (both in which she won Miss Congeniality) and was crowned Miss FESPAM in 2013 in Ivory Coast. Kayibanda is now living in the US and is currently pursuing her Master's degree.

Grace Bahati

Bahati was crowned Miss Rwanda in 2009. She was only 18-years old and in senior five when she was crowned. 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. In 2012, the beauty queen gave birth to a baby boy, however, word from the Ministry of Culture and Sports was that Bahati, who was 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. The issue sparked a lot of controversy with many arguing that it was unfair.

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