Miss Rwanda: Parents now supportive of their daughters
While there are some parents who misunderstand the beauty pageant by thinking that a lady who participates tarnishes culture, others are supportive of their daughters to the extent of even helping them answer the jury’s questions.
Pastor Antoine Rutayisire, father of Deborah Abiellah Isimbi, Miss NUR 2012, is one of the latter. For him, “the child of a pastor is a child like any other; whenever you find beauty and talent in her, you should help develop it so that she becomes excellent,” he said while participating in the crowning of her daughter early this year.
Being the daughter of the pastor, Isimbi was surprised to receive her dad’s full support. And indeed the father was committed in being by her side. “My role, like any other parent, is to assess every wish of my children and support them in whatever I find positive.”
He however does not agree with the concept of beauty to be the first and foremost condition for a Miss. For him beauty is a gift from God and what matters the most is that the Miss uses the award to support the needy instead.
His daughter went on to participate in the Miss Southern Province contest — a pre-selection for Miss Rwanda 2012, scheduled to take place early September — in which she became the first runner-up.
Talking about Miss Rwanda 2012, Immaculée Rwigema, the mother of Francine Uwase, Miss of Northern Province, didn’t hide her pride for her daughter. “I’m happy that my daughter beat other girls, and having been present when she was crowned, I don’t think beauty pageant is against the culture,” she said. She therefore called upon other parents to support their daughters.
According to Carine Rusaro, Miss NUR 2007 and first runner-up in Miss Rwanda 2009, her parents have come to understand the competition only recently; initially, she didn’t get their full support. “I was just a freshman and they worried that I would fail at school. But as I was contesting in Miss Rwanda, they had later realized that being Miss can’t hinder someone from being committed to her education at the same time, and so they supported me.”
Being crowned the runner-up in the previous contest, she isn’t allowed to participate in Miss Rwanda 2012. “But if I would, I know my parents would have supported me — without hesitation.”