The night Divine Muheto took the Miss Rwanda 2022 crown home


After three weeks of intense weeks at the boot camp, high school graduate Divine Nshuti Muheto returned home as Miss Rwanda 2022, a crown that she received from her predecessor Grace Ingabire during a grand finale held at Intare Conference Arena.

Saturday’s – March 19 – grand finale proved to be one of the biggest events that Rwandans had missed since the ban on entertainment events and large gatherings due to the covid-19 pandemic. The glitz and glamor witnessed at the arena defines what the grand finale had been about over the years.

While last year’s edition was, from auditions to the grand finale, people were this time round allowed to witness Saturday’s grand finale as long as they are fully vaccinated with Covid-19 in addition to presenting a proof of covid-19 negative test result. The atmosphere inside the arena was one of the most captivating moments that shaped the glamorous event which attracted hundreds of revelers who had their eyes set on who the jury would decide to become the next queen of Miss Rwanda 2022.

The likes of Bruce Melodie, Nel Ngabo and Nyundo Music School band graced the event while DJs Toxxyk and Ira were on the spin on the other wing with the best of their music mix stage to make the event more colorful and entertaining. It was at 8pm when Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) duo Martina Abera and Sam Kalisa introduced each of the 19 finalists on the stage for catwalks before they showed up on another round in traditional attire. The finalists were without Lynda Nkusi at the grand finale after she withdrew from the boot camp, citing personal reasons.

The finalists’ chances of winning the crown was in the hands of a five-member jury that comprised of The New Times’ James Munyaneza, Miss Rwanda 2016 Jolly Mutesi, Malick Shaffy Lizinde, radio presenter Anne Marie Niwemwiza, Rwanda Broadcasting Agency sign language interpreter Fidele Irizabimbuto and Matthew Mensah. Things started to change when the jury reduced them to 11, including 10 who were decided based on how best they performed in different challenges held during the boot camp while Kellia Ruzindana completed the top 11 after garnering the highest number of votes.

They then randomly chose a question to answer before the jury and the public in a tough but competitive oral session that left six eliminated with the top five waiting and showing no signs of easily giving up on the crown. Kellia Ruzindana, Sabine Isingizwe Mutabazi, Divine Nshuti Muheto, Darina Kayumba and Maolithia Keza were all still betting on it but the latter three progressed to the top three. The three finalists also got involved in another Q&A to which the judges referred, during their final deliberation, to decide the winner of the crown which eventually went to Divine Muheto, narrowly beating first and second runners-up Maolithia Keza and Darina Kayumba. “I feel happy, blessed and grateful,” she said shortly after winning the crown.

Muheto admits all the top three deserved to be crowned Miss Rwanda 2022 but insists the hard-earned crown was a result of tough challenges that she went through throughout the campaign which she described as ‘tough’ but full of lessons. “My journey was tough. It was so competitive but also educational, I really learnt a lot from this journey. Credits to everyone who supported me and, most importantly, the grace of God,” she said.

Muheto’s journey to winning the coveted crown started from Rubavu auditions where she, among other eight contestants, earned a PASS to represent the Western Province. The provincial auditions left 70 contestants selected from the four provinces and the City of Kigali which as a result recorded the highest representation with 29 contestants.

Her PASS from the auditions was more of anything than her beauty which impressed members of the jury, from which Jolly Mutesi failed to keep hold of her sentiments towards the 19-year-old’s beauty. “You are so beautiful! Did you know that?” the Miss Rwanda 2016 told Muheto. On top of the crown, Miss Rwanda 2022 will be receiving a monthly facilitation of Rwf800, 000 during her reign from Miss Rwanda organization among many other additional prizes from organizers’ partners.

She will also get financial support from Africa Improved Foods (AIF) Rwanda for her ‘beauty with a purpose’ project. The car, one of Miss Rwanda’s major prizes, was however, not available at the venue as opposed to previous editions. The car sponsor, Hyundai Rwanda, clarified that the car will be handed over to the beauty a few days after the grand finale. Meanwhile first runner-up Keza will receive Rwf2, 400, 000 from Bella Flowers, a 6-month free weekend getaway at La Palisse Hotel Nyamata and a full year dental care service from Diamond Smile Dental Clinic.

The second runner-up will receive the same amount of money from Volcano Ltd as their Brand Ambassador, a three-month weekend getaway at La Palisse Hotel Nyamata and a one-year dental care service from Diamond Smile Dental Clinic.

Disability is not inability

If there is a contestant who made headlines throughout the Miss Rwanda 2022 campaign, it was Jeannette Uwimana, the first person with disability to contest for Miss Rwanda since its inception in 1993. A few believed that her journey would be as successful from the day she decided to run for the Miss Rwanda crown despite being deaf. And she proved doubters wrong when her project, which is about pork farming, became the ‘Most Innovative Project’. The project will be fully funded by Bank of Kigali besides becoming the bank’s brand ambassador for the next twelve months during which she will be receiving monthly allowances of Rwf500, 000.

Among other prize winners include Ruth Bahali who was awarded Rwf1, 800, 000 by HDI Rwanda for showing much interest in reproductive health issues. Meanwhile, Kellia Ruzindana became Miss Heritage and will walk away with a cash prize of Rwf5, 000, 000 from Bralirwa through their brand Primus as well as support towards her cultural awareness campaigns.

Queen Ndahiro Mugabekazi emerged Miss Photogenic while Amanda Saro who excited revelers with exceptional skills in playing piano became the Talent winner. Marlene Uwimana was announced the Sports winner even before the grand finale while Divine Muheto added the Miss Popularity prize to her crown. Each of the four titles will be awarded a cash prize of Rwf2, 400, 000 from Diamond Smile Dental Clinic, IGIHE, Forzza Gaming and Smart Design respectively.

However, the Miss Congeniality title was not given out as earlier announced after Merez Petroleum, which was expected to award her, withdrew its partnership with the pageant’s organizers. The Miss Rwanda 2022 top 10 finalists will be given scholarships of their choice by the University of Kigali based on their level of education and progress. Each contestant will get a share of 20 percent of the money obtained from each contestant’s votes. The money will assist in their project implementation.

Meanwhile, Forzza Gaming will finance a charitable activity that all Miss Rwanda 2022 finalists will agree to work on together.

The New Times (Rwanda)

Posted by on Mar 24 2022. Filed under Artcultainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply