Fiona Muthoni Naringwa, 23, emerged the first runner up at Miss Africa 2017 beauty pageant held in the southern Nigeria port of Calabar on Wednesday night.
Muthoni, a mass communication student at the University of Rwanda was beaten to the crown by Botswana's Gaseangwe Balopi in a colourful event that attracted participants from 25 countries across Africa.
Botswana’s Balopi, 21, was crowned overall winner after edging 24 other contestants to clinch the ultimate prize. Balopi took home $35,000 (Rwf 29.8 million) cash prize and a brand new Ford Escape SUV. As a winner, she will serve as good will ambassador for climate change and migration.
Rwanda’s Muthoni pocketed $10,000 (about Rwf 8.5 million) and Miss South Africa, Luyolo Mngonyama, 26, walked away with $5,000 as Second Runner Up.
Shortly after the event, Muthoni took to social media to express her gratitude about the event.
“The @missafrica2017_calabar journey has just ended and I have been crowned 1st Runner Up Miss Africa,” Muthoni wrote on her Instagram page.
Fiona on the catwalk
“I feel honoured to have represented my country-Rwanda and myself with dignity, pride and showed the whole of Africa that we can stand up and be heard! Proud to be Rwandan,” she added.
The Miss Africa beauty pageant brand mainly focuses on promoting the continent’s tourism and hospitality industry. But the Calabar edition specifically emphasized the need to promote “green economy as a tool for sustainable development”, whilst merging beauty with nature. It creates the much needed awareness on man's direct and indirect impact on environment.
Fiona Muthoni was also crowned Miss Rwanda third runner-up in 2015.
The story was published by The New Times and can be read : here
Published by UR Communication Department