By: Julius Bizimungu Naima Rahamatali has pulled out of the Miss Rwanda 2016 race to attend to her hospitalised father. Rahamatali made the announcement on Facebook yesterday.
“It is with immense sadness that I withdraw from the competition. My father has fallen extremely ill and my presence by his side is needed. I wish all the ladies a wonderful continuation on this journey. I would also like to thank everyone who supported me and encouraged me during my journey in Miss Rwanda 2016. Thank you,” read a post on her Facebook wall.
While she has lived in Canada most of her life and just came back to the country a week before the auditions, Rahamatali was able to convince the judges that she deserved a spot, even with her limited ability to speak Kinyarwanda–a key requirement.
The judges referred to her as a proud Rwandan, noting that it is good to have a contestant like her because it shows society that the concept of Miss Rwanda isn’t only for those based in Rwanda, but even Rwandans living in Diaspora.
Miss Rwanda organisers said they received Rahamatali’s request to withdrawal.
“It’s sad that she’s left the competition due to her dad’s illness. We were told that her father is extremely ill and that she needs to be there. She’s flying out this evening. However, the competition will continue,” noted Dieudonné Ishimwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Inspiration Back Up, the organisers of the pageant on Tuesday.
She was crowned second runner up in the Miss Afrique Montréal beauty pageant in Canada in 2015.