In Summary
  • The first daughter had largely stayed away from the limelight before she was gloriously unveiled when she accompanied her father to the gala dinner.
  • Dressed in a figure hugging ivory sleeveless evening gown that was subtly draped at the waist, the “tallest first daughter”— as sections of the media branded her —  displayed a confident, graceful stance on the red carpet. She towered over her relatively tall father who is 6’2’’.
  • Ange is the second child and only daughter of President Kagame and she has three brothers: Ivan, Ian and Brian.

Any extraordinarily tall woman with a sense of style attracts instant attention even without trying.

But when that woman is the daughter of a prominent African head of state and poses for a photograph with her father, US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle in the iconic Blue Room at the White House, the interest is certain to increase tenfold.

That was what happened when a picture featuring Ange Ingabire Kagame, the 25-year-old daughter of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, was released to the world during the first-ever US-Africa Summit that ended on Wednesday. The photo went viral.

Kenyans joined in the global admiration of Ange, who seemed to have briefly stolen the limelight from the largely serious discussions on security, trade and big money deals involving at least 50 African leaders in Washington DC.

The first daughter had largely stayed away from the limelight before she was gloriously unveiled when she accompanied her father to the gala dinner. Dressed in a figure hugging ivory sleeveless evening gown that was subtly draped at the waist, the “tallest first daughter”— as sections of the media branded her —  displayed a confident, graceful stance on the red carpet. She towered over her relatively tall father who is 6’2’’.

DINNER WITH DADDY

The White House photograph of the father-daughter duo sandwiched between the Obamas spread like wildfire with Ange (@AngeKagame) gaining more new followers on Twitter.

Born on June 10, 1989, Ange spent most of her childhood shielded away from the public having studied and completed her education abroad. However, in 2010 she started engaging in charity in Rwanda, mostly by involvement in the activities led by her mother, Jeanette. She has been involved in immunisation campaigns, women’s empowerment, education and poverty eradication.

Ange is the second child and only daughter of President Kagame and she has three brothers: Ivan, Ian and Brian.

Quite the daddy’s girl, Ange often tweets about her presidential father and posts various photographs.

On August 5, prior to the White House dinner, Ange posted on Twitter, “White House Dinner with Daddy” followed by the now famous photograph with the Obamas. 

Ange’s tweets also let the world in on the Rwanda President’s softer side as a doting father. On July 27, for example, she posted: “My dad just spent the last 5-10 minutes helping me detangle and brush out my post wedding hair ... very out of his element #afatherslove”

Of her mother, she says: “My mother is a walking survival kit/superwoman ... Literally has the answer to EVERYTHING”.

She is an ardent soccer fan; and constantly tweeted about the highs and lows during the World Cup that ended in Brazil last month. From her tweets, it looks like she supported Ghana and Germany.

Ange, like any other young woman her age, loves music and teases her girlfriends on Twitter. Some of her favourite artistes are American musicians Trey Songz and Beyonce. She is also a fan of Nigerian musician Davido. Her iPod is also blaring with Trey Songz new album Trigga.

 She constantly posts selfies and updates her whereabouts on social media. Ange’s ties with the US did not begin and end at last week’s summit because she studied abroad “due to security reasons”.

From her Tweets, Ange is a frequent flier to the US where she has several friends. A photo of Ange and her brother wearing military uniform alongside their father was taken when she was attending a national  civic education training programme which focuses on teaching  and introducing young people — and sometimes older people from the diaspora — about Rwanda, patriotism and culture.

HAIR QUEEN

But it was not just Ange that added a touch of glamour to the summit. Here is how a headline in the Washington Post captured the arrival of Chantal Biya: “The First Lady of Cameroon and her hair have touched down in DC”.

The newspaper went ahead to describe her famous hair as “beauty school master’s thesis in contradictions. Somehow her hair manages to be short and long, rebellious yet elegant, unruly but controlled”.

Chantal stood out in her signature devil-may-care mane; the glorious coffee-brown mullet that would put country singer Dolly Parton’s famous wigs to shame.

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