Kalimpinya Queen: Breaking Barriers and Leaving Tire Tracks in Rwanda’s Rally Scene

Kalimpinya Queen - Rwandese Rally Driver

By Mwambazi Lawrence

In the heart of Nyarugenge district, Kigali city, a determined spirit was born on August 6, 1998. Kalimpinya Queen, a name now synonymous with breaking barriers in Rwanda’s rally scene, has transcended from the classrooms of Ecole Primaire Cyahafi to the challenging terrains of rally circuits, forging a path of passion and determination.

Early Years and Education:
Kalimpinya Queen’s journey began in the hallowed halls of primary school, setting the stage for her future endeavors. Graduating from Lycee de Kigali in 2015, she exhibited not only academic prowess but also an unwavering determination that would define her extraordinary trajectory.

Rallying Roots:
Daughter of the third runner-up in Miss Rwanda 2017, Kalimpinya Queen found herself drawn to the adrenaline-pumping world of rally driving through the ‘Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally.’ In a historic move, she became the first Rwandan woman to compete in this major event, marking the commencement of an inspiring journey in motorsports.

Queen during the 2023 ARC event in Rwanda

Sprint Rally All Star 2022:
March 2022 witnessed Kalimpinya’s participation in the “Sprint Rally All Star 2022,” where she navigated the challenging roads of Rwamagana District as a co-driver for Yoto Fabrice. Their impressive skills secured a fourth-place finish, earning her the trophy for outstanding performance by a female driver. This event cemented her status as a formidable force in the rally driving scene.

Huye Rally Triumph:
Adding another feather to her cap, Kalimpinya Queen excelled in the Huye Rally held in the Huye region. Securing the third position, she garnered recognition and accolades for her exceptional performance, reinforcing her status as one of Rwanda’s premier women rally drivers.

Queen and Olivier Ngabo in one of the stages of ARC Rwanda 2023

Life Beyond the Racetrack:
Beyond the roar of engines and the smell of burning rubber, Kalimpinya Queen is not just a rally driver; she holds a job in a women’s clothing factory in Rwanda. Her professional role not only highlights her versatility but also underscores her commitment to empowering women in various fields. Balancing her career with her pageant involvement, she exemplifies the harmonious integration of professional and racing pursuits.

Inspiration for Aspiring Women:
Kalimpinya Queen’s journey from Rwamagana’s classrooms to the challenging rally circuits is a testament to her resilience and determination. By breaking gender norms, she has left an indelible mark on the African rally scene, inspiring young women to pursue unconventional dreams. As she navigates both the racetrack and her professional life, Kalimpinya Queen stands tall as a symbol of empowerment and success in the face of adversity. Her story encourages women to embrace their passions, challenge societal expectations, and pursue excellence in every arena of life.

Women in Motorsport: Jojo, Queen Kalimpinya, Monica Birwinyo, Mariam Nambasa and vindevogel

In the world of Rwandan rally driving, Kalimpinya Queen is not just a competitor; she is a trailblazer, shattering stereotypes with every turn of the wheel. The tire tracks she leaves behind are not just marks on the track; they are a symbol of empowerment, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of dreams.

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