Gladys Kyotungire is Miss Uganda UK 2012-2013. She had a chat with Esther Namirimu about love.
Who is Gladys?
I was born to Princess Pauline Nassolo and Johnson Tibamanya 25 years ago. I was raised in Uganda, but went to the UK in 2007 after my senior six.
Why did you participate in this beauty pageant?
An advert was ran on television asking Ugandan girls to apply for the Miss Uganda UK beauty pageant. I had just finished my studies and was looking for a job. I wanted to do something I could enjoy. I had was modelled for Caribbean, Ghanaian, and Nigerian agencies, but I realised I was growing up and needed a make an impact on the industry. So I applied.
Did you go for it because you are beautiful?
I did not want to be crowned the most beautiful girl, but the most intelligent who would bring change to my country and the Ugandan community in the UK. All the girls who contested were beautiful. I was so afraid of losing, but I believed in myself. I had to find a way to show the judges my inner-most being. I think I won because of my personality.
What is the criteria for choosing Miss Uganda UK?
One has to be a Ugandan either by birth or have a Ugandan parent to qualify. The organisers also check out your personality, attitude and reputation.
What do you think of the current Miss Uganda, Phiona Bizzu?
I think Bizzu has a warm personality and she is easy to get along with. I like her smile, she smiles a lot just like me. I think the judges made the right choice, considering that I do not know the other contestants.
If you had contested against her, do you think she would have beaten you?
I always see myself as a winner. I do not go for anything to come out second. I am always the best.
Who is your boyfriend?
I do not have a boyfriend.
It takes time to find the right person. I think when that time comes, I will get one.
Does it mean you have never had a boyfriend?
I had a boyfriend right after my Senior Six, but I will not mention his name because he moved on. With time, we grew to think differently, but remained friends.
Did you meet him when you came to Uganda?
Yes, because we are friends.
Is this your first time to come back to Uganda?
No, I come home every year. My parents live here. I live with my elder sister in the UK.
Have you ever dated a white man?
I have not found one that tickles my fantasy.
What do you look for in a man?
Tall, dark-skinned, handsome, Christian and he must be my friend. He should have good fashion sense and most of all, be a people-person.
What are the major differences between dating in the UK and Uganda?
The girls here want men they can depend on, while in the UK, girls date to have fun.
What is your most memorable moment?
I have two memorable moments in life. One when I was elected head girl of Merryland High School, Entebbe in 2005/2006 and when I won the Miss Uganda UK beauty pageant.
Which Ugandan song don’t you get tired of listening to?
Valu Valu by Jose Chameleon. I love that song. It was played when I was announced Miss Uganda UK.
What is keeping you busy in Uganda now?
I am here to campaign against child sacrifice.
Why child sacrifice and not going green?
When I was a child, I narrowly escaped being sacrificed. We had a house maid who had connections to some Senegalese people. She asked me to go with her to buy something from the shop, but we did not go back home for three days. I cried the entire three days, then a man saw us and asked her where she was taking me. She did not answer. I was saved by this man who took me to a local television and that is how I was rescued.