By Steven Odeke
For a pageant organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to seek a girl who will be Uganda’s tourism beauty for the next 12 months, challenges were to come aplenty.
And the journey has really been riddled with challenges. But it was capped with a glamorous finale at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Saturday with contestant Harriet Nakitto emerging winner, on a night that attracted high profile figures in the tourism industry and other sectors.
Nakitto (2ndR) with other contestants at the pageant
The 22-year-old had not been the outright favourite during the trail for her reserved approach, but she won the crown with the way she took on the big night at the expense of the other eight finalists.
She was confident during the question and answer session and had brilliant answers to each questions from Nakitto crowned Miss Tourism Uganda the judges.
From her answers, one who has followed the girls on the trail around four national game parks, cultural sites and the foreign countries these girls visited, would acknowledge Nakitto took notes and did her homework well.
The questions were all to do with knowledge of Uganda's tourism sector and when Nakitto was asked what she would do for tourism in case she won, she answered that she was to highlight Uganda’s main tourism sites during her speeches at international tourism events.
Contestants showcasing creative wear
Her answer was real and impressed the night's judges who were Amos Wekesa (Tourism official), Sarah Nkonge (Business lady), Irene Liong (Miss Tourism International representative), Robie Kakonge (media consultant), Benjamin Puissant, Lillian Angelova and Ruth Nankabirwa (State Minister of Fisheries).
They also agreed that Nakitto’s catwalk was impressive. But also, before we forget, she is also a beautiful girl.
Shamim Nakamyuka (22) was first runner-up, while Aisha Nagudi was second runner- up. The latter had become the outright favourite for the crown during the trail for her friendliness and experience in pageant modelling but she fumbled with her answers and that cost her dearly.
Nakitto will now represent Uganda in December's Miss Tourism international contest to be held in Malaysia. She also won a Toyota Vitz and will also represent the country on some tourism activities.
There were performances from Maurice Kirya, Naava Grey, Cindy, Winnie Mirembe and Nyanji cultural group. Tourism minister Maria utagamba said the pageant is a journey that will help promote tourism outside Uganda. The event ended at 1:30am.
See amazing journey to Miss Tourism grand finale here.