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Kalungi's Lens: The bashing of Miss Uganda through the years

By Kalungi Kabuye

Added 21st January 2020 02:43 PM

For some strange reason, the Miss Uganda pageant has been the target of derision and mockery over the years.

Kalungi's Lens: The bashing of Miss Uganda through the years

For some strange reason, the Miss Uganda pageant has been the target of derision and mockery over the years.

Just when you thought the organisers of the Miss Uganda pageant had finally got it right, and 2018 winner Quinn Abenakyo was all over the news for the right reasons, they managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory by the drama at last year's finals.

But for some strange reason, the Miss Uganda pageant has been the target of derision and mockery over the years. Here's a recap:

The pre-1990 years

Some form of beauty pageants were organised in the late 80s, but the organisers were accused of picking girls from the red-light districts, and nobody took them seriously.

1994 - Grace Vanessa Mungoma

After she won the title, she did not get anywhere, not the Miss World finals, and not even out of her small room in CCE at Makerere, which she shared with 3 other girls.

 

 Grace Vanessa Mungoma


  

1995 Betty Nantunga

It turned out the 1995 winner did not have her father's blessing, who hadn't even known that she had taken part. He threatened to take the organisers to court, and shipped Nantunga off to India for university, where she spent her year as Miss Uganda, out of sight.

1996 Sheba Kerere

 heba erere

She was a popular winner but ran into problems when she contracted a UK-based Ugandan designer for her Miss World outfits. The designer claimed Kerere failed to pay her, and sued for thousands of pounds in unpaid bills. 

1997-2001: Lillian Achom

By the time Achom was declared winner, organisers were tired, and gave up the franchise. So Acom served as Miss Uganda from 1997-2001, when Sylvia Owori took over the license.

 

Lillian Achom

 


2001 Victoria Nabunya
 
By the time Achom was declared winner, organisers were tired, and gave up the franchise. So Acom served as Miss Uganda from 1997-2001, when Sylvia Owori took over the license. 

Phionah Bizzu, Praise Akankwasa and Victoria Nabunya

 

Sylvia Owori's first Miss Uganda winner, she was suspended for one month for not cooperating with the organisers. Than Nabunya's father came out and said she had disowned him. That drama played out in the papers till her term came to an end.

2002 Rehema Nakuya

A medical student that became a doctor during her reign, Owori was accused of handpicking her because she wanted to give credibility to the pageant. Nakuya never attended training camp because of her studies.

 ehema ankya Rehema Nankya

 

2003 Aysha Salma Nassanga

The media were all over her that she was not a Ugandan, but Senegalese. Her parents, a Senegalese father, and Muganda mother were forced to come out into the open in defence of their daughter.

 

 

 

2005 Praise Akankwasa

That year's contest took all of one afternoon at Bat Valley, and nobody ever took Akankwasa seriously. This daughter of a priest had a torrid time with the tabloids, and her father reportedly disowned her. She still curses the time she was Miss Uganda.

2007 Monica Kasyate

There were cries of favouritism, and she quickly lost rapport with the organisers. The car she won got into serious mechanical condition (there were rumours of an accident), and she accused the organisers of not repairing it.

2008 Dorah Mwima

She complained afterwards she was abandoned by the organisers, and thus went on it on her own.

  aria amiiro and uinn benakyo Maria Namiiro and Quinn Abenakyo

 

2009 Maria Namiiro

She came to Uganda from the UK with the organisers, and everyone felt it was a rigged pageant. 

A New Vision undercover journalist participated in the boot camp leading to the finals and wrote that Namiiro seemed to already have been picked as the winner. But Namiiro later said that after winning, she never saw the organisers again.

2010 Heyzel Nansubuga

This is the year the judges disagreed with the organisers as to who the winner was. While the organisers chose Nansubuga, the judges, led by Allan Kasujja, chose another girl. But the organisers took the day.

 

 

 


2011 Sylvia Namutebi
  

Nothing really happened to Nantumbwe, although she was accused of being proud and arrogant.

2012 Phionah Bizzu

Social media was in high gear by then, and the whole country had a blast bashing Bizzu for not being what they thought a beautiful girl was like.

2013 Stella Nantumbwe 

 

Her claim to fame was representing Uganda in the last season of Brig Brother Africa, in 2014. She survived until the second last week. 

2014 Leah Kalanguka

The organisers were accused of doing a ‘Phionah Buzzu' again, and Kalanguka was bashed for being ‘not beautiful'. She spent a lot of time personally visiting media houses to show what she really was like.

    

2015 Zahara Nakiyaga

She was derided for being ‘short and fat', and spent a quiet regime.

2016 Leah Kagasa

 Another ‘quiet' winner, did not make any waves, positive or negative.

 
 

 

2018 Quinn Abenakyo

 

Uganda was desperate for some positivity coming out of Miss Uganda, and Abenakyo provided more than they dreamed of. She was in the Miss World Top 5 and was crowned Miss Africa. No bashing this time.

2019 Oliver Nakakande


It was difficult to follow in Abenakyo's footsteps, but Nakakande did reach the Top 20 in Miss World finals.   

 livia akakande 

 

 

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