Beauty queens inspiring young people in Uganda

By Jacky Achan

Having the beauty queens share their stories is powerful in shaping the lives of other young people who look up to them

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“Your life is your responsibility, no one has the right to belittle or intimidate you unless you let them, they don’t deserve that privilege,” reigning Miss World Africa Quinn Abenakyo on Friday in Kampala encouraged a group of youths.

The Miss Uganda Foundation together with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has embarked on a campaign to have young people, especially girls, interact with their Miss Uganda role models, draw inspiration and also reach their dreams.

Abenakyo was joined by Miss Uganda 2016/17 Leah Kagasa and Miss Uganda 2012/13 Phiona Bizzu in sharing their personal stories with curious and adoring fans equally keen to shine in their space.

Telling their stories in a question and answer session in the ‘Live Your Dream Moment’ the Miss Uganda beauty queens talked of how they have managed to overcome peer and social pressure to succeed.

agasa benakyo and izzu with iss ganda oundation  renda anyonjo left  country representative lain ibenaler 2nd right hoto by ary ansiimeKagasa, Abenakyo and Bizzu with Miss Uganda Foundation CEO Brenda Nanyonjo (left) UNFPA country representative Alain Sibenaler (2nd right). Photo by Mary Kansiime


They also spoke up on teenage pregnancies. According to the Uganda 2016 demographic and health survey, 25% of girls age 15 to 19 either have a child or are pregnant.

Abenakyo who is the reigning Miss World Africa said teenage pregnancies are stopping girls from reaching their full potential.

Kagasa disclosed how teenage pregnancies affected members of her family including cousins and aunties. She said young people need to be grounded in their beliefs to achieve their goals.

“Do not turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve life pressures, turn to a reliable support system, in family and friends,” she said.

UNFPA country representative Alain Sibenaler says having the beauty queens share their stories is powerful in shaping the lives of other young people who look up to them.

Miss Uganda Foundation will be moving to different parts of the country with the beauty queens to raise awareness and fight teenage pregnancies.