IM this article to a friend!

June 7, 2004

Deaf girl tops east beauty pageant

From: New Vision, Uganda - Jun 7, 2004

By Kalungi Kabuye

She could not even hear the music she was supposed to walk to but 19-year-old Aidat Nabukalu, who is deaf and dumb, stole all hearts as she fought her way to becoming the first runner-up in the Miss Uganda 2004 eastern regional finals at Mbale's Mt. Elgon Hotel on Saturday.

"Some people tried to discourage me, saying a disabled girl cannot be a beauty queen," she told a press conference after the show, through an interpreter. "But I believed in myself and knew that I was pretty. So why shouldn't I contest with the others? I know many more disabled people will be encouraged by what I have done." Asked how she could you hear the music for the catwalk? "I could feel the vibes," she said.

She said she was proud of her achievement. Nabukalu, a fashion designer by training, is a daughter of a Tororo mechanic. She was the clear crowd favourite but she was beaten into second place by Fiona Amuso, 20, a senior six leaver from St. Lawrence High School, Masaka Road.

Amuso is a daughter of Johnson Engole, the speaker of Apac district council. Second runner-up was Diana Awori, 20, from Tororo district and a second-year Tourism student at Makerere University.

The Mbale regional finals included many girls from northern Uganda who could not participate in the northern region finals in Lira, which was cancelled due to the security situation.

Four other girls qualified for the Kampala pre-selections that will take place on Friday at the Kabira Country Club in Bukoto, Kampala. Ends

© Copyright The New Vision 2000-2004. All rights reserved.