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June 7, 2004

Of Beauty With a Purpose

From:, Africa - Jun 7, 2004

The Monitor (Kampala)
June 7, 2004
Posted to the web June 7, 2004

By Evelyn Kiapi Matsamura Mbale

Just when everybody expected a routine beauty pageant, like has been the past few weeks, something extraordinary came up - and for the best.

This time round, the search for a new Miss Uganda took us to Mbale town, where Mount Elgon hotel was the place to be.

There were 12 beautiful young women, all of them winners in their own rights, vying to become the next Miss Uganda. But there was one special contestant; contestant number three, the 20-year-old Ida Nabukalu, who, on realization that she was hearing-impaired, became the center of attraction for the rest of the evening.

At the end of the day, Nabukalu came first-runner up, but for news-hungry scribes, their wish was that she won the crown. What a story that would make!

What impressed many however was her ability to perfectly catwalk to the rhythm of the music with ease. Hers is definitely beauty with a purpose.

Winner that night however was 20-year-old Fiona Amuso, a black beauty, who from the start, looked really conserved and stern. She never smiled much, but knew what to do with her elegance, eloquent English, polished catwalk and confidence.

She also knew a thing or two about cars, something that seemed to impress the emcee of the evening, Mitch Egwang a lot.

Second runner-up was 22 year-old Diana Birabwa Awori, who was actually a plus-size on the catwalk. Not much could be said for the confident Makerere law student Rachael Alemu who told Mitch she could not help being too confident. But when she asked Mitch was his greatest dream was, and he failed to answer, then we all knew she was intelligent enough.

Another of interest was Elizabeth Babirye, the nursery school teacher who vowed she could give less privileged kids more of her attention should she win the Miss Uganda crown.

The evening started with a little traditional dance, before the upcoming and promising dance group, Eclipse came in to give the crowd their money's worth. Clad in new outfits and shaking their waists in a way that would scare singing star Beyonce away, Eclipse got mad cheers from the crowd.

Other entertainment came from Mbale's Bukwali and then the Kenya-based Peter Miles, and that was something new for many, taking to the floor as he sang away.

The search for a new Miss Uganda comes to Kampala next weekend and the pre-selections will take place at Ziper house on Kampala road.

The Miss Uganda 2004 pageant will take place at Speke Resort Munyonyo early August. Sudhir and Jyotsna Ruparelia, Fair & Lovely, Total Uganda and Club beer sponsor the event.

Copyright © 2004 The Monitor. All rights reserved.