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August 9, 2004

Deaf contestant charms Miss Uganda 2004

From: New Vision, Uganda - Aug 9, 2004

By Kalungi Kabuye

She has not had much of a chance in life. Born a deaf mute, her father abandoned her when she was only two years old, and her mother died after that.

But she never quit and on Sunday, Aidat Nabukalu stood cetre stage as thousands, who showed up at the Speke Resort Munyonyo for the Miss Uganda 2004 finals, paid tribute to her.

She was voted by the public as Miss Viewers Choice in the SMS contest that lasted two weeks. She beat 20 girls to become the first runner-up and, by the end of the night, that tribute had reached sh47m, pledged towards the National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU), the foundation that Nabukalu represents, which supported her.

This foundation has been with Aidat through the hard times, and they have done a lot for her, Miss Uganda publicist Jessica Kyeyune said. They hired interpreters for her and last July they took her to Norway, where she represented the disabled youths of Uganda.

With this money they will help more people out there who are like Aidat, she said.

NUWODU is headquartered in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb, and is headed by Helen Asamo.

Sudhir and Jyostna Ruparelia pledged, sh5m, Martin Aliker for Stanbic Bank, sh5m and Crane Bank, sh3m. Others were Zenji Magazine, sh2m, Gordon and Morine Wavamuno, sh2m, Total, sh2m and Commercial Finance, sh2m. Former Big Brother Africa housemate Gaetano Kagwa, sh1m and Jose Chameleone, sh0.5m.

Nabukalu was also named Goodwill ambassador, Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda.

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Published on: Monday, 9th August, 2004