Kampala – Nansaasi Belinda, a Ugandan businesswoman, has won the Pearl of Africa’s first-ever “Miss Curvy” beauty pageant, vowing to act as a role model for other women with “plus-size” figures.
“I am going to be an inspiration,” an overjoyed Belinda said after winning the title in Kampala late Friday, beating 24 other finalists for the grand prize.
“Being plus-size is not a problem,” she continued. “So be happy about yourself and make sure you don’t quit. Just keep going.”
Nansaasi walked away with a Grand Jeep Cherokee and an air ticket to Turkey sponsored by Victory School of Beauty. She also won herself a scholarship at Victoria University courtesy of the Ruparelia Fund.
Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, the Chief guest at the event said;
“Let this work as a lesson and please before you make comments, first understand the genesis. We have witnessed discipline of the highest order, have seen couples enjoying, different categories of people and this is part of the culture.”
The beauty contest had earlier this year [February] caused controversy when tourism state minister Godfrey Kiwanda was mis understood regarding the intention of the pageant. Some media houses then, suggested that the Ugandan minister was intending to use the women’s curvaceous beauty as “a product to be marketed along with others such as Nature, the language and food.”
Women’s rights activists were outraged by the comments and called for the minister to resign.
At a press conference held in Kampala, the civil society and MPs led by former leader of opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza, said it was demeaning to portray women as sex objects and tourist attractions.
The archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, also condemned the proposed Miss Curvy Uganda competition. He said that the pageant undermined the dignity of women in Uganda.
“As Archbishop and on behalf of the entire Church of Uganda, we condemn the proposed Miss Curvy Uganda beauty pageant and urge the sponsors and partners to cancel it,” read a statement released by the office of the archbishop in February.
“It undermines the dignity of women and all that we as a church have worked for to advance girl-child education and opportunities for women to take their part in contributing fully to our national and family development,” he added.
However, Kiwanda came out to say he was quoted out of context and that the pageant had been misunderstood, adding that it was a private initiative focussed on creating awareness.
“When Annie came to me with her vision of appreciating Plus ladies I embraced it though it attracted a lot of criticism from the media and some people but assured her that we shall make it happen,” said Hon. Kiwanda Suubi Godfrey.
“I believe that there is a new wave that is going to come to Uganda, a new confidence that is going to be built among plus-size ladies,” added Kiwanda.
Anne Mungoma, the Miss Curvy Uganda Chief Executive Officer says the pageant is aimed at appreciating plus size women who are fighting with self esteem issues and are regularly despised for their big sizes.
“This pageant is to educate, inspire and impart confidence in plus sized ladies,” Mungoma said.
Africa Tembelea has learnt that, Nansaasi will represent Uganda at the upcoming Miss Curvy Competitions Africa due to take place in Nigeria.