Kampala — The Miss Curvy Uganda beauty pageant will proceed as originally planned in spite of misgivings by a cross-section of Ugandans, including some religious figures, the organisers announced yesterday.
The chief executive of the pageant, Ms Anne Mungoma, said the show had been misinterpreted or misrepresented by those opposed to it.
"Miss Curvy is a beauty pageant that is organised internationally to recognise curvaceous women, and not slim women, since many people have failed to get the real definition of Miss Curvy contest," she told a press conference in Kampala yesterday morning.
The showpiece, which will place Uganda in the league of half-a-dozen other African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon and Zimbabwe, will be held at Hotel Africana on April 26.
It will cater for curvaceous women, aged 18 to 35.
At yesterday's press conference, State minister for Tourism, Mr Godfrey Kiwanda, said public criticism against him in recent days was unfounded because the media reported his initial comment on Miss Curvy pageant out of context.
"It is very wrong that I was misquoted and I would like to categorically make it clear that I did not make the statement," he said in reference to previous reports that he suggested to use the pageant to attract tourists.
Ms Mungoma and the group launched Miss Curvy contest about a fortnight ago to afford women ineligible to participate in regular pageants the opportunity to showcase their beauty and brains.
Critics, among them Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, argued that the tailored contest commoditises and dehumanises women, eroding their human and cultural values.
Minister Kiwanda said he was no organiser, but upon invitation to officiate at the launch, endorsed the pageant because it uses the same principles as those for regular contests such as Miss Uganda, Miss Earth, Miss Teen and Miss Tourism.
Mr Kiwanda has been at the frontline in wooing investors in Uganda, launching multiple promotions, among them tourism site visits with celebrities such as Zari Ttale and Anitah Kyarimpa Fabiola re-hatted as tourism ambassadors.
The ministry recently launched rolex food as a distinct Ugandan culinary for tourists. Uganda Tourism Board was also restructured to ignite interest for domestic tourism
These efforts appear to have yielded dividends, with Uganda registering many tourists last year, the highest ever in the country's history.
Best year. According to a report by Uganda Tourism Board, 2018 was declared Uganda's best tourism year where 1.7 million tourists visited the country generating $1.4billion.
Campaigns. According to Mr Kiwanda, the numbers have increased not because tourists visit a lot of national parks and focus on wildlife but his introduction of campaigns like Tulambule and initiating rolex as a tourism product has helped the common people relate with the tourism industry.