Has UPDF really taken over Miss Uganda? Why is UPDF involved in the Miss Uganda franchise? So what exactly is UPDF going to do in Miss Uganda? These and many other questions have been asked by Ugandans ever since the UPDF-Miss Uganda partnership was announced by Presidential advisor Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho (Salim Saleh) earlier last month.
Media reports of recent have been awash with news of ‘UPDF taking over Miss Uganda’ and how the army plans to run the whole project. And therefore it was no surprise on Monday when the same questions kept coming again and again at a press conference to officially launch the Miss Uganda 2014 at Common Wealth Resort in Munyonyo.
Miss Uganda Organisers have ever since that announcement left Ugandans wondering what exactly it is that the army plans to do with a project that has always been e reserve of soft, delicate young ladies (associated with feminism and known for gloss and glamour with Beverage and Alcoholic drinks the main sponsors) that completely is the opposite of the rough and muscular image of the army especially in this part of Africa where the army is mostly involved in combat and Keeping peace in the country.
And with the theme set firmly on Agriculture and wealth creation targeting the youth of Uganda, the jigsaw puzzle even got more complicated and confusing until that moment when Brenda Nanyonzo CEO Miss Uganda explained at length what the whole project is all about.
An d it therefore turns out that, this year’s theme other than the ‘Beauty with a purpose’ is also wealth creation and UPDF comes in as a partner as they are the ones spear heading the campaign being a government program in the country.
Wealth creation is an initiative by President Yoweri Museveni to improve household income through agriculture and Miss Uganda has this year joined the campaign which is being lead by Gen. Saleh hence UPDF involvement in the whole circle especially after the previous main sponsor pulled out of sponsoring the annual pageant.
Brenda Nanyonjo who was tasked on numerous accessions by Journalists to explain the role of the army in the whole project reiterated that, the young women of today who have never thought of engaging in agriculture but usually prefer to engage in salon and boutique business, should take up the challenge so as to make a big difference to the community by feeding the nation.
“Regional winners will be taken to a farm to train and engage them in the farming practices to gain new experiences before the final selection”. Nanyonjo said.
Dr Kihura Nkuba the Programs officer of new Miss Uganda partners TV Africa echoed Nanyonjo’s points by saying that Miss Uganda should not only be money spenders but also make money as well.
“Our intention is to promote domestic products to the international markets. UPDF is a partner in wealth creation and are spear heading the campaign and when Miss Uganda joined the project, we thought we could work with them to market our products.” He said
“UPDF is currently producing Juice from mangoes, Potato flour, cornflakes and packaging of honey. The Idea is to utilize our beautiful African women to advocate for, promote and sell our products.” Dr. Kihura Nkuba added.
Mrs Gloria Batuta representing one of the consistent sponsors SMS ONE , said they will continue with their offer of providing bulk SMS for marketing the project and on top of the usual one million cash prize given to Miss popularity, Make over and other prizes given to various winners on the day of the pageant.
Other new partners to come on board include Mirinda, Namunkekera Agricultural Centre. Some of the previous winners and contestants were in the house to witness the launch with the main event climaxing on October 25 with 20 finalists competing at the Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo.