For someone who has watched talent competitions such as the British X Factor, American has got talent, and East Africa’s Tusker project fame, it is not a big deal to have a rude judge on the panel.
For instance, Simon Cowell is the most dreaded judge on the X Factor panel, as well as Ian Mbugua on Tusker Project fame. Those two have no apologies whatsoever. If they do not like something, they will say it plainly.
How is this related to Uganda right now? A video from the Miss Uganda search making rounds on various social media platforms has raised mixed feelings about the manner in which the judges respond to contestants.
The contestant’s only mistake was to pronounce Makerere as Makerele, and to say “Namutebi Jane Sarah is my name”.
For someone who was born and raised in Uganda, it is not unusual to get pronunciations wrong, due to the different accents that stem from the various languages across Uganda.
The judges did not seem to understand that though, they instead chose to ‘mock her’.
Disturbed by the judges reactions to the contestant’s accent and pronunciation of words, Ojigbani Kojo a digital marketer in a post on Facebook called on people to name the judges.
“I thought we ended this crap of pulling down young women trying to be better with Sylvia Owori. Those judges have names – how about we name them and then I will write each one of them a personal letter. They think they can drag people, then maybe we should also mop the floor with their names,” his post reads.
The discussion went on in several groups on Facebook.
Nyangoma Jayne Omuzigaba on a group named Fresh Peaches said: “They could have still corrected her without making her look stupid. Miss Uganda is a Miss World in the making, so ideally they are grooming a world representative, meaning they should groom confidence than kill it in the primary stage!!! Nobody in that crew has a worse mother tongue influence than Brenda…but well…i donno these things!!!”
Joseph Joe “I wonder how many people here would want to be in the girl’s shoes on national television over that or a similar embarrassment. We all make mistakes and it is wonderful to be corrected. There is however always a more gentle way of correcting that is intended to build rather than shutter. If u say they were right to do what they did and yet you would not want to be in her shoes on television then I think you are not being genuine.”
Bianca QuinnBee “They were actually making fun of her! Who does that?? Correcting is OK, but making a contestant look stupid is another! No no no no…. they owe us an apology. They are a total disgrace!”
However Nana Kaga, one of the judges facing backlash was unapologetic.
“Oooooooooookkkkkaaaaaaaaayyyy. You are now relevant. Moving swiftly on. who do y’all need to win Miss Uganda,” She commented on a post on Facebook, but later deleted the comment. But well, screenshots don’t lie.