Tourism minister, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu has said he supports the controversial campaign, endorsed by his junior minister Godfrey Kiwanda, to use “curvy women” to attract tourists to Uganda.
Kiwanda unveiled the campaign last Wednesday at a news conference attended by a bevy of curvaceous women attracting uproar from a section of Ugandans, especially female Ugandan activists who argue that it objectifies women.
Prof Kamuntu said he supports the pageant and encouraged women with curves to register for the pageant.
“The private sector is so creative when it comes to marketing tourism. We support it. Let those who have curves come and show us, if you do not have, then don’t come,” he said.
Ms Anne Mungoma, the chief executive officer of Miss Curvy Uganda, last week said she is surprised by the uproar over the announcement of the beauty contest. She said the whole concept has been misunderstood.
“This event is a beauty pageant for the natural-plus-size, which we must embrace and appreciate. We want the beauty queens to express themselves; so appreciate their intellect and clear the impression that a beauty queen must be size zero,” she said.
Ms Mungoma added that 140 well-endowed women have registered for the contest set for June.
What other tourism experts say about the pageant
“This is not part of wildlife. I cannot comment on it,” John Makombo, Director Conservation, UWA.
“It is an interesting topic. Like Miss Tourism, we are not comparing the women with the big five and nobody is forcing the women to participate,” David Musingo, UWEC.
“This initiative came to our attention this week and we are not party to it. As far as we are concerned, as a promotional agency, we shall see how far it goes,” Stephen Assimwe, Executive director, UTB