To Top

My year as Miss Uganda

BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE: Leah Kalanguka has had a whirlwind of a year as Miss Uganda and she has kept her head high through it all. Edgar R. Batte talked to her about her reign.

What do you remember about the night you were crowned Miss Uganda?
I was excited and anxious to start this whole new journey. It is a feeling I cannot explain because one needs to experience the joy of winning something you really wanted. All I remember is that I was calm and ready to start my work as a beauty queen.

Did you expect to win?
At first no, but as the competition progressed, I could feel it. There was simply a calmness in my heart. I could actually see it happen.

What gave you confidence that you could become Miss Uganda?
I believed I could make it from the start though there were doubts. But I remembered I have faith and with faith all things are possible. I have been brought up in way that I have learned to believe in myself. I could see during the practise that I could speak eloquently and I was a fast thinker with great ideas to share, so I believed I could win.

What went through your mind when you saw the negative reactions to your crowning as the fairest lady in the country?
At first it was hear say. I never really saw the criticism, then I saw and I wondered how people could think that way, but above all I knew it was just the beginning to a great change. I never expected everyone to love me, but all that mattered was my self-esteem and the fact that I had support. The little support I had from my family, friends and supporters out there is all I needed.

What plans did you have as the new Miss Uganda and how much have you achieved?
Well the competition was about promotion of agriculture. I knew that I had to live by example in that area and I have had many activities in agriculture and I have made different visits to schools and youth groups to motivate and encourage them to take on agriculture.  It has been a accomplished to a great extent because I see many more youth engaging in agriculture. Due to lack of funds I should say it has not been 100 per cent accomplished because there much more I could do for young people in agriculture if there were funds. I have also worked with young people to better their health, ensure they stay in school and empowered them to become job-creators better people in society. I have done a lot with students at medical health camps.

Why are you so passionate about agriculture?
Well, I have been taught that hard work pays. Agriculture needs patience and it has taught me that. But I also know that it is a good way to make money in Uganda. We just need to put our heads together and improve it. We all need to practice agriculture. Why not do it up to standard and get money, not just here but outside Uganda too, through value addition.  I won’t forget the fact that it’s the backbone of our society and creates jobs.

By the way, how well are your agriculture ventures doing?
I am still waiting for new stock for the mushrooms as well as harvest time for the pineapples.

On how much acreage are you growing the mushrooms and pineapples?
The mushrooms are done in my backyard, in a shelter that takes over 500 stalks, and the pineapples are grown on over an acre.

Are these commercially rewarding ventures?
Yes they are. It is becoming bigger with time.

What has been the biggest amount of money you have made from both agricultural ventures?
I cannot estimate that right now. I do not handle the finances myself directly but the ventures sustain themselves.

How do you handle your business?
I do it with my siblings. Everybody has a hand in it. It is combined effort.

How many siblings do you have?
We are six girls.

Are you only girls?

What position are you in the family?
I am the third born.

What kind of family do you hail from?
A nuclear family I guess, with mum, dad and us the children.

Do you have family too?
My own? No I am not married.

Do you have someone in your life?
Not at the moment. There will be one in the future. I am waiting on that. I look forward to settle with someone who will make me a better person.

What qualities should he have?
He should be God fearing, loving, kind and tall.

Is there something wrong with short men?
There is nothing wrong with short men. Tall is just what I like or admire, given my height, I guess.

When were you last in a relationship?
I have not been in many. That was a few years back while I was at campus.

Talking about campus, you graduated earlier this year with a computer engineering degree. How much have you used it?
I have only used it a bit. Not much. Most of my time been I have been Miss Uganda. I will be continuing with it though after I hand over the crown.

Then how do you plan to use it?
I will use it at work. I expect to get a job. There are lots of things to do.

More in Features & Profiles

  • Some people deserve my diva attitude

    super model vibes: Stacie Aamito Lagum is headlining Kampala Fashion Week for the second time. The event runs from October 20...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 21, 2016
  • Hustler: Linda Pacy Katusiime

    TALKING DESIGNS: Linda Katusiime started her business by doing deliveries for friends and relatives. Bringing in items from Turkey, Germany, China...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 21, 2016
  • How to be Mr Safe Hands Denis Onyango

    CATCHING BALLS: He may not be able to save you from your financial woes, but shoot any ball in his direction...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 21, 2016
  • Zil escaped from class to sing

    Early dreams: He is only 25, but for him, it is already a story of grass to grace. Zil Nantamegwa started...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 21, 2016
  • Kalifah has never called anyone dad

    REINVENTING SELF: Since the flop of his concert, singer Kalifah Aganaga has been a little quiet. Last we heard, he had...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 15, 2016
  • People had hijacked my life – Faridah

        New beginnings: Social media was on Tuesday awash with photos of Faridah Nakazibwe’s wedding to boyfriend, Dr Omar Ssali...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 15, 2016
  • What Queen of Katwe means to them

    Katwe experience: Based on the vibrant story of Phiona Mutesi, whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 7, 2016
  • How to be… the no-nonsense Jennifer Musisi

    KCCA bosslady: She is probably the most popular woman in Kampala, and no – not for scandals or anything else, but...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 7, 2016
  • Meet a celeb : How Pablo wants to be remembered

    Rib-cracker: He is among the first Stand up comedians in Uganda. Today Kenneth Kimuli aka Pablo is a household name in...

    Christine NakalungiOctober 7, 2016