Embracing Curves: Annie Mungoma has been a popular woman in the news lately. She is the brain behind the Miss Curvy Uganda pageant and although her project has been met with so much criticism, she did not back down. Lawrence Ogwal caught up with her.
1.What is your definition of Miss Curvy?
Miss Curvy is the name of the pageant that involves plus size models, but not just any plus size but those with curves. Over the years, Uganda had not given a chance to plus size women to take part in a beauty pageant. So far, we have registered more than 200 women to take part in the pageant and registration ended on February 28, and the grand finale will happen on April 26. We shall have different auditions starting tomorrow, with different activities that will go on until we remain with 25 women. Our target is women aged 18 to 35, fluent in English, articulate, good at presentation and mental power.
2. The pageant seems to have met so much negative reaction from different people.
People had to talk about Miss Curvy because it is a unique pageant and almost 90 per cent of Ugandans had not heard of it, which is why it got so much publicity. I started planning for Miss Curvy Uganda four years ago and during those four years, I was doing research about the pageant since it happens internationally and in Africa where I happen to be one of the founders. I was also looking for the right people to partner with and also make them understand what Miss Curvy was all about. Most people portrayed it in a different light, with some saying it was a sex tourism pageant. So we had to make them understand that the pageant is to promote Uganda as a tourism destination.
3. Does the team behind Miss Curvy include Minister Godfrey Kiwanda?
The minister is not part of the team organising the pageant and he does not own the pageant in anyway. He only granted support under the Ministry of Tourism where he works as the state minister. He came on board because he believes the pageant is aimed at promoting domestic tourism. The minister, during the pageant’s launch, was misunderstood when he mentioned that beauty (women) can market the country. And yet he was right because my research shows that the most curvaceous women come from Uganda.
4. The pageant dates were set but you still stormed Parliament to seek audience. Was that necessary?
The Parliament of Uganda is one of the highest offices in Uganda and when people misunderstood the pageant, it was tabled before Parliament for two days. Some members of Parliament still failed to understand the pageant, so it was only clever for us to storm Parliament to request the speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, to be our mouth piece.
5. You are a curvaceous woman yourself, if you were not part of the organisers, would you contest for Miss Curvy?
I do not think I would contest because I am shy, but I appreciate nature and because of that, I would support the pageant in anyway. I would at least involve myself in the organisation or support one of the contestants to the end. I like being involved in organisation because it does not limit me as a person.
Who is Annie Mungoma?
Mungoma comes from Mbale and is the president of the Uganda Shooters Sports Federation. She attended Buganda Road Primary School, Tororo Girls School for O-Level and A-Level and Makerere University for a Bachelor’s of Development Studies.