In August, Evelyn Namatovu was selected as Miss International Uganda after a vigorous online audition. She will be representing Uganda at the finale in November 12, in Tokyo, Japan. The 23 year old talks about her love for modeling and pageantry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Evelyn Namatovu, aged 23. My mother is Margaret Namusoke, and, father is Samuel Kironde. Both are business people. I completed primary seven from Kampala Hill Academy in 2009. I sat senior four at Lubiri Secondary School in 2013. The school is located in Mengo, Kampala. I went on and finished senior six in 2015 at St Marks College, Namagoma, along Masaka road. Then, in 2016, I enrolled for a Bachelor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management at Makerere University Business School (MUBS). I am happy that I will be graduating early next year especially because I was juggling between my studies and work.
What kind of work?
Well, during my senior six long holidays, I embarked on a modeling and pageantry journey by first contesting for Miss Uganda. This was in 2016. Although I did not win, I scooped the title of Miss Beach Beauty. It was within that period when I was signed under Joram Model Management (JMM). The agency is owned by Joram Muzira, a renowned model scout. As my manager, he helped get for me a number of modeling gigs. So far, I have walked in a number of local fashion shows including Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards (ASFAs), Kampala Fashion Week (KFW), and, Bride and Groom. I have also appeared in a few bill boards. I was participating in all these modeling fashion shows while studying. It was tough.
There were days some of these fashion shows would collide with my exams. I will never forget a time I walked in one of the fashion shows, yet, the following morning, I had an exam. During such times, I would even read backstage, and, once the show was finished, I would hurry back to the university. Although there was the option of putting my modeling career on a hold, I did not consider it. Why? Because I needed the money. I had gotten to a point where I was tired of asking my parents for pocket money. I don’t think it is a great idea to constantly ask our parents for money. The habit can become quite irritating.
Have you always been passionate about beauty pageants and modeling?
Yes. In fact, when I was growing up, I had a tendency of reading fashion magazines and wished to be like the models inside the pages. Then, because of my height (she stands at a staggering height of 5”11), a number of my family members and friends nicknamed me Miss Uganda. It’s these things combined that instigated my interest in modeling and pageantry.
Your recent win as Miss International Uganda, how did you end up participating in the event?
It was my manager, Joram, who alerted me about the pageant. He told me the organisers were looking for girls with a previous experience in pageantry. The interested girls would then need to apply online. I applied on August 5. Some of the questions I remember responding to include those asking me to talk a little bit about myself, my family and education background, why I was contesting in the pageant, among other questions.
How did you respond to the question of why are you contesting in the pageant?
My answer was that I would love to make lasting connections and networks internationally for the betterment of Uganda.
When did they get back to you?
A week later. They sent me a congratulating email as the newly crowned Miss International Uganda. Shortly afterwards, I was able to meet with the organisers. And, currently, they are preparing me for Miss International 2019. This will be the finale, and, it will take place on November 12 in Tokyo, Japan. I will be competing with other title holders from across the world.
What advise do you have for other aspiring beauty queens or models?
If you want something in life, you need to work hard for it. At the same time, make the right connections including getting mentors who will not only encourage, guide, but also, push you to achieve that dream.
Utility: What is the Miss international beauty pageant about?
Started in 1960, the pageant plays a crucial role in widening the circle of goodwill activities of each country’s representative. Participants also have an opportunity to improve their inner selves through proactively contributing to the international community and international exchanges. This is the first time Uganda is participating at the world stage.