Miss Curvy Uganda, the company behind the controversial Miss Curvy beauty pageant, has said 140 well-endowed women have registered for the contest set for June.
In an interview on Friday, Ms Anne Mungoma, the chief executive officer of Miss Curvy Uganda, said she was surprised by the uproar over the announcement of the contest. She said the whole concept had 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.
She added that the event is meant to show the world that Uganda is endowed with natural African women with whom many campaigns to promote tourism can be designed.
“Brazil has a carnival; are they selling their women? Tourists go to see the Karimojong, the Maasai, and the Batwa; are they up for sale? Curvaceous women are eye-catching people ... unless they are saying we restrict beauty pageants to only slim ladies."
Asked how this will translate into tourism promotion, Ms Mungoma said that by providing a platform for curvaceous women to compete, the winner of Miss Curvy Uganda will have the opportunity to participate in Miss Curvy Africa and finally Miss Curvy World, just as Quinn Abenakyo did Uganda proud by participating in the just concluded Miss World beauty contest.
The CEO said if a Ugandan participant wins the Miss Curvy World contest, this will help promote the country’s image and get the world to know Uganda more.
“All the way from West Nile down to South Uganda, we have naturally endowed women. We need to tell the story about the cultures where these women come from. That is how we shall market our country,” she said.
She added that besides marketing the natural attractions, this will also promote cultural endowments.
Ms Mungoma challenged whoever is against her initiative to point out the negativity in similar contests such as Miss Tourism, Miss Uganda.
The private sector-led initiative, backed by the State Minister for Tourism, Mr Godfrey Kiwanda, kicked up a storm in the country after he reportedly added curvy and sexy Ugandan women to the list of tourism products to attract tourists.
Women activists, as well as political and religious leaders reacted with consternation and others called for resignation of the minister.
While addressing journalists after the Presidential Investors’ Roundtable discussions on Thursday, President Yoweri Museveni said the proposal had not been endorsed by Cabinet.
He added that there was no justification for tourists to come to Uganda to purposely look at beautiful women.