Dubbed Plus Size or Miss Curvy Contest 2019 – the event is expected to be flamboyant, exciting and above all rewarding. Since its launch in Kampala – nearly two weeks ago by State Tourism Minister, Godfrey Kiwanda and Annie Mungoma – the CEO, some Ugandans, including top Man of God – said it should be cancelled.
However, none of the condemnations, calls to cancel it is giving the promoters sleepless nights or any second thoughts.
On Monday evening, TND News’ Milton Emmy Akwam interviewed Annie Mungoma – and she gave an in-depth explanations – below, excerpts.
Qtn: Recently you invited Minister Godfrey Kiwanda to launch your idea, it soon caught fire, condemnations with calls to stop it. Have you been pegged down?
Annie: Certainly not. They have given me the strength to go on. If I had launched this and it didn’t have any reactions, I would be scared, and now I know what it’s all about. It’s true I have got so many comments and most of them are positives.
What happens is that the few people making negative comments want people to think they are the majority but we as Miss Curvy Foundation, we got the feed-backs more than anyone. A talk show can host people and people will call in, two, three or four or social media but Uganda has millions of people and so many people are looking forward to this event because it’s a positive event with no negative background and no bad intentions.
Qtn: Amid condemnations, calls to cancel it, are there positive notes since launch?
Annie: Yeah. Of course people are excited because we are promoting something that has been around but ignored. Let me give you an example; when we say we are promoting a country with its people, I think people doesn’t know we are first tourism ambassadors; many countries have branded themselves, for example South Sudan, they have their good black color, their height – The Ebony. The whole world knows.
Even if you are not a South Sudanese and you move somewhere as long as you’re tall and dark they will call you as South Sudanese. That’s who they are – okay. That’s how the world has branded them. We have our sisters from Rwanda – the world knows Rwanda has curvaceous ladies, that’s true and the facts. What is wrong if I say among the category of people we have in Uganda are curvaceous ladies and we are going to get ladies to come, contest, and go represent Uganda as tourism ambassadors?
So, I think people just didn’t understand the concept and I’m saying we’re not branding these ladies as tourism ambassadors as people want to believe. We are saying this is another category of the beauty pageant, but this time The Plus Size Ladies who are also part of Uganda, these ladies exist.
No wonder, you hear someone say – these ladies are going to be put in a bus then they move around – I get mesmerized because one; I don’t think there is a tourism day in Uganda where tourists come that day to look at a particular people yet we have so many people who are admired, maybe – look at a tourism perspectives. Two, when someone say we are going to parade these ladies, where? As we speak of now, I know you have seen these curvaceous ladies – they exist, it’s the truth – we are not saying these people have been in some village and we are bringing them as tourist attraction, we are selling what we have.
Who is supposed to sell Uganda if we are not? We must sell it ourselves, we are the first tourism ambassadors. All you have to do is look at something that will give a positive image to your country and sell it in that direction, that’s how tourism ministry came on board.
It has nothing to do with sex workers, people are just being pretentious; they always don’t want to believe that finally The Plus Size Ladies are coming on the runway, all they want is to marginalize us which is unfortunate – but the truth is the curvy ladies are many in Uganda and makes up most of the list in Uganda.
Qtn. During the lunch, you said this event will reach all parts of the country, how far with that movement?
Annie: Well. First and foremost, we were going to do auditions but then we sat down as team and found it not necessary because we have so many ladies who have registered as of now. They are beyond 250 and these ladies represents each region in our country, so – what is the use! We need 25 contestants. This is the new edition – our first edition and we are first going to do it here [Kampala] – this is a city and it has everything but considering ladies from every parts of the country. If you’re interested, you come.
Qtn: More on registration and auditions.
Annie: People who have registered online, on WhatsApp we will have auditions in Kampala on a date to be announced soon and we will have these ladies on board and you press we will call you.
Qtn: Do we have ladies from northern Uganda registering?.
Annie: They’re many – many from northern Uganda. Some people were asking me some region will get more than the other, we are giving equal opportunity with a particular number we want to restrict because I said we ant 5 contestants per region which totals to 25.
Whether we have 100 Baganda, 80 Batoro, we are going to do it regionally.
Qtn: Is there any fee one must pay before registration?.
Annie: It’s totally free. Why do I pay for my beauty? As a matter of fact, you’re to be paid, recognized and we want you to champion projects and so many things – you are an ambassador.
Qtn: What kind of packages/awards winner[s] will receive?.
Annie: We will give a car, a plot of land and so many awards – contracts will come and all those are beautiful. But me I wants our beautiful queens to know the biggest Award is the platform for the world to see us, we have worked so hard to create an impact in the society, Uganda and beyond so that even 20 years from now they will be remembered – that’s the biggest issue. 20 years from now you may not have that car, 20 years from now you may not have sold that plot of land for something but memory, the platform, we are giving her if she uses it very well; she will get the biggest award.
Qtn: Talk about vacation to foreign country.
Annie: Vacations will come. Who doesn’t want to move abroad? Those offers are coming.
Qtn: Apart from Ministry of tourism, who else if backing you?.
Annie: Well. That’s going to come at the auditions because we are still putting things together.
Qtn: President Museveni initially backed your idea. Soon, reports say he was again opposing it. What are your feelings?
Annie: Actually, the audio I have, he said he okayed it but he doesn’t wants his grandchildren to take part – that’s what I heard and he made clear statements that are now being changed but good thing is that this is not a political event. To me, it was a PLUS!
Because people are talking about this event that we are going to do ABCD, I think they reached a point and thought may be the President would say Mr Kiwanda you go to hell – but we thank God he had no problem with it because it’s not a political event; this is an event of my private company but we are in partnership with ministry of tourism and other government bodies.