Miss Uganda, Stellah Nantumbwe says she is optimistic about taking the Miss World crown.
“I would love to have my motherland behind me. I would also love to have all Ugandans voting for me by downloading the Miss World app from the Miss World page. It grants you two votes each. Uganda, I am doing my absolute best here,” Nakimbugwe told Daily Monitor from Buali, Bali in Indonesia yesterday.
Ms Nantumbwe is competing with 135 ladies for the top international beauty crown. “The competition gets harder due to the numbers,” she said.
The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant, created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951.
On her Miss World page Nantumbwe preferred to partly write in a language widely spoken in Uganda.
"Mbalamusiza bassebo neba nyabo amanya gange nze Stellah Nantumbwe ndi wanno okuki kilila egwanga lyange Uganda," was her greeting to the world in her native Luganda language.
Nantumbwe was crowned Miss Uganda in July, after beating 22 contenders to the crown. She says that she is proud to be coming from Uganda, a young nation beaming with opportunity and so many hidden treasures.
“Coming from a very diverse nation such as Uganda (the Pearl of Africa) is an absolute blessing. There is a various array of cultures, flora and fauna to explore.”
Miss World is running under the theme “Beautiful Purpose”.
Of Stella Nantumbwe Miss Uganda project coordinator, Olivia Nalugya says: “We have a lot of expectations. We believe that Stellah will do us proud and bring the Miss Uganda crown home.”
All contenders at the Miss World competition are supposed to go through a number of challenges. Nantumbwe could be another of the few Miss World African winners.
Only four African women have won the Miss World title. The first African winner was Antigone Costanda from Egypt in 1954, while Penelope Anne Coelen from South Africa won the competition in 1958. Anneline Kriel, also from South Africa won the crown in 1974. The last time an African contestant came out on top was in 2001 when the title went to Nigeria’s Agbani Darego.
Ms Nantumbwe, who was born in Kampala, is the last of 12 children. She recently graduated from the University of Greenwich with a BSc of Business Computing.
“I enjoy travelling, hiking, music and poetry as well as discovering new things. I would describe myself as charismatic and innovative amongst other things,” she says.
Following days of protests by Indonesian hard-line Muslim groups and the rejection of the contest by a leading clerics' organization, the government announced Saturday that it was moving the Sept. 28 final round to Bali. It was initially set to be held in Sentul, on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.
Bali is the only Hindu-dominated province in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country.
Controversy over the pageant has been mounting in Indonesia despite its reputation as a tolerant and pluralist society.