Miss Uganda Quiin Abenakyo made history for herself and for Uganda recently when she was crowned Miss World Africa 2018 in China. Abenakyo made it to the last five contestants and finished third. It is the first time a Ugandan has hit that mark in the 67 year world beauty contest.
Many Ugandans are basking in her victory to the extent that some have made it even tribal – not for the wrong reasons but pride. Government officials, including ministers, have been all over the media expressing their excitement and saying that Abenakyo’s victory is a win for Uganda’s tourism.
The Uganda Tourism Board even paid for advertising space in the media to run a congratulatory message on Abenakyo’s achievement.
“Congratulations Miss World 2018 Africa. You have given the continent another Pearl, and the World an African Queen. Thank you Uganda for your support and Quiin Abenakyo for flying our flag high at Miss World 2018,” the message reads.
As we celebrate Abenakyo, our queen, our crown, we need to reflect on the circumstances before her victory to help us understand why and how we should support our representatives at different events.
First of all, we looked on as Miss Uganda Organanisers struggled to raise money to hold the Miss Uganda 2018 Contest which Abenakyo first won. We looked on as the organisers struggled to raise money for an air ticket to travel to China to participate in the global contest.
Now we are here claiming her victory, and are spending money to celebrate it.
On several occasions our athletes have struggled to raise money to represent us at global events. When they emerge victorious the President hosts them to sumptuous dinners and sometimes rewards them with cash.
There should be a deliberate government effort to support people who carry our flag to different contests because they are Ugandans. They are our representatives.
There should be an institutionalized system to facilitate and reward those who carry our flag. Harvesting where we didn’t plant is simply embarrassing.