May 22, 2008
Twins follow Miss Uganda dream to Hoima
By Shifa Mwesigye

For a town that hardly draws showbiz attention, Miss Uganda took a chance and headed to Hoima - a first in the pageant’s history.

Residents of Hoima know that entertainment in their dull town is rare, save for Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.
But with the discovery of oil in this region, this road will see big things ahead.

Revellers who graced the Miss Uganda Mid-western launch last weekend must have showed the sceptical sponsors of Miss Uganda that this is a town on the move.
For starters, a bubbly P6 girl was first in line to register for Miss Uganda as soon as the posters announcing the event hit the walls.

She stepped up to the scouts and muttered under her breath that she wanted to contest. She wasn’t anything above 10 years and was sent home with hand in mouth.

The big crowd at Riviera Hotel drank beer to the last drop and proved to Club’s doubting Shem Semambo who had worried about his beer sales, that he was so wrong.

For the first time, the crowd was offering support to the contestants like their life depended on it.
That won their favourite contestant, Caroline Nyangoma, the popular vote and eventually the crown.

Not new to regional contests, the 20-year-old twins Nyangoma and her sister Jocelyn Nyakato first came to the Miss Uganda scene during the Eastern Regional contest in Mbale. By the end of the Mbale show, Nyakato was in tears having lost the crown to a more confident Norah Akwi.
“I can’t believe this,” she said sobbing, her dream gone with the night. Or so I thought. “I put a lot of work in this. I even quit my job.”

When the pageant moved to Hoima, the same twins were among the eight contestants, working harder and smarter. They had lost some weight, designed better creative outfits and even changed their nail vanish. Talk of new wine in old bottles!

They had confidence on stage, the crowd loved them, and they gave more sensible answers.
When Nyakato was called to the front as the second runner up, she sighed with relief. First runner up went to a plus size Diana Kahunde, who was the sunshine on stage. She knows she is fleshy but she also knows that she is the ideal African woman, commanding presence on stage.
“A Ugandan woman is not a toothpick; she is me. That is why my weight doesn’t bother me at all,” Kahunde said during a press conference.

Solaya Zalwango, the Executive Director of Miss Uganda, crowned Nyangoma Miss Uganda Midwest.
“She was very articulate and lively this time round, she gave the best answer at the Q&A session and she communicated without looking frozen.”

Asked about the legitimacy of contestants competing in different regions, Zalwango said if a contestant feels they can do better, there is no law against trying again.
“I knew I could prove myself and I did that, I wanted to go an extra mile and I have achieved what I wanted,” Nyangoma said.

She won a Nokia phone from Uganda Telecom, a Bell Lager hamper and Gas cooker.
Shalita Kawa, one of the revellers, also won a fully paid trip for two to Zanzibar courtesy of Air Uganda. The night was crowned with performances from Ronald Mayinja and Moses Kigambo.