Saturday, August 19, 2017

Miss Kansanga Is A Sure Plot!

In the 80s and 90s, Miss Uganda had all but died – not that anybody wailed at the funeral because often the pageant was ill prepared, rode on a shoe string budget and Contestant who braved the catwalk didn’t get the prizes promised to her by Organiser.

In 2001, in walked the unheard of Sylvia Owori who at a Rock Bar press conference, announced to the nation she had bought the rights to the pageant and was going to make it grand. “It won’t be held in Sabrina’s Pub (which then, was the number one spot for functions) or some backwater dive in Ndeeba. Miss Uganda is going up market. It’s going to be big and it’s going rock Uganda. Watch this space!”

Sylvia Owori
That said, she swung us – the media hacks, a soda or was it a beer or two and a ka-samosa and we were on our way. We had, of course, heard it before - after all, what credentials did she have save for a ‘failed’ stint as a music promoter when she brought that Jamaican dancehall artiste whose signature tune was: ‘Oh No!’ and called himself Red Rat, assuming my memory still sparks and I’ve not been struck by a bout of dementia.


But true to her Rock Bar hype, Owori wasn't talking fwaala because she did make Miss Uganda great again! She got sponsors with bottomless pockets – Total, Bell, Crane Bank and MTN. And as they say, the rest is history.

One thing about Miss Uganda is that they held regional’s – in Lira, Mbale, Jinja, Fort Portal and Mbarara. At the first regional in Lira, Lira didn’t know what to make of it when the Miss Uganda band wagon stomped into town. All they knew was girls are needed to take part in a beauty contest and with that, just about every woman from the district turned up for auditions and I mean EVERY woman from Grandma Ongom to Great Grandma Akol. In tow was Fat Woman, which surprised me because in my naivety, I thought that Fat Woman only came from Mbarara, Fort Portal, Bushenyi, Kabale and Buganda.

Victoria Nabunya, first Miss Uganda winner under the Owori reign in 2001
Moving on, before Ms Owori came into play, in a moment of temporary insanity back in 1998, I attended Miss Kabalagala which was held in Capital Pub, a pub renowned as being the top hangout in the land for Prostitute and thumping rock music.

From start to finish, Miss Kabalagala was a chortle. I don’t know how they sourced the girls, but when First Girl came sashaying down the rickety catwalk, we weren’t sure if she was trying to imitate a person with disabilities or if she had something stuck up her bottom. Second Girl, when asked what she would do with the prize money if she won, she said something along the lines of buying Roadside Vendor chicken for Friend and a teddy bear. Another tried to show case her dancing talent by withering on the stage like a snake trying to wrap itself round its prey. Hmm!            

Now this is where this week’s ramble cajoles for next Saturday, 26th, is pageant night - Miss Kansanga so the banner strewn at the junction of Kabalagala and Gaba road screams and I think it’s being held in that dingy pub next to the market. “Atte where else” I hear you howl.

I doubt regular readers of read my column will show - not OPP and Doc because they are in outside countries, not Tilly or Donna Muwonge because they would have flown out, certainly not Bayego because she smirked when I told her about it and Miss Na-Gundi, well she is not the sort of person to show case her latest sweeping ensemble in a down trodden pub. I however, expect Julio and Nodin to fall in.

But I am unfazed and will attend for the other day when I asked Car Mechanic what he thought I might expect from it, he said: “Wagenda kuba wajudde akabozi, n’abawala b’omukatale nga abaganzi baabwe abavuzi ba piki ne boda babawagira” (It’s going to be full of House Girl and Market Girl with Boda Boyfie cheering them on”).

The expected crowd at Miss Kansanga
Now, is that not apt justification for Miss Kansanga being a plot?   


Pictures: New Vision, Sylvia Owori, Bukedde