Kampala- Twenty-seven Ugandan girls, among them a 24-year-old Esther Oluka, a features writer with Daily Monitor, have been selected to contest for this year’s crown for Miss Tourism.
Miss Tourism in its second year running, is an event organised by the Ministry of Tourism, as one of the activities that bring about education and sensitisation for the different tourism packages in the country.
While unveiling the beauties and a new tourism master plan on World Tourism Day last Saturday in Mbale Town, Tourism minister Maria Mutagambwa observed that the pageant has attracted a lot of interest. She said the ministry is using it as one of the ways to change Ugandans’ attitude towards tourism as well as create jobs.
“On October 17, we are going to select one lucky intelligent winner. We want to create jobs and make the girl child contribute to nation building by making tourism everybody’s affair to market Uganda,” she said.
Ms Sylvia Kalembe, a senior marketing officer Uganda Tourism Board, said this is the first time the pageant is going regional with the idea to promote both domestic and international tourism by identifying and promoting tourism attractions in their locations.
“We want the girls to become confident and bring out the beauty of these areas. Bunyoro has a salt mine which is a fantastic tourist attraction but people do not know about it. We want to change the attitude of Ugandans,” she said.
She added that the girls are going into a boot camp starting today where they will be taken to national parks and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe to appreciate the natural products of Uganda and key features.
“The regional approach has created a sense of competition. We can promote culture all year round. We are also encouraging those who will not make it to become guides, faces of aertising firms and use their beauty to become employed,” she said.
Ms Sarah Nyamwenge, the lead cat walk instructor, said most of the contestants this year have met the criteria compared to last year’s. She added that close to 60 applications were received from the nine regions in the country.
WHO IS ESTHER OLUKA?
The 24-year-old Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University is the first born in a family of five. Born to Moses Elungat, a banker with Barclays Bank and Grace Akecho a businesswoman, she went to Kireka Grammar School and later Ntinda View College for Senior One and Seeta High School from Senior Two to Senior Six before joining Uganda Christian University Mukono in 2009 and graduating in 2012.
She was nominated by the African Centre for Media Excellence in 2013 for investigative reporting on her story about the life of pregnant girls at Uganda Christian University. Oluka is passionate about her career.
The pageant winner is expected to represent Uganda in the Miss World Tourism Pageant in Malaysia in November.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor