Last month, Miss University pageant witnessed a shift of beauty as the crown moved from MUBS to Kyambogo University. The only dots that connect these two is the fact that former Miss University Lillian Ruzindana and the current crown holder Macklean Atuhairwe all hail from the same high school. Macklean beat the modeling trend of beauty pageants and made it out with singing. She caught up with our writer Derrick Mugabe for a little chat.
So who is Macklean Atuhairwe?
Well, I’m a very low profile chatty person who does things her way. I’m the kind who loves adventure and trying out new things.
You look sweet 16, how old are you and which course do you pursue at KYU?
I’m 20yrs old and currently in my second year doing a Bachelors in Accounting finance.
How did you get to know about the Miss University Beauty Contest?
I got to know about this through the former miss Tourism. I gave her my name jokingly and she forwarded it and that’s how I ended up competing.
After that, what inspired you to stay in the contest?
I love adventure and I always try to be successive in all ways. I try to when I fail, I try something else so I wanted to see if this opportunity was my field of success too.
Had you ever been in any beauty pageant before?
Not really (laughs at herself), this was probably my first.
Who is your role model?
Funny how my role model is a politician (giggles)… the First Lady and Education Minister Janet Museveni is my role model. The First Lady has done great things for the nation. She is strong and passionate her work. Being a First Lady isn’t an easy task either. (seals it off with a serious facial expression)
Were you not nervous since it was your first time in contest?
I have to admit, I had a lot of fear. At that moment, a lot was going through my mind like will people like me or even vote for me you know… (I nod in agreement). There was also a point where my uncle no longer wanted me to participate, so that added to my fear but it all went well.
What was your pageant secret to winning the competition?
I prayed God, talked to my cousin who fasted for/with me. I also did a lot of research, I didn’t want to go on stage when I’m not prepared. I hate ignorance, so I met Lillian Ruzindana, the former miss university and she advised me on the do’s and dont’s. I also kept in touch with one of the trainers Mr. Nsubuga one of the trainers who helped me out.
According to theme ‘Beauty with Talent,’ what do you plan on doing as Miss University?
I have projects I’m putting up. I want to inspire the youths to unlock their talent because if I help them realize that then it can change them from being job seekers to becoming job creators.I have already presented the projects to the finders and the first project will base on Entrepreneurship across all campuses, the second about especially cancer, HIV, STDs awareness.
With these big projects, how will you strike a balance between books and your role as Miss University?
The basic thing is that I’ll have to assimilate and engage my fellow contestants because they also had their own dreams and wanted to achieve something. I’ll involve them to help me in their respective universities so that we merge and run these projects better.
For class, I’ll make sure I attend lectures, keep up the personal reading culture and stick to discussion groups. For the classes I’ll miss, I’ll make it a point to consult and not lag behind because books are more important.
Should we expect a total change in your life as you start living large as a celebrity?
I’ll definitely change. I want to become something better so I won’t be the same in lifestyle but in character I’m going to remain humble, kind and approachable. I will also exploit my new opportunities because with them, I can reach another level.
Enough about the pageant, are you seeing someone right now? Can you tell us about him?
Yeah, I’m seeing someone (with a flamboyant smile) Let’s not talk about that.
If you were not in a relationship, would you date a blesser?
I can’t date a blesser because I’m a committed person and I like people who are mature in mind, visionary and blessers are not part of that visionary. Girls should break off from friends’ bandwagon and stop looking at only the present but the future too.
What’s your take on Lecturer-students relationships or Sex for marks?
It all starts with you! Girls should know what to do. If you deliberately miss a test and run after a lecturer what else do you expect? But if you do the right things in the right time, when will the lecturer ever get to know you?. Even if he knows some hot babe in class, he’ll never get to you because you two have no conversational currency. Avoid meeting with lecturers in fact let them not know you ever exist!. Things of making your self known in class, the lecturer will start hitting on you from there.
TBH, no one expected someone from Kyambogo to emerge winner. But to you what’s your take on KYU babes?
I should say, people should stop stereotyping according to groups. Just that people say Kyambogo babes are local and nothing good comes out of them doesn’t mean it applies to everyone and t isn’t even true (hitting table at the mention of every word). It’s not like for example every one who’s at MAK Is a cool and bright student, those are just personal judgements like how they stereotype Basoga to be dense but I have beautiful and bright Basoga friends.
Any token of appreciation to people who have pushed you on your road to success?
I thank everyone who voted and invested in their time. My advisors, trainers especially Alice Balo my fellow contestant who won miss popularity in whom I found a friend despite being her closest competitor.
I thank Kyambogo university student leaders like Bahati Fahad who invested in their time and money. May God bless all of them.