On Saturday night, Makerere University Business School (MUBS) student, who also doubles as the current Miss Uganda, made history at the ongoing Miss World beauty pageant in China.
The judges looked out for two main qualities from the contestants: confidence and eloquence.
And that’s exactly what Uganda’s representative Quiin Abenakyo exhibited the very moment she took the mic in a duel against Argentina’s Victoria Soto.
The two beauty queens were facing off in a Head-to-Head Challenge of the Miss World 2018, where 10 spots for the Top 30 were up for grabs. By the time Abenakyo and her rival stood up to make a case for their respective projects, nine finalists had already been confirmed.
While Soto talked hope and equal opportunities, Abenakyo, 22, drummed up support for the girl child in a project titled ‘Fighting Teenage Pregnancies’.
According to Miss World presenter Frankie Cena, the global pageant’s contestants are “bright, beautiful and empowering young women”, and Abenakyo exuded the right balance of exurberance, calmness and conviction to explain her cause.
She plucked out a telling story of a one Daisy, a Ugandan who, in her teens, had to carry the painful work of her grandfather’s shameful act for several months, having been previously also sexually abused by her father.
Abenakyo’s audience inside the Moulin Rouge Theatre, Mangrove Tree Resort World in China’s beach city of Sanya appeared moved.
In equal measure, the judges, too, were gripped by the emotional presentation, which, according to the competition rules, had to be delivered within one-and-a-half minutes.
Miss Uganda had no words to express how she was feeling, in her own words she expressed:
“I am very proud and humbled for having done this for my country”
Uganda’s Beauty with a Purpose project is fighting teenage pregnancies.
1 in 4 adolescent girls ages 14 to 19 either have a child or pregnant. This has led to school dropouts, health complications like fistula, some girls are banished from home leaving them helpless.
Quiin ABENAKYO further expressed:
“I believe they all have dreams and goals to achieve. My objective is to put into action my Beauty with a Purpose project using the opportunity given to me by the Miss Uganda foundation and Miss World Organisation to achievably bring to the fore front of the world stage causes that promote the sanity of human life especially the girl child ”
Everyone present were inspired by this moment to see Uganda’s Beauty with a Purpose project recognised, supporting to equip and skill the girl child so that they can reach their full potential, through the keep the girl child in school campaign.
Here is Abenakyo’s 90-second speech:
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My Beauty with a Purpose project is ‘Fighting Teenage Pregnancies’. One out of four girls, aged 13 to 17, is either pregnant or a mother. This is very disheartening, and as I look at all the ladies here, I must say we are really blessed that we don’t have to go through all this. But we can’t say the same for our sisters out there. There is a certain story of a Daisy. Daisy was molested by her father at 12 years old. The father passed away and she had to go live with her grandfather, and the grandfather did the same thing. Now this girl gave birth – imagine giving birth to your grandfather’s child! And this is happening a lot in Uganda. I come from the eastern part of Uganda and it has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies. What am I doing about it? Together with the Miss Uganda Foundation, we have a ‘Keep a Girl Child in School’ programme, and this is to enable and encourage these girls to go back to school. Give them the necessary resources and skills that will enable them go back to school. I believe when you educate a girl child, you are educating the entire community. So, the biggest platform one can ever have is Miss World. I have talked to a few of the other contestants and we all have this problem in our countries. How about we all come together, come up with common goals and objectives to fight this, so that we can stand up for our sisters that cannot do this for themselves. Thank you so much.”