Uganda has held its first-ever beauty contest for people with albinism. Among the twenty two candidates from six districts, the judges chose 5 men and 5 women to represent Uganda at the Mr. and Miss East Africa’s beauty contest in Nairobi at the end of November this year.
‘‘Today was an important opportunity because we had the first hearings in Uganda of people with albinism for Mr. and Ms. Albinism from East Africa. This is extremely important because representation is important. That says a lot about how society perceives this difference’‘, said director of the Malengo foundation and judge, Michelle Omamteker.
For contestants, the platform was an opportunity to showcase their incredible talents and be seen.
“I think next year it will be huge, there will be even more than the 22 of today. I think the numbers will reach a hundred, or even 200 and more”, said Brenda Boonabaana, a contestant.
“The reason I applied is that I want to be in the spotlight to represent albinism and I also need to raise awareness. Starting with the parents of people with albinism. Because there are things they do to children thinking they’re helping them, when they’re not doing them any favors”, said Paul Wakibona, a contestant.
The protection of the rights of people with albinism is a major public concern for many in East Africa.
The participation of young people in events like this one is still slow. But organizers hope that the success of this first edition will further break down the barriers surrounding the stigmatization of people living with albinism.