By Norah Mukimba
Come 31st August 2018, Miss Uganda North America will hold up a mega award event at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Seattle – Washington dubbed as “a night of culture and fashion for women empowerment”. On the same day, most influential young women will be awarded for their efforts towards the livelihood of women across the Globe.
This year’s theme ‘Our Voices Elevated’ celebrates women empowerment movements that have shed a light on the most important issues affecting women and girls globally, including inequality, domestic violence, lack of access to education, rape culture and sexual harassment
Twelve brilliant young women are in the running for this year’s crown, and along the way they will be joining hands to learn how to work together on key girl-child and women empowerment issues.
We are excited to be partnering with various Ugandan talents for this year’s pageant according to the chief organizer Julius Kabugu
Ugandan society including Irene Nakitende, founder of Different, Better with a Purpose and celebrity stylist Kennedy Katebalirwe, aka Zziwa, CEO of the famous HairByZziwa and musicians like Sheebah Karungi will headline the event.
Here are the most thought after women contesting for the awards
Nyame Mariam Danso – San Diego, California
Nyame was born and raised in Uganda. She’s currently pursuing a modeling career in College. “… this would be a great opportunity for me to combine what i love most – fashion – and helping people.”
Daphine Karungi Kabwa – West Hartford, Connecticut
Daphine is a Mass Communications graduate from Uganda Christian University and is working on attaining a Master’s Degree. She would like to use this platform to create social identities that will be developmental to our community, pulling up fellow women. Instagram:
Myra Muyinza Najjemba Wamala – Houston, Texas
Muyinza means ‘through God all things are possible.’ Myra is a sophomore at Sam Houston State University, majoring in nursing. She dreams of opening up her own Clinic to better help children in need of health care as a pediatric nurse practitioner
Natasha Mupenzi – North Andover, Massachusetts
Born in Uganda and raised in Uganda and Rwanda, Natasha speaks Luganda, Runyankore and Kinyarwanda. She’s currently in nursing school, working on becoming a nurse practitioner. Her dream is to someday move back to Uganda and work in a hospital there. She’s also obsessed with culture
Tramaine Suubi – DC Metro area
She just graduated with a double-major in Philosophy and French from Wheaton College in Illinois. Her passion is international human rights advocacy. “This passion for equity and justice is grounded in my faith as a Christian.”
acent Nalwali Wamala – Henderson, Nevada
Jacent never has a dull day when it comes to serving her community. Born in Uganda and raised in Nevada, she works as a marriage and family therapist, juvenile detention center therapist, part time instructor at University of Nevada Las Vegas, and volunteers with Broadway in the HOOD (Helping Others Open Doors) – a non profit that helps disadvantaged youths. She is planning to get her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy and is interested in activism and philanthropy. “I do not feel like I work a day in my life, because I enjoy everything I do.”
Noelyne Leni Alitema – Eugene, Oregon
This daughter of the West Nile Region of Uganda is interested in International Studies – specifically International Law. Leni Noelyne borrows a lot from her upbringing in a small village to survive the challenges of living in the United States. It has also inspired her to plan on making clean water and sanitation more accessible for people in rural Uganda. “I believe educating a girl child a day can greatly improve the situation.”
Mary Semakula – Auburn, Washington
She was born and raised in Washington State and is currently a freshman attending the University of Washington, majoring in Biomedical Sciences. “Growing up I was always teased for being a nerd, and not fitting society’s standards of beauty.” Mary wants to teach young women that it is OK to be different and to have flaws – that there is nothing wrong with enjoying studying and being smart.
Shalom Aburu – Tacoma Washington
Shalom Aburu is a fashion designer in the Seattle/Tacoma areas of Washington state. She also works with a non profit in Uganda that helps youth to access education opportunities and gain vocational skills. Shalom believes in tackling the problems faced by Uganda through education of the youth.
Michelle Namuyaba Mukasa – Everett, Washington
At the age of seventeen, her heart desired to grasp ahold of a cause worth fighting for. Knowing that her heart is for helping people, she became a soldier in the U.S. Army. In the same way, she desires to learn from her people and continue to spread the beautiful Ugandan culture to all generations. Her greatest role model is Maya Angelou (rip). “She challenged women to recognize oppression and the very captivity they may hold themselves within.”
Comfort Chloe Akatukunda – Peabody, Massachusetts
Raised in Mbarara, Uganda, Comfort moved to the United States at the age of 18. She is a sophomore at Regis College, pursuing a Bachelors in Nursing. Comfort brings a caring and positive attitude to the class of 2018. She hopes to leave behind a legacy of queens making a difference. “I want what everyone wants, to be seen as more than ordinary.” Her core values are honesty, commitment, respect and patriotism
Jacinta Nabirye Bateganya – Kennesaw, Georgia
Jacinta is a junior at Kennesaw State University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Statistics. She plans to pursue a career as a health psychologist and also has a huge interest in fashion and beauty. She currently part times as a jewelry consultant. She would like to use this platform to shed a light on mental health, especially often ignored mental health issues affecting women – such as postpartum depression