Sunday, 26 October 2014



Today, I happened to be hanging around a Ugandan mothers' online forum when a post of pure righteous outrage popped up, accompanying it was a photo of a beautiful African lady donned in a crown and the Miss Uganda sash, so imagine my amazement when I realised she was not being celebrated for the fete but rather being cursed for her alleged failure in the looks department. 

On various other platforms she was ridiculed and jeered and told all she was good at was agriculture (as if agriculturalists cannot be beautiful), and hey she is a former mushroom and poultry farmer A mother even stated that in the coming years her house girl could as well participate in the pageant (as if the house girl is not human). The furor that met her winning was unjustified.

The fact that the forum that was so full of indignation and dislike for human physical “ugliness” is a mothers’ group is worrying. What are we raising up our children to be, children do not learn from what we tell them but rather from what they perceive. Impute discrimination and shallowness in your child this early in life and rest assured that they will never depart from it and will have a hard time in life seeing as the ‘ugly’ people with brains run the world. It must be noted that on top of her new title and farming one Miss Uganda has studied computer engineering and science at Makerere University.

This is not a uniquely Ugandan problem though. One of the reasons that bleaching creams and procedures sell so fast amongst Africans is because of such reasoning. Of course if Miss Uganda had been light skinned people would have noticed her beautiful eyes, her gorgeous set of teeth and her bewitching smile. But alas, because these attributes were enclosed in her dark skin she is being defined as ugly and few are even bothered to learn her name. Granted there were claims of dirty business by the judges but the main issue from what I have read so far was how unpleasing to the eye their representative is.

This begs the question of how we define beauty

The stereotype of what beauty is must be why we East Africans consistently miss out on that title,

Ladies, let us stop bringing other women down. If you cannot do it or are not qualified, sit back and watch those who can do it, do it. In fact cheer them on, that way you will have your own cheering squad when your time comes.

Alek Wek ;The Southern Sudanese beauty has been described as the first black model whose looks did not conform to Caucasian aesthetics, the first with an uncompromising, sub-Saharan beauty.

Ajuma; The accomplished model is about to launch a cosmetic and natural skincare line for women like herself. She hopes that her products will inspire her contemporaries to love their own instead of attempting to alter it through artificial means, such as by skin bleaching.

Congratulations Miss Leah Kalanguka.
The sky is the limit.
Thank you for not letting societal perceptions hold you down. 
Thank you for treading the path where few dread.
Remember,others walked this path before you. Thank you for helping uphold the true African beauty.


  1. What a nice read. Aqua Amanda says Hi!!Loving this blog

  2. You said it...she is beautiful & intelligent & thats what matters.

  3. And the writer of this post is herself intelligent, mature and my role model for who I want to be in my thirties..

  4. Whoever said silence is golden?

    1. indeed we do not have to rush to spill all that we think or feel.
      is it true, is it necessary, is it helpful and most important is it KIND.

  5. Reminds me of the song...
    You're beautiful, that's for sure
    You'll never ever fade
    You're lovely but it's not for sure
    That I won't ever change

  6. Miss Leah Kalanguka you are beautiful! congratulations!

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  8. I remember listening to Caroline Mutoko once,and I remeber vividly something she said, "The older generation tell us,the younger people one thing and celebrate another totally different. Children unfortunately do not learn from what they hear you older folks say but what they see you do and celebrate." Lighter skin and big bums have unfortunately become more important than any other thing in the world right now....sad sad affair for us,the younger generation.

  9. Leah is a beautiful girl and i really credit the parents for instilling such esteem and confidence in her.
    Its so absurd that there was negative vibe about the young girl on a mothers forum! i wonder how they would feel if one of their own came home from school to tell them that their playmate called them 'ugly'