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Nanyonjo on her legacy at Miss Uganda

By Agnes E. Nantaba

Brenda Nanyonjo is the CEO and organiser of Miss Uganda beauty pageant. She spoke to Agnes E Nantaba about breaking a record by holding the beauty pageant for five consecutive years.

Any three things we don’t know about you?

I am a hardworking and focused person from a humble background. In 2011 after being caught up in the terrorist bomb incident at Kyadondo Rugby Grounds in Kampala, I travelled abroad for treatment. While there I looked up the Miss World office, applied for the license, and I got it. My job is not easy to manage because people have their own perceptions about beauty pageants. So it involves convincing the parents of the contestants that it is a legit thing and looking for sponsors. Since I had my own child, I always have a checklist of my life to be good mother.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is seeing others happy.

What is your greatest fear?

Leaving this world without making an impact or legacy.


What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I am a very tolerant person who can take in a lot of peoples’ crap; I wish I could slacken a bit.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

People who never try and yet arrive at conclusions of ‘it is impossible’.

Which living person do you most admire?

Mariam Ndagire; she is focused, hardworking and achieved a lot yet she remains down to earth.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Chicken is one thing I love to eat in whatever form or quantities.

What is your current state of mind?

I am not relaxed because I have to plan for the next season which is three months away.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Material possessions like cars and houses; the real people who are wealthy do not show off but those who have a little and show off are praised.

On what occasion do you lie?

Only if the intention is to save my daughter.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Nothing for I am fearfully and perfectly made.

Which living person do you most despise?

Rihanna; how she portrays herself is not a good example to young people.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Being a good listener and cares about other people’s feelings.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Respect of self and others.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

I haven’t been keen on my words.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My daughter Zara; she came when I least expected it and was an answer to many questions.

When and where were you happiest?

It was a cocktail of feelings on knowing that I was pregnant at five weeks in March 2014. It was something I had long waited for.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I am a performing artiste who used to dance, sing and act; my busy schedule and nature of my work has made me give up on some of my past.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I could loosen a bit on my tolerance for people.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It not easy holding Miss Uganda beauty pageant for five consecutive years having taken it on at a time when many people perceived it as a sinking ship.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

The same person minus the over tolerant bit.

Where would you most like to live?

Home is best but if I had a choice, I would prefer to live in London for the favorable transport.

What is your most treasured possession?

My bible; there is a lot in it that keeps me going.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Going without food and other basic needs of life; I had a chance to visit the IDP camps in Gulu and understood what it means to go without food.

What is your favorite occupation?

I am very lucky to be doing something I am passionate about.

What do you most value in your friends?

Being there for me whenever I need them and treating other people the same way they do to me.

Who are your favorite writers?

I am not a good reader.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Bruce Willis has a good choice of movie roles.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I haven’t followed up on any.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My brother Kevin is always there for me.

What are your favorite names?

Zara; it’s not an obvious Muslim name.

What is your greatest regret?

I had a chance to live in UK but was reluctant to take it on. Maybe life would have been different from what it is today.

How would you like to die?

I don’t mind a peaceful death.

What is your motto?

‘If you believe, all things are possible with God’ and ‘You can never hide good work’ .

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