By Steven Odeke
Uganda’s beauty queen Elizabeth Bagaya needs every support there is from every Ugandan as she takes on 97 other contestants in the global Miss World competition to be held in Puerto Rico, US on Thursday next week.
But before the grand finale, to be held at Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan, the contestants are taken through different tasks that earn them chances to get slots at the semi-final and grand finale.
Bagaya managed to assuage Ugandans’ fears when she landed in Puerto Rico on Thursday last week, in the wake of her visa complications that had delayed her in Uganda. In fact, she landed there a day to the deadline of all contestants’ arrival.
The first task Bagaya, 26, participated in was the Head-to-Head challenge of 16 on Tuesday that requires public voting. Deadline voting ends midnight Puerto Rican time.
Uganda’s beauty queen was pitted against Ghana, Cambodia, St.Maarten and Haiti in which the girls were tasked with showcasing their beauty with purpose brains, source of inspiration and what made their countries special in short clips.
Bagaya, 26, showcased Uganda’s natural wonders such as the longest river in the world, River Nile, mountain gorillas and diverse cultures, explaining why Uganda was such a special country
Bagaya, a graduate of human resource management from Uganda Christian University, chose her grandmother as her inspiration whom she said taught her values that have enabled her reach that far.
“I grew up with my grandmother in a family of about 14 and she taught us how to love everyone regardless of where they come from because she used to welcome everyone at home; be it a relative or not. She taught us to be a woman of substance and that is why I am here.”
In the clips, Bagaya, 26, showcased Uganda’s natural wonders such as the longest river in the world, River Nile, mountain gorillas and diverse cultures, explaining why Uganda was such a special country.
When tasked by the hosts to explain the biggest challenge girls face today, being a mental health activist, Bagaya responded: “It is not only girls suffering, mental health is a big problem that is not really given much attention. In my country, mental health in children is either seen as a taboo or someone bewitched and these children end up losing their identity.
She added: “In 2019, I set up Elizabeth Bagaya Foundation to help children facing issues like mental health. I visited mental health institutions and prayed, played and interacted with these children.”
It is now up to Ugandans to vote Bagaya for this win. The 98 contestants had been divided into 16 groups and whoever wins the challenge will advance to the challenge final today, and whoever wins today’s final gets a slot to participate in the semi-final and grand finale on Thursday next week.
To vote for Bagaya, the public should go to https://www.missworld.com/#
Or on her MobStar account (Miss World’s official online voting app) and click on https://apps.apple.com/ae/
You can also comment under the Head-to-Head challenge on Miss World’s official page “I Vote Bagaya.”