Minister Kiwanda defends Miss Curvy beauty pageant

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The initiative unveiled in Kampala yesterday by the State minister for Tourism, Mr Godfrey Kiwanda adds curvy and sexy Ugandan women to the list of tourism products to attract tourists.

Ms Mungoma said since most pageants celebrate slenderness and pretty faces which are a more western way of defining beauty, most African women are uniquely built which does not make them any less attractive.

"Miss Curvy is an event that will bring out the endowment of the real African woman. To think women can be used as sex objects in this age and time is an absurdity and we condemn it", Rita Aciro, executive director of the Uganda Women's Network, told AFP.

Kiwanda says those criticising the pageant as a form of discrimination against women, "several times we have attended body builder competitions among men in Uganda and world over". The minister wonders why the same Ugandans, who nearly unanimously celebrated the recent achievements of Miss World Africa Quiin Abenakyo, are now against the Miss Curvy Uganda pageant which also rides on the same concept - but this time on more endowed women. "Why don't we use these people as a strategy to promote our tourism industry?" the Daily Monitor reported Kiwanda as asking.

"It is an exceptional event that will see young ladies showcase their handsome curves and intellect", she said, adding that only women aged between 18 and 35 are eligible to participate.

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Ugandan entrepreneur and activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi launched an online petition to stop the campaign, which she said was "totally unacceptable and demeaning to us". Those were gentlemen married to "curvy" women and dating them.

"Please sign this petition for ministry of tourism to take down the miss curvy challenge and offer an apology to the public as well", she said.

Funmi Oyatogun added on social media: 'Uganda has some of the wildest adrenaline adventures in Africa, the River Nile, game parks, majestic lakes and a huge untapped market for tourism.

Many tourists visit Uganda - located in the heart of Africa - to see its wildlife.