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Gift Byamugisha: Museveni is the best president ever

Gift Byamugisha

Gift Byamugisha

GIFT BYAMUGISHA, 21, won the western region pageant for Miss Uganda.

She aspires to be the next Miss Uganda and believes she will one day compete in bigger pageants like Miss World, Miss Grand and Miss Universe.

Besides being a model, she is also an actress, who has featured in the movie The Lions Of Buganda by Jerry Ssesanga and the university-based series, Guys. She sat down with Quick Talk to talk about hurdles and challenges.

Congratulations, Gift upon being crowned Miss Western Uganda

Thank you, Quick Talk.

For starters, who is Gift Byamugisha?

Gift Byamugisha is a 21-year-old Ugandan that hails from Fort Portal, Kasusu town council. I love singing, acting and these are things that I usually do when I am out of pageantry. And I am a social person.

Did you grow up in Fort Portal?  

I was raised in one of the places people never want to hear of; I grew up in a slum, although I have turned 21 this year. I was raised by my parents and I never at some point knew I would become an icon to people in society, because the life we were living was a hustling life for my parents, but I thank God that I was not the complaining child.

Yet you got the confidence to participate in beauty pageants…

I always thought of becoming a Miss Uganda, but when I looked at these people, I always told myself, ‘No I can’t actually make it’, but when I joined university, I had friends that would tell me I was good and should join the modeling industry.

So, in year one at Uganda Christian University in 2021, my lecturer Mr Ssenoga told me I could make a nice Miss Uganda from the way I articulated issues in class.

What is the purpose of the regional competition you won?

The Miss Uganda West beauty pageant is a preparation for the national competition. I  started with the Miss Uganda West competition to build my confidence. The Miss Uganda West regional competition enabled me to prepare and perfect on a few things.

And what made you stand out?

I think what made me stand out is that I was passionate about this thing and I really put in my all. I don’t know about the other contestants, but I felt I needed to exhibit all that I had done.

I wanted to serve my people. But at the end of the day, we were all good and all the contestants were really perfect. I thank God who helped me win the regional competition.

How did your parents react when they found out you were participating in the competition?

To be honest, I feared to open up to my parents at first. The first person I opened up to  was my mother but surprisingly she was happy.  

With support from my mother, I told my father about the Miss Uganda pageant in bits and he told me that these are things that I should get involved in which will help inspire others.

So, is this the first pageant you have won?

Yes, although in 2023 I was crowned the most photogenic model in an agency, but this is my first crowning.

Which schools have you attended?

I attended Tooro Parents primary school, then Tooro Parents Girls School for my O-level, then I went to Bethany High School Naalya for my A-level. I am currently studying at Uganda Christian University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication.

How do you balance school and modeling?

My mummy fell sick; so, I registered for a dead semester at Uganda Christian University because I had to take care of her. In that process of me taking care of her since I had already registered for the dead semester, that’s when this opportunity came in and they said the search was on.

Since my mother was now recovering, I had to take advantage of this period when I was home; I decided to take part in the Miss Uganda West regional pageant.

At the end of the day, I have to complete my studies because I also need the degree and this pageant won’t stay forever. After my first degree, I want to study IT, since the world is now developing based on technology.

Whom do you look up to?

I look up to Mariam Nyamate, who has been an inspiration to me in the acting field. She is an all-round person and, above all, she is so hardworking, and this pushes and triggers me to get out of the shell to explore and realise my potential.

What do you love about Uganda?

What I love about Uganda is that we are a free country; we have the liberty to do whatever we want and we have the best president ever. Why? He has given us the grace to be who we are and I love the hospitality that Ugandans have, which is the key thing.

What is your best place in Uganda?

I will not lie that I have a best place in Uganda, but I do love the Tororo Rock because once I climb that rock I do feel I am heading to the top; so when I stand up there on the steep slope, I feel I am owning the whole world.

What are your hobbies?

I love singing because when I sing I release my emotions and I feel it is something that’s just part of me.

What are your ambitions, moving forward?

Empowering women is one of the key things; it is one of the things I am standing for and it’s the main reason why I joined Miss Uganda. I want to push my foundation called “Her Voice”.

Any advice to young girls out there?

Girls should believe in themselves and, above all, they should pray; many people undermine the power of prayer yet it is so important. Take time to pray about anything you want to pursue, because it might not be the will of God.

What Bible verse gives you strength?

Joshua 1:9 which says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged for I the Lord am with you till the very end.” This verse encourages me and reminds me that no matter what happens, the Lord is going to be there for me even in the hardest situations.

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