KAMPALA – Godfrey Kiwanda, the State Minister for Tourism has defended the use of beautiful girls in all his tourism concepts as intended to attract people’s attention.
While appearing on the popular morning breeze show on NBS TV Monday, February 11, Kiwanda said he was misunderstood on how they were using women of a certain body type to promote tourism.
“This isn’t the first time we are involved in beauty pageants and in tourism, we look at all this because there is always a story to tell,” he said.
“It’s the story behind the curves. We are selling a story and not just women. You can’t talk about the country without talking about its people. It does not mean we are selling people,” Kiwanda remarked.
“My intention is to bring everyone to discuss tourism. Everyone is now discussing tourism. Ugandans have never been involved in discussing tourism as they are today,” he commented while appearing on the Big Talk on NXT radio February 9.
Kiwanda continued to defend himself saying international companies use women to sell their products and he thinks it is not a bad thing unless it is misused.
“As a ministry, we need to make sure we are having all these contests, our culture and heritage stay,” Kiwanda remarked.
Minister Kiwanda said the Miss Curvy Beauty Pageant will go on because it is not different from other pageants that have been going on for the past years.
He added: “When you look at all the beauty pageants they have no difference with Miss Curvy. When you criticise Miss Curvy, it should be the same way you should do to other beauty pageants.”
When the minister was asked about the pictures making rounds on Social Media, he defended himself saying: “Most of the pictures from ‘Tulambule Eastern’ are photo-shopped. We don’t settle with one person as a brand ambassador because these people have different followings and that is what marketing entails.”
The Tourism ministry has been using female celebrities as their ambassadors. They include Zari Hassan who was dropped for Quin Abenakyo and recently Anita Fabiola who have been used to promote Uganda’s tourism.