By Allen Kisakye
Thirty Miss World 2018 finalists will on Saturday, December 8, take to the stage at the Sanya City Arena in Sanya,China hoping to replace India’s Manushi Chhillar as the 68th title holder of the international beauty pageant.Chhillar is the sixth Indian woman to win the Miss World pageant.
The finalists, who were whittled down from 120 arrived in Sanya on November 9 for the month-long Miss World Festival.
Among the finalists is Quiin Abenakyo, who upon being crowned Miss Uganda 2018 on August 10 promised she would fly the country’s flag high.
Many did not expect it would be this soon. And especially at the Miss World.
Last week, Abenakyo defeated Miss Argentina in the head-to-head Challenge, to secure a spot in the top 30. The feat meant she was the first Ugandan contestant to make it that far.
Barbara Kimbugwe made the Top 20 at ‘Miss World Beach Beauty’ 2004 while Praise Akankwasa was in the Top 16 at ‘Miss World Talent’ the following year. In 2011, Slyvia Namutebi was among the Top 24 at ‘Miss World Sport’ and Top 20 at ‘Miss World Beach Beauty’.
Uganda last sent a representative to the Miss World finals in 2016.
Born on February 11, 1996 to Charles and Alice Sembera, Abenakyo defeated 21 other contestants to be crowned the 25th Miss Uganda. She is the second born in a family of three; two girls and one boy.
The stunning black beauty from Mayuge District attended Wandegeya Nursery, Kitante Primary School, St. Josephs Girls Nsambya and Merryland High School in Entebbe for A-Level. She later joined Makerere University Business School. She hopes to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Computing early next year.
During an interview with local television station, Abenakyo said she was born a preterm that her mother decided name her ‘Quiin’ because it was a miracle that she made it through the nursery when still a baby.
Her mother always treated her delicately because she was always a weak child – she never joined friends in sports, music, dance or any co- curricular activities while still young.
A fun loving, God fearing and positive minded person, Abenakyo says her mother advised her to try out modeling since she was not good at any sports or music but was ‘tall and beautiful’.
This is what inspired her to join Miss Uganda.
“When you are called Quiin, you have a longing to become a queen in reality not just by name. When Miss Uganda presented itself, I gave it shot because I had all the attributes needed; I am beautiful and intelligent and pageant is about beauty with a purpose,” she told a local website recently.
One of the two Africans in the top 30, the other being Miss Mauritius Murielle Ravina, Abenakkyo says she wants to be remembered as a positive role model to the girl child when her reign ends next year.
“I want to be known as the girl who rose from grass to grace and created unforgettable changes in society,” she said.
Miss France, Maëva Coucke who was the first contestant to secure a spot in Top 30 after winning the Top Model round is considered the front runner to the crown, seeing that past Miss World winners such as Megan Young and Mireia Lalaguna Royo were also the winners of Top Model round.
The Miss World pageant, created in 1951, is one of the oldest and most influential beauty pageants in the world.Agbani Darego from Nigeria was the first African to win the crown in 2001. Voting is still ongoing and can be done via www.missworld.com and www.missworldvote.com.
Some of the contestants
Bangladesh – Jannatul Ferdous
Chile – Anahi Hormazabal
France – Maëva Coucke
India – Anukreethy Vas
Indonesia – Alya Nurshabrina
Japan – Kanako Date
Malaysia – Larissa Ping
Mauritius – Murielle Ravina
Mexico – Vanessa Ponce
Nepal – Shrinkhala Khatiwada
New Zealand – Jessica Tyson
Singapore – Vanessa Peh
Thailand – Nicolene Limsnukan
Uganda – Quiin Abenakyo
United States – Marisa Butler
Venezuela – Veruska Ljubisavljevi?
Vietnam – Tr?n Ti?u Vy
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