She walked into the room for our meeting, clad in an orange polyester top and a blue skirt that hugged big hips and bottom. A leopard print scarf neatly holds her hair in place. She is not bothered by men who stare at all her 100-kilogrames plus body in a naughty way.
At 25 years, Belinda Nansasi is the reigning and first-ever Miss Curvy in Uganda. The crown, according to organisers, aimed to recognize and acknowledge the ‘big, bold and beautiful plus size Ugandan ladies’.
The rise of the curvaceous beauty queen began when she decided to follow plus-size beauty queens on Instagram and the miss curvy pageants countries such as Britain, India, America, among others.
One day, a poster calling for contestants was shared on Facebook and her friend tagged her.
“They are calling you,” her friend remarked.
Nansasi dialed the number on the poster and as they say, the rest is history.
“Since it was the very first pageant of a kind in Uganda and my first, I wanted to be part of it, get the feeling of walking on the runway and feel like a beauty queen,” she told Watchdog Uganda.
The competition was stiff, but she felt she could do it, especially with her family encouragement.
So for two weeks, they attended a boot camp at Forest Park Resort, Buloba and a grand finale in Kampala, she defeated 24 others to drive away in a Jeep Cherokee, fully funded scholarship at Victoria University and an all expenses paid trip to Turkey for a week.
“I have an open scholarship to pursue either a bachelor’s degree or masters, but I want a bachelor in another field other than community psychology,” Nansasi, whose social media traffic has spiked says.
When she is not working at Kayinza Energy, a family owned business that manufactures gas, she is in a cinema watching a movie.
Early life and abuse
Nansasi, was born in Mengo hospital to the late Moses Mubiru of Mukono and Rose Kayinza. She attended Froebel Primary School Seeta, completed her O and A levels from St. Joseph’s High School Namagunga, before joining Makerere University where she pursued a bachelor in Community Psychology.
School life is always good, but not for Nansasi who was physically abused because of her body size.
Male teachers and students in the upper classes preyed on her for sex, causing psychological torture. She discloses an incident in Mukono SS which prompted a change of school in senior two.
“Upon winning a Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) gala, our house was granted a treat at a beach in Entebbe. While there, a male teacher approached us and requested to teach me how to swim. He insisted, oblivious to his ill intentions. He got a floater and asked me to get hold of it. He led me farther away from the beach where he was certain I could not swim back and then forced my pants down. Luckily I was in short jeans and he could not take them off easily. I cried out for help and my elder sister ran to my rescue,” she speaks with emotion, her smile slowly fading off her face.
Nansasi adds that she was traumatised and called her dad who stormed the school with fury and threatened to sue. On a second thought, he felt the school was not worth it and took her daughter to another institution of learning.
At the new school, it was the same drama of making advances, but she is glad nobody inflicted physical harm. She returned to the college in a bolder and tougher way.
However, the graceful queen reminisces with regret how her male friends at A ‘level were punished innocently; they would mop the main hall, work on the farm because they were perceived to be favorites.
She says the female teachers could not intervene in her woes because they treated her like a co-wife. In her senior five, she gained confidence from the perfect imperfections; it dawned on her that she needed to be proud of her body.
“Classmates likened my body to that of Nicki Minaj. I would mime anaconda and they would chant ‘our Nicki’. I became a school celebrity,” she chuckles. At campus, she was the class representative and this was her defensive mechanism against any possible advances from lecturers.
Beauty with a Purpose
Miss Curvy 2019-2020 has projects lined up such as campaigns against early pregnancies, breast cancer and the alarming rate of school drop outs. Together with her colleagues, they are also going to roll out a campaign that emphasizes keeping Uganda clean. Regarding health, she says it is wealth, but unfortunately Uganda is grappling with the Down Syndrome among children.
“We shall create awareness about the genetic disorder causing developmental and intellectual delays,” she remarks.
Later in the year, Nansasi will represent Uganda in the Miss Curvy Africa contest in Lagos, Nigeria.
Following the criticism that hit the pageant at the beginning over Minister Kiwanda’s controversial statement which likened ‘curvy sexy Ugandan women’ to products for tourist attraction, the title holder comments, “Uganda has always had plus-size women. Miss Curvy did not import women from foreign lands! We can never stop men from staring at us whether negatively or positively. Miss Curvy is not about sex tourism. It is here to empower the plus-size girls and make them feel special. This pageant is here to wipe away the low self-esteem and give respect to a traditional African woman”.
She stresses that the beauty contest was looking for a knowledgeable lady who was plus –size, and beautiful. Behavior, self –love, discipline and character played a major part in the selections to the ultimate spot.
At campus, Nansasi found love.
Upon completion in 2016, she conceived and gave birth to a girl. After a while, she traveled to Mbale, her maternal home for postnatal care. When she returned to Kampala two years later, her boyfriend had moved on with another woman. It was devastating, but she forgave him. The single mother is glad that he plays his fatherly role and supports their daughter. Nevertheless, her ideal man must be God fearing, humble, down-to-earth and respectful.
“I do not want an alcoholic and relationships are not a priority at the moment,” she warns.
A resident of Entebbe, Nansasi is a devoted Christian of the Anglican faith. She encourages young girls to always come out when threatened with abuse because anything worse can happen. “Do not breakdown in silence! Talk to your administrators and your parents”.
- What do you like about your body? My legs, lips and eyes
- What is the most memorable comment about your body? It happened downtown and this vendor sarcastically exclaimed, “Eh! Sister Nga Okoze!” To mean “Eh! Sister you have lost weight
- Favorite Food: Ugaali and any sauce
- Celebrity Crush: Nigerian Actor Frederick Leonard
- Dream Destination: Canada
- Average Weight: 98-100Kg
- Best Song: You don’t know love by Olly Murs
- Special Movie: Break Through
- Favorite Color: Green
- Favorite Car: ML Benz
- Treasured Gadget: iPod
- Favorite Sport: Basketball
- Dream Job: Airhostess, but the aviation industry does not favour our sizes. The CEO of Uganda Airlines should give us a chance