In August last year, Josephine Mutesi Nabirye was crowned Miss Earth Uganda after beating 13 other contestants during the beauty pageant’s grand finale at Nanjing Restaurant and Motel in Kololo.
She competed as a representative of Iganga.
She went on to participate in Miss Earth International contest in Philippines, in November that same year.
25-year-old Josephine is a first-born child in her family who is currently a student pursuing a Bachelors in Pharmacy at Makerere University.
Josephine is a humble, persistent, resilient and self-motivated youth who was raised from Iganga district.
She dreams of owning a pharmaceutical industry in future with the aim of extensively helping people in-need and continue with the Miss Earth Advocacy of saving Mother Earth.
She talked to ChimpLyf’s Pamela Amia about her life, love and what it means to be crowned Miss Earth.
First things first, what is the difference between Miss Earth and Miss Uganda?
Miss Earth is an international beauty pageant that channels the beauty pageant entertainment industry as an effective tool in promoting environmental awareness and poverty alleviation through Eco-tourism.
Therefore, before we attract tourists, we have to conserve, preserve, protect nature and wild life (main tourism attraction in Uganda) and that’s what the Miss Earth Uganda advocacy is all about while Miss Uganda is a national beauty pageant in Uganda.
Why did you contest for Miss Earth not Miss Tourism or Miss Uganda?
It was the only international beauty pageant at that particular time that was auditioning for contestants. Oh yeah that was it. But I have always had a thing for nature even when I was a child so Miss Earth fit in well for me.
What inspired you to contest for Miss Earth?
I fell in love with the Miss Earth Uganda advocacy which is to conserve, preserve and protect Mother Earth.
What responsibilities come with being crowned Miss Earth?
As Miss Earth Uganda, am charged with a responsibility to spearhead, engage and participate in all environmental related activities in the country which include creating environmental awareness through conservation, protection and preservation.
Who are some of your inspirational figures?
I love Flavia Tumusiime; she is an epitome of eloquence. Internationally I love Ellen DeGeneres, she has a great sense of humor and apparently she is playing an environmental conservation and preservation role of raising funds to save Gorillas from extinction.
How have you managed to balance Miss Earth duties with school?
Like the old saying goes; there is a time for everything and besides school is during the week. My Miss Earth activities happen on the weekends.
Most Ugandan parents consider such pageants as a waste of time. How did your parents take it?
Surprisingly, my parents were super happy and are very supportive with the path I chose. Above all, they attended every beauty pageant I have participated in.
When I won the Miss Earth Uganda Pageant, they were the happiest people on earth; I could vividly see it in their glowing faces.
What have been your accomplishments so far?
As the current Miss Earth Uganda, I have done social media environmental awareness campaigns using the 5Rs which are Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Respect.
I have also planted trees alongside NFA, NEMA, and Rotary Earth Initiative to which the Miss Earth Uganda organization is affiliated to.
Last but not least, I have engaged in clean-up activities around the country and also visited some schools to create environmental awareness. Recently, I was invited by Chimpanzee Trust to be part of an environmental school quiz competition in Hoima district.
Tell us, what is your best animal and why?
Chimpanzee, yes for sure, first I came to learn that we as humans are 98.7% related to Chimpanzees courtesy of Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary. The Chimpanzees level of intelligence beats my understanding. The way they feed, sleep in clean beds each night, know what to do when and how; wow. They are just amazing gentle creatures.
To you, what do you believe is the best Eco tourism site in Uganda and why?
It’s definitely Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Its home to 49 orphaned chimpanzees that are rescued from different parts of Africa and each of them has a story to relate to. Amazing, isn’t it!
Any last words to your people who look at you as their role model?
However crazy your dreams are, go out there and accomplish them, believe me you will be an inspiration to other people. Lastly, your environment is your responsibility; if you don’t treat it better it will treat you worse than you expect it to.