Miss Uganda North America
Chicago 2019 – Empowered by Diversity
Contestant No. 1
Tulibona Karen Namulemo
Los Angeles, California
Tulibona was born in Kampala, Uganda. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and currently lives in LA, California, where she is pursuing an MBA at BIOLA University. She is passionate about health, fitness, and equipping women to embrace their true identity. She plans to open a gym along those lines.
“I want to exemplify what I believe about beauty: it comes from within and there is no just one standard of beauty.”
Contestant No. 2
Cissy Pauline Efata
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cissy is an Itesot by cultural heritage. She also speaks Luganda. She is currently working towards becoming a nurse anesthesiologist. She is also a singer – she is a member of her church’s choir. Her other passions include fashion and philanthropy.
Cissy dreams of starting a charity that cares for children with Cancer. “I want to prove to these children that they also have something to live for in this world and that they should not think any less of themselves because of cancer.” She wants her legacy to be love because “… it is the only language that everyone understands. It is the only thing you can leave in the hearts of people.”
Contestant No. 3
“My multifaceted identity as a first-generation Ugandan American woman who grew up in a Christian and Islamic home fostered a mind eager to learn.” She currently holds a BA in Biological Sciences and a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. She plans to apply to Medical School. She has done mental health research among minorities and taught at a college.
“I have had the privilege of being exposed to people of diverse backgrounds. Those experiences shaped my view on becoming the person I envisioned myself to be. The values work to instill are open-mindedness, integrity, humbleness, and the determination to learn.” Vanessa’s work with the Behavioral Health Initiative at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine has inspired her platform of promoting mental health. “I hope to use the platform provided to me by running for Miss Uganda North America to bring awareness to the Ugandan community at large.”
Contestant No. 4
North Hollywood, California
Bonita is currently in College, majoring in psychology. She is pursuing a career in mental health. “I love to help people. I’m a great listener.” Bonita is also a ‘free spirit’ – she loves to dance and adventure. “I like to take chances and see where the experience takes me.”
Bonita’s platform is cancer. She wants to help get more Africans on the American and International cancer registries for bone marrow so that more Africans in the diaspora who are in need of bone marrow transplants can find donors. She also wants to take that platform to Uganda to raise awareness about cancer and healthy lifestyles. “Our people are dying and we need to cut the growing number of cancer deaths in African communities and in Uganda”. Bonita’s greatest role model is her mother and she has inspired her to “always help those who are in need and never expect anything in return.”
Contestant No. 5
Alfeah Namakula Serunjogi
Kansas City, Missouri
Currently pursuing a degree in General Education in Nursing, Alfeah is also a Logistics Specialist in the United States Navy and an active volunteer in her community. Go Navy! She is a creative thinker, an avid reader and a slam poet – her role model is Maya Angelou. She enjoys cooking, running, writing and music. Her long term career goal is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Partitioner. “The number of women dying after childbirth in America is surprisingly alarming … there’s more black women giving birth and less black midwives …” After retiring from the Navy, she plans to open birthing centers in the US and in Uganda to train midwives and deliver quality care for mothers.
Her platform is addressing the issue of sexual abuse or assault towards women and children, as well as women’s health. She’d like to create a platform where women and children can speak up without fear of persecution or stigma. She hopes to promote awareness through her slam poetry performances and writing.
Contestant No. 6
Flavia was born in Kampala, Uganda. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance. She loves music, adventure, philanthropy and makeup artistry. She plans to join a nursing school to major in pediatrics. “I enjoy working with young children because I believe once a child has a good upbringing, they grow up to become better people in this world.”
Flavia’s platform is motivating and sensitizing young girls in her community and in Uganda. Some of the things she would like to address include education, teenage pregnancy and STD prevention (safe sex). “They should believe in themselves that they can do anything and can be everything that they want to be.”
Contestant No. 7
Des Moines, Iowa
Chemutai has both Ugandan and Kenyan roots – from her Mom and Dad, respectively. She attends Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).
Charlotte’s platform is encouraging teens and young adults to embrace their bodies and believe in their beauty with confidence. She herself is learning to be confident and proud of who she is and is using Instagram as a channel to share her experience, uplift others and grow her platform. “I want to leave a legacy of LOVE and RESPECT. That would be my gift to people around the world.”
Contestant No. 8
Mitchell Stacey Kabenda
She was born in Kampala, Uganda. She is currently studying Global Health Studies at the University of Iowa and she plans on getting a Medical Degree and finally a Masters in Public Health. She is involved with the African Student Association, African Communities of Iowa, and fundraises for Kampala Parents of Children with Disabilities Association (KAPCDAM). She is also a student of all cultures – she is currently studying Arabic and plans to participate in a study abroad program in Kenya as a public health intern.
“My core values are optimism, self-respect, justice, compassion and service.” Her platform is advocacy for mental health and people living with disabilities. She wants to create a campaign that travels through various communities to educate people about these issues. “I believe healthcare is a basic human right.” She also wants to support other nonprofits and development projects in Africa as she believes Africans should be solving their own problems.
Contestant No. 9
Rossette Mwesigye Kamwine
Rosette is a lover of nature, adventure and swimming. She is also a children’s rights activist – something that was inspired by her difficult past. “Growing up in a very humble family I couldn’t get everything that I wanted or needed – like an average child should. So I had to learn to ‘hustle’ and survive at a very early age.” These experiences inspired her dreams for herself and for children with similar backgrounds.
Today she is a professional model in Uganda and the United States. Along the way she has also created Rossi Initiative, an organization that finds support for children below the age of 17 that live in the same conditions that she grew up in and inspires and helps them to acquire gainful skills such as fashion design and entrepreneurship. “If they can rise above their difficult childhood, then their communities will be better too.”
Contestant No. 10
Fauzah describes herself as a woman who loves traveling, fashion and dance. She just Graduated from Buffalo Grove High School and she’ll be joining Harper College for studies in Nursing. On top of Nursing, she will also be taking classes for fashion design.
Fauzah’s platform is fighting depression among teens. “Since most of the teens in my generation suffer from depression, with the Miss Uganda North America crown I intend to raise awareness of this issue via social media platforms, research about helpful programs and extend the information to those that may need it via an online community I will establish …” Through such a community she hopes to encourage and inspire teens to overcome the challenges that cause depression. “I want my legacy to be someone that made a positive difference in young peoples’ lives.”
Contestant No. 11
Hope Lynda Ateki
She studied Aviation and is planning to get a masters degree in Aviation. Her goal is to work for a big airline and travel the world to spread love and hope.
Hope’s platform is Tourism. She plans to use the Miss Uganda North America crown to promote awareness of Uganda’s culture and tourism to the rest of the world. She also wants to educate children so that they can be future protectors of Uganda’s tourist sites. “Children are our future. They need to know about the beauty and benefits of tourism to our country.” She also plans to promote children’s right to education so that they can stay in school.
Contestant No. 12
She is studying to be a real estate broker. She plans to start her own real estate firm, own her own investment properties and become a property developer.
Peris’ platform is removing the secrecy and taboo around domestic violence, by providing resources for its victims and survivors. “Being a survivor of domestic violence, I understand the struggle of leaving an abusive situation and rebuilding the strength within yourself.” She would like to use the crown to help victims understand that there is no shame in speaking their truth and seeking help. “Here in the United States, victims of domestic abuse have multiple outlets, I would like to bring more of these outlets to Uganda.” Persis wants her legacy to be safe havens for victims of domestic violence.