In Africa and especially in Uganda, child sacrifice is on an increasing trend mainly fueled by culture and many other stereotypes. Many organisations and individuals have come out to stand against the vice but none like the 20 year old Natasha Mutebi- Miss Uganda UK who is also the Ambassador for Jubilee Campaign and AFFCAD Foundation.
“I may not have a child now, but I believe that every child is your child and it takes a collective responsibility to fight and win a war against social evils and I want to use my position to do my part,” she often says.
She decided to use her position to focus on the dangers of child sacrifice that mostly affect children in Uganda. Partnering with Kyotungire Gladys [Miss Uganda UK 2013] her predecessor, they launched the campaign at Kide Nursery and Boarding Primary School in Kasangati, Wakiso District.
This Is Uganda caught up with the amazing Natasha Mutebi whose modelling career started at the age of 16 at Taibah school where she was doing her O-level’s.
What are you doing apart from modelling and advocating against child sacrifice?
I am a Bio-Medical Science student at Queen Mary University of London. I have just completed my first year and I passed quite highly.
You are a Muganda, have you done anything to promote Buganda culture or even dressed in cultural attire on the runway?
I am very culture empowering, I have talked about it a lot in schools. I find our culture is a gift when you look at it, I love my color and I often tell my friends that the blacker the berry the sweeter the juice. I do try my best to encourage cultural empowerment although I have not donned cultural attire but I am very culture encouraging. I am very proud to say that my dad is a Muganda and that I am a Muganda.
When and where did you start modelling?
I started modelling in Uganda, I was 16 and I started with small shows in Taibah and during holidays I was invited to costume for Brenda Nambi and I was the youngest there. Joram literally founded me, I walked down the cat walk and he asked how old I was. This show was very exciting because I modeled with Aamito Stacie, Dorah Mwima and it was my first fashion show. That’s where my journey started and I never looked back.
When did you first do something big in modelling?
I have mostly modeled for charities and colleges- nothing high fashion. I did my first big show last year, it’s called My Run Way- it’s quite big and it’s best on Youth development and the proceedings go to charity but I love doing it. The next big thing was Miss Uganda UK.
How do you juggle books and modeling?
Time management is an important aspect- I am pretty organised and I think being organised is a great aspect too. My parents are also very supportive and that’s a boost for me.
Would you drop Bio Medicine for modeling or vice versa?
Never! I will do them side by side.
What inspired you to go for Miss Uganda UK?
The very first fashion show I modeled at greatly inspired me, seeing Aamito and the way she walked, I was really inspired. I wanted to do the real Miss Uganda but since I don’t stay in Uganda, it was a bit of a hindrance so I decided to settle for Miss Uganda UK. At first I was hesitant to do it but I later over came my fears and just did it.
How did it feel like, winning?
I cried, I couldn’t believe it mainly because my speech impairment has always stopped me from doing things since I was a kid. Winning was a miracle to me because I never used to win things when I was a kid- winning was just good.
Let’s talk about your efforts against child sacrifice.
Child sacrifice is very personal to Gladys [ the previous Miss Uganda UK], she started the initiative in 2013. She came and started the initiative because she herself was nearly sacrificed- she was taken away from her home but she survived. I am also very passionate about child sacrifice, and working with kids. So what we are doing is raise more awareness about child sacrifice- our aim was to speak to 5000 children face to face and we are currently making tours to schools accessing all ages telling children how to avoid being in situations where they can be kidnapped or sacrificed- and we are also generally empowering children.
At just 20, Natasha is empowering young people and advocating against the vice of child sacrifice in Uganda. Using her speech impairment (Stammer) that almost made her give up on life and also using her amazing slogan that she leaves imprinted on the hearts and minds of the young children she meets, ‘LiveYourLegacy.’
You can follow her on Twitter, @natasha_m_b