Caitlin Ochana, a BHSN member, wins Miss Uganda UK

Lanre Adeleye
Jul 7, 2020 · 2 min read

I am Caitlin and I was the previous Head Girl for The Douay Martyrs Catholic School. I am also the current Miss Uganda UK. My title has given me a platform to advocate against Child Sacrifice with the Miss Uganda UK team; it took me the initiative to campaign for Girls in Sport in Uganda.

The most common question I get from people is “why did you apply to a beauty pageant?”

My reason for applying wasn’t to be in front of cameras or wear the most glamorous dress. I applied because, regardless of where I placed in the competition, I would have a platform to advocate for issues that I believe need talking about within the Ugandan community. There’s a stigma around pageants; people think that those who apply are not academically gifted and are merely competing for the publicity. Previous title holders now work in parliament as well as holding medicine and nursing degrees. All used their title as a platform to advocate for something they had a passion for. I wanted to be a part of this special network to do the same.

I applied because, regardless of where I placed in the competition, I would have a platform to advocate for issues that I believe need talking about within the Ugandan community.

Whilst competing, I held back from telling my friends and even some family members. I guess I was scared that I would feel a heavy amount of pressure to win. I kept this quiet until the public voting was out. Once everyone knew, I received a wonderful amount of support from everyone around me during and after the pageant.

My pageant experience was definitely a journey of self-discovery and self-confidence. I was also the youngest contestant to compete, which made me nervous as I thought they would only see me as a child and not focus on me that much. However, I realised that I had more to offer than my age. I was ready to show the contestants and the rest of the team that there was more to me than my age. I guess, by me eventually winning, they realised that!

September 28th — the date I will never forget. I was crowned Miss Uganda UK. I was shocked, overwhelmed and grateful. Miss Uganda UK has given me the opportunity to network with Queen’s within the entire pageant community in the UK and around the world. I have had the opportunity to use this platform to tell my story and hopefully inspire other girls to overcome doubts and try new things.

After all, it’s more than just a beauty pageant…

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