Twenty one contestants are preparing for the finale of the Miss Uganda pageant and one of them is a very special competitor determined to prove that beauty is far more than skin-deep.
Nine years ago, 20-year old Aisha Nabukera was scalded with burning paraffin by her step mother.
But the scars are not stopping her from pursuing her dream.
"Seriously, I don't know what I should tell them. But they have to know that I am a grown up woman, a beautiful, confident woman right now and they should give me the support because what happened to me can happen to any other child, their own children, and so they should stop saying negative things. I know I can't stop people from talking. As long as I know what I want," said Nabukera
Her rivals for the crown have lent their support.
"Those scars are there, they will not go away. The more she gets used to them, the more she puts it out there. The more you talk about your problems, the more you forget about them. But if she sits back and keeps on thinking about what happened to her, it will affect her the more. But coming out gives her the strength," said Diana Nabimanya, a participant.
There has been criticism about her participation. Several people took to social media with comments, saying she won't even be among the top five, another said she would bet a million dollars if at all she won. The comments went on and on.
However organizers say, she has what it takes to compete.
"That beauty also has to come from within and shine out. It’s not just that(shows her face) because if it’s just that( again touches her face), we can stand on the streets of Kampala. There are so many beautiful gorgeous girls and we are not looking for a video-vixen or a pinup girl and someone just looks nice pin up somewhere in the world and she can't even handle an interview," said Brenda Nannyonjo, organizer of the Miss Unganda Pageant.
Nabukera is among the 21 finalists.
She intends to use this platform to address issues of child abuse.
"Many children out there have gone through child abuse, have been abused, have been tortured. They are not coming out, of all those kids out there. Of all those kids out there, I am the only one who came out and I stood for Miss Uganda to just fight against it."said Nabukera.
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