Businesswoman wins Uganda’s first ‘Miss Curvy’ beauty contest

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Nasasi Belinda (C), a buisness woman, poses as she is crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first edition of Miss Curvy Uganda in Kampala, Uganda, on April 26, 2019. (AFP)
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Nasasi Belinda (C), a buisness woman, reacts with emotions as she is crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first edition of Miss Curvy Uganda in Kampala, Uganda, on April 26, 2019. (AFP)
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Nasasi Belinda (C), a buisness woman, reacts with emotions as she is crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first edition of Miss Curvy Uganda in Kampala, Uganda, on April 26, 2019. (AFP)
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Nasasi Belinda (C), a buisness woman, poses as she is crowned Miss Curvy Uganda during the first edition of Miss Curvy Uganda in Kampala, Uganda, on April 26, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 28 April 2019
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Businesswoman wins Uganda’s first ‘Miss Curvy’ beauty contest

  • Former opposition leader in parliament, Winnie Kiiza, told AFP the move came “at a time (when) women face fear and stigma in a male-dominated society”

KAMPALA: Nasasi Belinda, a Ugandan businesswoman, has won the east African country’s first-ever “Miss Curvy” beauty pageant, vowing to act as a role model for other women with “plus-size” figures.
“I am going to be an inspiration,” an overjoyed Belinda said after winning the title in Kampala late Friday, beating 24 other finalists for the grand prize.
“Being plus-size is not a problem,” she continued. “So be happy about yourself and make sure you don’t quit. Just keep going.”
The pageant was part of a government campaign to attract tourists to the east African nation.
But the campaign caused controversy in February when tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda suggested Ugandan women’s curvaceous beauty was “a product to be marketed along with what we already have as a country ranging from Nature, the language and food, to make it a tourist attraction.”
Women’s rights activists were outraged by the comments and called for the minister to resign.
“This is perversion. To think women can be used as sex objects in this age and time is an absurdity and we condemn it,” Rita Aciro, executive director of the Uganda Women’s Network, told AFP at the time.
Ugandan entrepreneur and activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi launched an online petition to stop the campaign, which she said was “totally unacceptable and demeaning to us.”
“Women in Uganda have been attacked while on the streets. What happens now is that the government is confirming a stereotype that women are sexual objects and can be touched regardless and more so made a product of tourism,” she told AFP.
Former opposition leader in parliament, Winnie Kiiza, told AFP the move came “at a time (when) women face fear and stigma in a male-dominated society.”
Minister Kiwanda sought to play down the controversy on Friday.
“I also believe that there is a new wave that is going to come to Uganda, a new confidence that is going to be built among plus-size ladies,” he said.


‘Walk with a statement:’ The Nou Project announces new sneaker designs

Updated 25 May 2019
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‘Walk with a statement:’ The Nou Project announces new sneaker designs

  • The re-design came in three new colorways: Grey, burgundy and navy
  • The Nou Project was launched with the aim to broaden the way art is consumed and support emerging artists by providing them with a platform to gain recognition

DUBAI: Tucked away in Dubai’s artistic and cultural Alserkal Avenue, Saudi brand The Nou Project announced the latest re-design of its classic sneakers — the all-new ultra-low tops.

In a one-night only pop up in KAVE café, the brand’s founder, Nour Al-Tamimi, and co-designer, Basma Chidiac, announced the re-design that came in three new colorways: Grey, burgundy and navy.

“We want people to be able to walk with a statement,” Al-Tamimi told Arab News as she showed off her previous collections.

The pop up featured a 50 percent discount on all pairs, as well as two artists and a calligrapher available for buyers to customize any of the newly-bought sneakers. Tables topped with board games lined the space, while popcorn and cotton candy was also handed out­ to attendees.

With an environmental and sustainable mindset, the duo has invested heavily in the use of Micro Fiber material, which is also known as “Vegan Leather,” instead of actual leather. They are already known for their recycled rubber soles, a unique calling card for the edgy, homegrown brand.

Reported as the Kingdom’s first major sneaker brand, Al-Tamimi had no idea she would find such success when she started out.

“I had no idea this would become my life today,” Al-Tamimi said in a previous interview. “It’s exciting to be the first Saudi sneaker brand — that’s a milestone in itself.”

The Nou Project was launched with the aim to broaden the way art is consumed and support emerging artists by providing them with a platform to gain recognition — some of their sneakers feature striking and often thought-provoking artwork.

The new designs were created in collaboration with artists Nika Fontaine, Baron Von Fancy and Franz Klainsek who designed each pair with their unique style, ranging from street art to digital image manipulation and pop art.