Miss Pearl Republic.

After what my partners and I assume was the successfully lucrative completion of the recent Miss Uganda pageant we decided that, as intelligent and talented and broke people, we should also try our hand at this beauty queen lark. This Uganda has money in it and we need to get our hands on some.


No, Thaddeus and myself were not planning to contest for a beauty crown. Beauty queens are not the ones who get rich off pageants. We were going to be organisers. Presenting What Went On Behind The Scenes of Miss Republic Pearl.


The name:

Like everyone else we wanted to rip off Miss Uganda, but, like everyone else, we couldn’t rip off the name. We needed a new title. I suggested something synonymous with Uganda. “Like what?” my partner asked. I had no idea.

“Use the thesaurus,” he suggested, and I flew instantly into a raging temper because I consider that an insult. I am a professional writer with several years experience. I do NOT need a how-to book as if I am a beginner. Shyaa!

Because of my attitude, we ended up with the title Miss Republic Pearl Nation.


The contestants:

We gathered together a small gaggle of local chicks by means of a handwritten poster we pasted on an electricity pole. We had six auditioners on the first day and figured that we would not be able to stage a finale with a top ten after all.

Tyra, Oprah, Shaniqua, Rihanna, Babarita and Maria Clara stood in front of us and each stuck a hip out as far as she could.

Well, they stood in front of us until an elderly woman barged into the room calling: “Nandutu? Where are you Nandutu? Your baby is crying and me I am tired of carrying her. Come and feed her!”

At this point Maria Clara was hiding under the table.


The trials:

Now that we have the top five (Maria Clara/Maria Nandutu had been dragged away to breastfeed her newborn) we had to find something for them to do.

“They should do the catwalk,” I suggested. “We need to gauge their ability to walk from here to there. A distance of about twelve feet.”

“Is it a race? Are we going to award points to whoever gets there first?” asked Frodo, who doesn’t understand these things.

“No, they move one at a time.”

“Will there be obstacles placed along the platform or something like that?”

“No, they just walk.”

He shut the book. “Let us not waste time with that stage then. It has already been established that they know how to walk. That is how they got here in the first place. What’s next?”


What followed was the creative wear session, which was very competitive. One contestant had feathers glued to her dress, but she was beaten out by another who had both feathers and strips of barkcloth. Everybody else surrendered the competition after Shaniqua produced an outfit made entirely of Mirinda bottletops. She explained that this pageant was her second effort at getting a free car.



We had to break away to huddle after we heard this. We had forgotten that one point: i.e. that the winner expected a prize. All we had been prepared for was to trick some girls into prancing around in a Kireka nightclub while we collect money from those who have come to see them. We hadn’t thought about coming up with a prize. Let alone a car. I was just about to offer a solution when Frodo’s mobile bleeped.