One of the members on this forum requested me to explain the issues that are now appearing in the press regarding the case of Quiin Abenakyo who was last year crowned as Miss Uganda and also Miss Africa.
It is true that Quiin Abenakyo was our student at Makerere University Business School. She was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Computing.
Abenakyo was like many other students in their third year of studies who may have had a retake in a course of their study.
Among the subjects many of our student have retakes in is Accounting, Quantitative Methods and Financial Management. Abenakyo had a retake in Financial Management.
These are courses which those people who have no mathematical background have no interest and always find a problem, and indeed many get retakes.
Abenakyo came to me and explained that she had a retake in Financial Management, however she was unable to retake it with her colleagues because of her involvement in the Miss Uganda beauty contest. Subsequently, Abenakyo informed me that she had been able to move to Miss World contest and was performing well.
Abenakyo was supported by many Ugandans during the Miss World Beauty Contest and indeed she brought fame to the country.
Abenakyo finally took the third position in the Miss World and was awarded Miss Africa Beauty Queen.
This is something Ugandans were proud of and indeed congratulated her for this achievement.
She thereafter returned to Uganda and approached me regarding retaking the course she had failed.
As we approached the end of year festive season, I asked her to see me in the New Year which she did.
I then wrote to the Vice Chancellor requesting that Ms. Abenkayo be given the opportunity to retake the papers.
Ms. Abenakyo was granted the opportunity to retake the paper which was then set and marked. By that time, the graduation book had been published.
The reasons we considered Ms. Abenakyos request were threefold;
a) She made the country proud. It was worthwhile that Ms. Abenakyo be supported to complete her degree. Otherwise we would have a problem as the country would be embarrassed.
If this beauty queen was found to be wanting in academics in fact negative press which was expected would have been worse if she had not graduated.
b) Ms. Abenakyo had written earlier requesting that she be granted the opportunity to retake and given her achievements and the request it was only worthwhile that she is granted the request.
c) Ms. Abenakyo had informed me that in the coming eight (8) months, she had obligations with Miss Uganda and Miss World Organisation and would not be able to retake that paper soon.
In our view allowing Ms. Abenakyo to sit the exam was preferable than not doing as this would bring the country more shame. So it is true that Ms. Abenakyo had a retake, was granted permission to sit the paper and was examined so as to enable her graduate.
I have learnt however, that the current crisis in Makerere University may be one of the causes of the outbursts about Abenakyo. It is important to note that she was supported in good faith.
I have also learnt however that the Isebantu of Busoga is planning to congratulate Abenakyo on this notable achievement. Abenkayo has an agenda of supporting the girl child.
She has wanted to use her fame and position to support vulnerable people in our society. I believe our country can benefit from her influence.
It is unfortunate that some people are seeking to destroy that influence. Ugandans should agree that Abenakyo should be an asset to the country to support positive change in the community especially among young girls and the youth. WASWA BALUNYWA