Miss Tourism Kigezi launch

ENT- It was an evening when great men and women gathered to welcome back Mister Universe Tourism Uganda who doubles as Mister Tourism Kigezi 2023, Henrick Twesigye a student from Kabale University who beat all the odds and ended up in Bali, Indonesia where he joined the global Misters and participated in Mister Universe Tourism Pageant 2024/2025 as the only candidate from Africa, first Ugandan to contest in the International contest for Mister Universe Tourism.  He successfully competed and came back with a title of Mister Universe Tourism Uganda that was added on his long list of crowns and awards, including the most prestigious title, Mister Tourism Kigezi 

Addressing guests at White Horse Inn, Makanga Hill, Kabale District, at the welcome dinner that  was  organised by Miss Tourism Kigezi  Initiative in collaboration with its partners in Uganda and USA,  he  narrated his travel story which started from  Kabale,  Kampala,  Nairobi and  ended  in Bali, the capital city of  Indonesia. While in Indonesia, he appreciated the strong and primitive culture that is still solid and intact.  Henrick promised to use his crowns to promote Kigezi Tourism and Uganda using his experience from Indonesia.  He thanked the management of Miss Kigezi Tourism Inniative, most especially Ms. Clare Atwongyeire, the director, for giving him such wonderful opportunity, which has changed his life and opened his doors to the world.  Twesigye appreciated his parents, who contributed to his travel.

At the same dinner, Miss Tourism Kigezi 9th edition and Mister Tourism Kigezi 3rd editions were launched.  As the chief guest, Mr. Dickson Katana launched the brand of Queens and Kings, there were heroic recitations, dances, and songs from Kigezi as Queens and King paraded with jovial Kigezi smiles, witnessing another big brand which was launched.  The audience shouted in unison, Kigezi the Switzerland of Africa, and sang Kigezi anthem as they jubilated.

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The reigning Queen Ms. Ampere Pauline appreciated Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative for giving her such a big platform that has changed her life. She encouraged girls to take part in the exercise that will add value to their lives.  Queens and King gave testimonies about their running projects and appreciated Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative for giving them a chance for innovation, which has greater impact on their lives.

Miss Tourism Kigezi launch

Mr. Dickson Katana, the Senior Warden in charge of Southern  Sector of Bwindi, Nkuringo and  Rushaga Area,  who represented Nelson Guma, the Chief Warden Bwindi Mgahinga Conservative Area, was extremely thankful to Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative for the great work in tourism.  Miss and Mister Tourism Kigezi are going to change the face of tourism in the Kigezi region and Uganda.  On behalf of Uganda Wildlife Authority, he pledged full support. He affirmed that UWA has been working with Kigezi Tourism Cluster and will continue to work with Kigezi Tourism Initiative to promote Kigezi tourism. Quoting from the book of Proverbs 15:17 where it says that, “Better is dinner of herbs where love is than fattened ox and hatred with it”, Dickson called the dinner a meal that brought people together with love which should be part of our culture. 

Dickson, the conservationist encyclopedia, encouraged people to emulate Henrick, who went to Indonesia and marketed Uganda without any pay.

MR Tourism Kigezi launch

About the Kigezi biodiversity and eco systems that include rain forests, parks , lakes, valley,  hills, and nature reserves,  he advised Banyakigezi to utilise them sustainably to improve their livelihoods. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,  Mgahinga Gorilla National,  Echuya reserve, and Lake Bunyonyi are key attractions in the region  that should be well marketed together with other abundant attractions in the region.

The Warden revealed that mountain gorillas, which are endangered species and have been on the red list, due to serious conservation campaign, they have produced more, and soon they will be off the red list. He also shared good news about gorillas, where last year, in the last 12 years of gorillas tracking broke the tourists’ record. Last year, 44000 visitors tracked gorillas in the history of tracking. The last four years tracking records, stands at; 2019 – 26000, 2020 – 8000,   2021- 36000 and 2023 broke the record with 44,000 tourists in Mgahinga and Bwindi parks. This is good for Kigezi and Uganda, which comes with multiple benefits.

Today, there are 27 mountain gorilla families, 26 in Bwindi impenetrable national Park and one family in Mgahinga Park. Gorilla tracking started with only two families in 1991. There are 459 mountain gorillas in Uganda according to 2018 gorilla census.  

On behalf of UWA, Dickson gave the offer of mountain gorilla tracking to the Queens,  Kings, and Miss Tourism Kigezi leadership as one way of boosting tourism in Kigezi region and Uganda 

The Founder/Director of Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative, Ms. Clare Atwongyeire appreciated sponsors and partners who made it possible for Kigezi Tourism Inniative to keep running the   events of Miss Tourism Kigezi for the last 9 years. She commended the good work of Kigezi Queens   for carrying Kigezi and Uganda flags to different parts of the world in the midst of financial challenges, and pledged to make this year’s  Miss and Mister Tourism Kigezi great,   working with Kigezi Tourism Cluster, Tourism  agencies and Banyakigezi. She advised Queens to use their sashes to come up  with self-help projects  and  also promote tourism. Clare promised  to support those with bankable  projects  in collaboration with partners,  sponsors, and  stakeholders.

The director called on girls  to keep good displine,  Banyakigezi culture, and  be focused. She advised them  never to allow anybody to divert or confuse them in this process, which is a life changing project.

MR Tourism Kigezi launch

Ms Faith Ainembabazi, who is the former Kigezi Queen and now  coordinating Miss Tourism Kigezi  region,  thanked sponsors and stakeholders who have been behind the project She called on all stakeholders in Kigezi Tourism to support Miss Tourism Kigezi for the better of Kigezi region.  She encouraged girls and boys to be creative in order to benefit from their positions.

Faith paraded District Queen representatives that included Irankuda Gloria for Kisoro District,  Tukamushana Stecia for Kanungu District,  Busingye Dorothy for Kabale District and other past Queens and Kings  were present.

The event was attended by politicians, Kabale businesses community, community members,  bankers, civil society organisations, academicians, tourism organisations, and students.

The event was closed with an awarding ceremony to sponsors,  partners, and key stakeholders who have been supporting Miss Tourism Kigezi projects. Among the  organisations  that received  awards are White Horse Inn, MBZ Group of Companies,  IK Media World, Bunyonyi Rock Resort,  and  others. Banyakigezi were  invited to participate in Miss & Mister Tourism Kigezi 2024/2025  and own it as a Kigezi brand. 

 Mister Tourism Kigezi, which was introduced by Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative 2 years ago and the only brand in Uganda, will run for  the 3rd  edition this year.

 Miss Tourism Kigezi Initiative has been able to  send Kigezi Queens and Kings to Vietnam,  Indonesia, South Africa,  India and  others to market Kigezi and Uganda which is one of core objective why it was founded.

Robert Tumwesigye

Kigezi Research Desk News

+256 772509393