DERRICK MUDUKU AND BENEZERI WANJALA
When Santina was a student at St. Lawrence, London College, in A-level, she was already standing out from the crowd. Tall, pretty and light skinned, she was difficult to ignore. She was a natural comedian, making everybody around her laugh. She was also one of the best dancers and she loved to model. To top it all off, she knew how to dress. It was clear she was destined for stardom.
“We’d all dress up, but when we saw her, we’d realize we hadn’t put in enough effort. She was always dressed to oppress,” says Samantha Ayaa, a first–year student of UCU that studied with Santina in high school as well.
Twenty-year-old Santina Anshemeza, a model and first year student at Uganda Christian University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public administration, has made a record at campus after booking a slot in the highly revered Miss Uganda 2019 finals as contestant number three.
Santina was born on May 17, 1998 and hails from Kiruhura District. Her friends describe her as a kind woman, who has always known what she wants.
“She is a go-getter and if she believes in something, she will chase after it. Most importantly, she is exceptionally beautiful– both inside and outside,” Mariam Naigaga, a first year student, and friend of Santina, says.
According to an interview she did with the online magazine, Campus Bee, she wants to help street children and orphans when she becomes the next Miss Uganda.
“I always believe in what I put my hands onto. It is fair that I have achieved this because of the commitment,” says Santina.
She attributes her nomination to hard work and prayer. This doesn’t come as a surprise because she has built a reputation as an active participant in spiritual activities at the campus.
Joseph Kateregga, the leader of Scripture Union, seems to agree.
“She loves her God. She always comes on time for prayer sessions and is a very disciplined person,” he says.
This is not the first time she is engaging in such fashion–related activities.
In Senior Two, at Seeta High School, she participated in a fashion gala and came out as runner-up in the competition. She says that this propelled her desire to go on to pursue the profession.
A tutor in one of her course units, Business Law, Mr Micah Lutete, says that even in class she is exceptional.
“I like her attention. She is good at participation and consults when there is a need. This is a true testimony that hard work pays off,” he says.
Her friends also agree that her commitment is the reason she is where she is.
Gertrude Mbabazi, Ashemeza’s roommate, illustrates this. “She always leaves me at hostel. She is extremely punctual and on time in all that she does,” she said.
According to Samantha and Mariam, her friends, she won’t touch alcohol with a long stick and one won’t find her in clubs. However, they admit, she loves Ugandan songs like Chupa ku Chupa by A Pass, and Jon Blaq’s music. She is also a huge fan of Ugandan comedy, particularly Comedy Store, hosted by veteran comedian Alex Muhangi.
Her uncle Bruce Ahimbisibwe asserted that she is very respectful. He said the family is proud of her and willing to help her achieve her goal.
“We are more than ready to help our daughter in any way, whether in monetary terms or by way of moral support,” Ahimbisibwe emphasized.
Anshemeza’s opponents are aware of the threat she poses. Agnes Nasuuna, contestant number ten, highlights the fact that Anshemeza has a wide following and can amass the required votes to enable her sail through.
“When you follow her on Twitter, you realize that she has many followers that will make it possible for her to influence a great number of people,” she says.
She goes on to add that she is well–known in many universities around the country, giving her an edge.
Anshemeza, who is currently at the dreaded Miss Uganda boot camp, calls on her friends and fans to vote her so that she can finally realize her dream of becoming Miss Uganda.
According to her friends Mariam and Samantha, it’s an easy process.
“Just go to the official Miss Uganda Instagram page and follow the link, and vote. It’s free of charge,” they say, almost in unison.
The onus is on us to help Santina raise the university flag high.