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Model shares his experience working with the disabled at the Hot Pink Catwalk fashion show

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Joseph Etiang on the run way at Hot Pink Catwalk Charity Show

The writer on the run way at the Hot Pink Catwalk Charity Show

By Joseph Etiang

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Not even identical twins can be the same! Not even a shirt woven by the same machine can be the same or rather have you ever wondered why even your body parts, say the breasts, are not the same?

Excuse my extreme thinking but I challenge you to take a second and think about it. Things can never be the same no matter how much we try and this is because it is in the perfect plan of God. Don’t you think the world would be a very boring place if things were the same?

I love posho and you love rice, I love Uganda, you love Kenya, I love blue you love pink; our differences shouldn’t make us hate or crucify others for having different tastes and preferences but rather support and build one another for the betterment of this world.

I am strongly inclined to think that we don’t naturally have hate in our hearts although some other schools of thought will say we are born evil because of some theories and beliefs like the curse of Adam and Eve but com’on let’s think twice for a while. Just ask yourself this simple question “If truly we are born evil, why do we have people who are so loving and caring?” doesn’t this say something about our innate being of being pure and holy because our creator is exactly that. Would a cow give birth to a dog, I believe not!

However, I will agree with the notion that the world is evil and I will challenge us to start thinking different. I remember my mentor telling me “Dreams come true”. So, let’s work on this dream.

Early this year I met Michelle Omamteker, the founder and CEO of Malengo Foundation, an NGO that focuses on people with disabilities. Its focus is social inclusion of all people and proliferation of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Malengo Foundation creatively creates platforms to generate awareness for the Global Goals and the most popular platform is the annual Hot Pink Catwalk Charity fashion Show . Let me dive straight into the show, when I was contacted by Michelle to walk on the show, I was elated and felt very privileged not because I love fashion and the like but I was mainly touched by the cause of this show. In my whole life, I confess that I have never met people with such optimism and zeal about life like the models at the show. I met models of all kinds; albinos, deaf, damn, amputees, vitiligo cases to mention but a few. These models made me appreciate life and it changed my opinion about being different. We are all special and we deserve equal treatment.

I was very inspired and energized to look at life differently and concentrate more on the positives of life than the negatives. I made very good friends from the show and I am grateful for them.

The Pink Catwalk is very well-organized show with both disabled models and top models showcasing for both top designers like Eguana, Brenda Maraka, Muyomba, Parple Rayn, K Rafael and upcoming designers like Kats Just Wear, Kori house of couture and design, YY to mention but a few.

Back to my experience, leave alone the designers and their creative hands. Walking on the Malengo Pink Catwalk was like walking on at the New York Fashion week and this is all because it was an honor to support my brothers and sisters who need all our support in all ways and also expedite the 17 Global Goals like No Poverty, Clean water and sanitation, Reduced inequality, Quality education and many others.

I further realized that life is far way beyond the material gains we crave for like cars, designer clothes. I appreciated the desire for acceptance and belonging among all of us no matter how privileged we may seem to be. I saw happiness and gratitude on the faces models as they graced the runway.

It’s more than just a fashion show, it’s time we changed our minds and made this world a better place. Let’s treat others as we wish to be treated, respect and love for all will take us a long way to achieve this.

Photo Credit: Giulio Molfese

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Specials/Features

SPONSORED: Where to find best odds to bet on World Cup?

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World Cup is at group stage at the moment, offering many surprising results. Germany, Argentina, Brazil all failed to win their first game!

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Entertainment News

When Drugs Become The Music: The Addiction Problem in the Entertainment Industry

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By Our Reporter

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At his peak, Bobi Wine, now a member of Parliament remixed one of the Late Paul Kafeero’s songs; ‘Dippo Nazigala.’ The Kadongo-kamu singer had sang about his long journey towards quitting alcohol, Bobi Wine on the other hand sang about his struggles with marijuana. He laid down reasons why he had quit and went on to take a swipe at his musical competitors; Chameleone and Bebe Cool both of whom had come close to death. He blamed Chameleone’s fractures and Bebe Cool’s bullet injuries on addiction. Yet subtly, Bobi Wine had blown the lid off the drug problem in the entertainment industry, but no one did take him serious, at least no serious case had yet to surface.

It’s more than five years since the ‘Ghetto Nazigala’ song, the country awakens to the Ginkesse Star, Qute Kaye, who’d just survived a lynching over stealing car headlights. There were more questions than answers; “what happened? what went wrong?” How could a music star fall so low into an abyss that could not be explained any longer? “Drugs,” some guessed. But if it was drugs, how many had gone down this path? Did they ever find their bearing back to a normal life?

1. Dave Dash (Davis Lukwago), TV and Radio Presenter

Dave Dash

Last year in September, social media was hit by shockwaves as a video circulated. It was of Dave Dash taking a naked mile, his dreadlocks had given him away. Dave Dash would immediately check himself into rehabilitation at Butabika. A month later, he were to give a testimony of his recovery describing this moment as the most alive he’d been his entire life. Today, he seems to have left his past life behind and seems excited about the future ahead. He’s also gone on a drug awareness drive, partnering with organisations such as Reach A Hand Uganda to sensitise the youths about the dangers of drug use. He clearly did not live in denial about his problem, he came out and confronted it and seems to be winning so far.

2. Kennedy Zziwa, Hair Stylist at Hair by Zziwa

Zziwa

Speak of relapses, and Zziwa is there as a witness. He first publicly shared his story in light of the Dave Dash saga. In April this year, he once again came open and talked about his relapse. “I discovered from the news sites that I knocked an electricity pole in Biina. Survived being lynched. And then I was whisked to Rehab where I have been for two weeks,” confessed Zziwa. He’d been unaware of being high on drugs. Despite the relapse, he described it all as part of the recovery process and apologised to those he’d disappointed. It was no clear that there comes a point when drugs take control of one’s personality enslaving them in ways they can’t explain.

3. Iryn Namubiru, Ugandan Musician

The Ugandan music artiste was detained in Tokyo Japan for illegal possession of drugs. The singer claimed innocence and blamed her promoter, one Nigerian Kim Ueno for setting her up. Although Namubiru survived a punishment that could have gone up to seven years in jail, it still left the country talking. Till today, the facts of the matter remain unclear. Was Namubiru trying to export drugs? How many other Ugandan celebrities were in this kind of business?

4. Jackie Chandiru, Ugandan Music Artiste

Jackie Chandiru

Of all the former Blu3 girls, none has faced it rough more than Jackie Chandiru. The cracks of her life were first revealed by a leaked photo that showed her body with needle marks at various points. She had morphed into the Ugandan Elvis Prisley. Drugs were digging gold from her music stardom. But what could have driven Chandiru to drugs? Could it have been her failed relationships? Was it something she’d started out as an experimental exercise only to find euphoria in it? Chandiru last surfaced in public in 2017 during another of her relapses. The family rushed her back to rehab in a Bunamwaya health facility. We thus wonder; “did she hit a point of no-return or will there be a music reformation for this artiste?”

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Entertainment News

BBS Terefayina launches World Cup in live broadcast.

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Yesterday as the long awaited World Cup final kicked off, Mengo based BBS Terefayina as the only authorized local station to broadcast all 32 games broadcasted its first match. While the station broadcasted the match between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia, there was also a ceremony to mark the milestone where VIP guests like the Katikiro graced the live broadcast on big screens in Bulange.

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BBS Terefayina will continue to broadcast the remaining 31 matches live.

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