Former Miss Tourism on life after the crown

Musiimenta Marion Nakku is the go-getter Miss Tourism queen Buganda 2019/2020 and if you can emulate her enthusiasm, you are already a queen.  Marion is a 23-year-old charismatic, confident beauty queen who emerged winner of last year’s tourism pageant. She speaks to the Pearl on her journey as Miss Tourism and life after the crown.

What does it take to be a tourism queen?

You must have a broad view of what tourism is, be passionate and ready to use your crown to grow the tourism industry and yourself.

How did it feel giving up the crown?

The feeling upon winning was incredibly amazing and it was a dream come true. I had always wished to be a tourism queen and represent my country. My love for visiting new places in Uganda and working as an intern at Uganda Wildlife Authority boosted my understanding of wildlife and tourism and stirred up my passion. I was sad to let go of the crown after my term but I have no regrets. Besides, because of the position, I have received so many endorsements.

What are you up to now?

I have been able to gain people’s trust regarding tourism; I have also been able to reach offices easily in order to pitch my projects and get support. The exposure I have received is also helping my company Marion Safaris Uganda, that I started in 2018 grow.

Today I am a confident and proud CEO of a tour company. We are currently authorized to operate in Uganda and Kenya and look forward to expanding to other countries like Rwanda and Tanzania, among others.

I am also a motivational speaker who loves encouraging the youth, especially young women and men to follow their dreams. Sometimes all it takes is for one to believe in your dream. By the way, boys often need the motivation more.

What hasn’t worked?

When we were crowned as tourism queens, we expected more from stakeholders in the tourism industry. I have personally received a hand from Uganda Wildlife Education Center, where I am the ambassador and I am grateful for their support. However, there hasn’t been a lot of support from other stakeholders and this has hindered me from achieving some of my goals.

Message to the girl child

As a young woman, one thing you ought to have is self-confidence. It is important to believe in yourself and set goals in order to achieve them. It is not about the school you went to, you can be anyone you want to be, if you trust in your dreams. Be humble, disciplined and respect everyone. In all, put prayer first because God never fails.

And your future plans?

I hope to take part in other pageants and look forward to creating jobs for more young women both in the tourism and aviation industries. My main goal is to inspire and provide a place for youth to grow with me.

I started Marion Safaris with nothing; it was just my phone and data. I posted pictures of where I had been, places I had toured on social media daily and people started to pick interest. Now, I stand tall knowing that I am the founder of a company that is going to achieve greatness.