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Miss South Sudan wants to boost girls’ access to school

Daniel Bol
Miss South Sudan Manuela Modong Mogga was ranked in the top 10 at the recent 2013 Miss World competition. In an interview, she explained how she wants to channel her catwalk success into getting more S. Sudanese…
28.10.2013  |  Juba
Miss South Sudan Manuela Modong Mogga.
Miss South Sudan Manuela Modong Mogga.

Q: Miss South Sudan, how did it feel to take part in this global event? Were you scared?

A: After I wore the crown for Miss World South Sudan I was scared because it is my first time in this industry. During this competition I was not scared really because I put my confidence in God.

Q: When you were called to the front how did you feel?

A: They called South Sudan” and that gave me a lot of energy because I was representing the nation and I was not alone in this. I felt I have the full nation behind me, I have God behind me and I have my family behind me. I felt great and happy.

Q: Were you upset not to win?

A: I did all I could. I tried my very best to bring the Miss World crown home.

Q: Where has your success taken you?

A: As Miss South Sudan, I am working to help the South Sudanese. My project with the ministry of education is to minimise the number of girl school dropouts. With time I hope I will expand and maybe work on other areas that are really alarming in South Sudan.

Q: So beauty has a purpose for you in the South Sudanese context?

A: Beauty is all about being a role model, with a platform like Miss South Sudan, you can do something for your community and help people.

Q: Did you go to school?

A: I studied in Uganda for the last ten year for primary and secondary level. I am going to study medicine because in Uganda I did advance level biology, chemistry and mathematics.

Q: Can your elaborate more about your project, how will it help improve South Sudan’s appalling record on girls’ education?

A: First I will start with a media campaign and then make promotion material like T-Shirts and stickers to emphasise on girl education and minimise school drop out. I will go to schools for conferences and seminars with teachers to emphasise that girls should not to drop out from school.

I will advocate girls’ education starting here in Juba. Then I will visit South Sudan’s other states.

Q: What is your aim?

A: I want to help them understand the importance of education. You find the bigger issue is girls’ early marriage and early pregnancy. We will sensitise young ladies and if they really lack school fees then we will contact the ministry of education.

Tomorrow, I have an interview with the Eye Radio station on girl child education. I want to create awareness and alert people. When you go to other states you do not find 15 year old girls in education and that is not right -- the future is in the hands of this young generation.

I wonder how South Sudan will be in ten years or fifteen years to come. I think we need to lay a foundation now by focusing on the young people.

Q: So you are proud of yourself?

A: Yes, very proud, but this is just the beginning of my dream. My dream is actually to become a doctor.