Engabu Za Tooro UNESCO delegation on Friday, 13th December, 2019 met the former Miss Columbia Ms. Vanessa Mendoza at the Agora Convention Centre in Bogota and discussed the preservation and safeguarding heritage of indigenous communities in Africa.
Vanessa Mendoza who held the Miss Colombia title in 2001 – 2002 grew up in poverty. Her father died when she was still young, leaving her mother to care for the family. Despite the poor conditions the family endured, Vanessa showed early interest in becoming a model, and began pursuing that career until she became the first Black Miss Colombia.
According to the head of the UNESCO delegation, Stephen Rwagweri “the meeting with the former Columbia beauty queen will increase funding for projects aimed at safeguarding and preserving and revitalising the cultures of indigenous communities across the African continent since the beauty queen has a lot of influence among the wealthy celebrities in America”
Engabu Za Tooro UNESCO delegation are Deo Katekere Rubongoya, Sylivia Catherine Nyangoma and Engabu Za Tooro Executive Director and CIOFF Uganda President Stephen Rwagweri who is the head of the delegation.
The 14th ICH IGC UNESCO session is taking place between 8th – 14th December, 2019 and 156 countries have been represented across the world.
The 14thsession of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, organized by UNESCO and hosted by the Government of the Republic of Columbia has attracted hundreds of people from across the world who include ministers of culture from all over the world, UNESCO ambassadors, culture experts, artists and funding bodies in the field of arts and culture among others.
Currently Engabu Za Tooro is implementing a UNESCO co-funded Project UGA 01210 which focuses on documentation and revitalization of Empaako naming rituals and practices in Uganda.