After winning the first BBC Komla Dumor Award, Nancy Kacungira went to the BBC headquarters. While there, she shared her journey through Facebook posts on her personal profile and thanked NTV Uganda, Power Fm Radio Station, KTN Television (Kenya), and Bluflamingo which all played a huge role in grooming her. She went ahead to share her not-so-smooth journey. What however caught our attention is her message to well-wishers, friends and especially all the ladies out there. Here it is.
First of all, let me thank my wonderful friends and the well-wishers who sent me lovely messages after my award ceremony last night. Bless you all!
The BBC posted this photo on their page, and someone on Twitter brought to my attention that some of the comments were from male users saying that I won because I am “beautiful”. I shrugged it off as I usually do, but today I thought – actually, I should write something about this constant need to judge a woman’s value by her looks. When I first appeared on Ugandan TV, some people posted on social media that I was “not pretty enough” to be on TV. But now apparently I’ve won an award only because “I’m beautiful”. It’s funny, isn’t it? As women we are so often pushed to think of our identity as relative to our perceived beauty but let’s not fall into that trap of validation-seeking. The only opinion of you that really matters is yours.
I don’t need to counter this by talking about my degrees and projects and capabilities – my work is my act of worship and gratitude for the gifts God has given me, and quite frankly, the world doesn’t need to know about it for it to be fulfilling for me. I’m blessed to have gone through enough difficult things in my life and be grounded enough in the identity I have in Christ not to be fazed by people’s opinions of me. I believe I am beautiful – not because of my face and figure (which will keep changing) but because of the struggles and triumphs that have molded my character, because of my constant striving to be a better person, and especially because of the spirit of God that lives in me.
To the sister that needs this reminder; you are perfectly made! If you need to believe the people who tell you you’re beautiful, the problem is you also have to believe the ones that tell you that you’re not. Your creator has not made any mistakes, and He’s the final authority on the subject. What you need to worry about, is the beauty of your character – because that’s what actually lasts.