A few days ago, Media was awash with news of City Socialite and a Self-confessed Prostitute, Shanitah Namuyimbwa, Alias” BadBlack” who allegedly scooped a deal to be the Brand Ambassador of VictoriaUniversity.This deal was received with mixed reactions among the Public with many asking what a Senior two drop out in Bad Black has to do with matters Academics and Research, whereas others congratulated her, saying that it’s her luck and that luck knows no Boundaries or Social class Systems.
Who is Bad black?
“BadBlack” real name Shanitah Namuyimbwa, rose to fame in 2011 as a super-rich girl, who drove around town in very expensive cars; including an AUDIQ7, Several Mercedes Benzs, a BMW X5, etc and Partied daily in high-end Bars and clubs, making expensive whisky her daily bread, and living Large, like a drug lord with a Plush residence in Munyonyo. The source of her wealth is linked to her former lover; David Greenhalgh, a British citizen whom
she conned billions, partly ditching her job at Speke Road(Prostitution) and concentrated on Partying and splashing money to whoever cared. She was arrested and later imprisoned on grounds of theft for 4 years and later released having completed her jail sentence. She is a self-confessed prostitute, a vlogger, mother, and Singer (yes she has a song). Her exact source of wealth and age still remains a mystery to many.
Victoria University is allegedly owned by city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia who a few years ago was recognized as the richest man in Uganda by Forbes. Their partnership with Bad black as their Brand Ambassador sparked off a debate in Public Space. But, what does a University gain from employing semi-literate as their face? Does she bring in foreign funding for research? Does she bring more students? Or is she just meant to sell the university given her large numbers on social media?
Is She Fit To Be A Brand Ambassador?
On whether “Bad Black” is the best candidate to represent the Brand of a University, the answer is not clear. But what is clear is; she is one of the few sex workers that have a public appeal to the extent that the government of Uganda hired her during the Covid-19 sensitization that also ended up in a scandal of delayed payments. With her recognition by the government of Uganda which is constitutionally against prostitution, it seems this is another page of the same saga.
But before we complain about “Bad Black” being a brand ambassador for Victoria University; we have to also consider defining Victoria University as a brand. In Uganda; there are mainly three respected universities; Makerere University, Kyambogo University, and Uganda Christian University. These are the only universities that people often strive to go to. The other universities often become an option whenever students fail to find a place in these top universities.
With the above in mind, anything a university like Victoria University does could easily be ignored by the public unlike Makerere University or Kyambogo University. If it had been Makerere; probably the “PR” department would have already been called to explain. But for the case of Victoria University; anything can pass. In Uganda; you require at least two principal passes to be granted University admission. We had “Bad Black” clearly saying she was going to study English at the same university which is partly illegal in the laws of Uganda. It is actually for a similar reason that Robert Kyagulanyi was dragged in court for attending Univesity on a mature entry basis yet he was below the age cap.
However, this is not a mature entry issue. This is a minimum entry requirement issue. In a case that has been recently concluded against a former member of parliament Kato Lubwama; he was found guilty for attending university without a minimum entry requirement. Regardless of him possessing a diploma, it is questionable because of the minimum entry cap.
A university is an academia round table. Using someone who has nothing to do with academia as your brand ambassador does not only tarnish your brand but also raises questions on whether someone clearly understands the purpose of a university. With such a bold yet questionable move; Victoria University is reducing itself to a language school or a technical institute that does require a minimum entry requirement other than your willingness and ability to pay.
However, it should be noted that universities also offer a number of certificates in different fields which do not require you to have a senior six certificate. In case “Bad Black” is a student in one of those fields that require neither a senior six equivalent nor a senior four certificate; then there is no reason she cannot be a brand ambassador for her school!