Miss England Final 16-17 May:
Skip to main content

Vanessa Tendo Naddamba Miss Manchester 2024

Born in Uganda, and moved to Liverpool in England at 9 years old to to live with her Mother and siblings , Vanessa Tendo Naddamba is a 24-year-old who has always strived to do the best she can in everything she does.

The eldest daughter to all her 6 siblings Vanessa ensures she sets the best example not only at home in her private life but also for the generation at large that looks up to her. Wearing many hats she is a project manager by profession, a sports enthusiast, and also a singer and a lover of everything that empowers women.


Before she came to England, Vanessa attended boarding school at Gayaza junior school in Uganda and recently went back home to give back in 2023 as Miss Uganda Uk where she advocated for soft skills to be embedded within the Ugandan education system, a 2-month mission that was highly successful as it was welcomed by both children and adults alike.

Now a Masters graduate and in her desired profession, Vanessa continues to trailblaze for young girls especially young black girls in the UK. When it comes to her settling in the UK Vanessa recalls having a very welcoming experience “my mum had already set up my place in school and the children and teachers learnt about my country before I joined. It made me feel so accepted and I feel it really helped assimilate with ease.” 

While her primary school experience was positive she did recall experiencing some challenging times in high school. Although confident in herself and her abilities in high school, when she started, she soon found that the system did not seem to share this ideal in-fact, at the beginning of her high school journey she was placed in what was called at the time “the learning zone” this particular cohort of students were the ones that were deemed as “struggling students” that needed extra support when studying. Now, on the surface level this seems fair enough, as there is support that is given to a student in need, except this was not the case for Vanessa, she was a very capable student and even the teacher in the learning zone could see this. She recalls once asking why she had been placed where she clearly did not belong and the teacher at the time hinting that this was due to her background and where she had come from.

 ‘I did not really understand the significance of this until I got older. Did it offend me at the time, yes a little bit but it also did not get to me as I already knew what I was capable of on my own and I also had a mother that nurtured that confidence in me every single day. I remember thinking to myself well you might not think I’m clever enough, but I know I am and I can only work to prove that. Which I did as later that year I had been taken out of it.’ 

‘However now that i understand, this could have had a negative impact and is actually a terrible way to group students in terms of their capability in education. Many children already suffer with low self esteem, low motivation in studying especially when they do not know what they want to do in life yet in terms of careers, some do not have the support they need at home to be able to realise their potential early on. While I do not disagree with identifying that a child needs more support and doing the needful to provide that; I strongly believe that allocating  capability bands due to prejudice does not help the child fulfil their potential, it does the opposite, you really risk a self fulfilling prophecy occurring as the child ends up believing whatever limitation you have placed on them as a teacher or even as a system which can perpetuate inequalities further’ 

Winning Miss Manchester 2024

 Vanessa’s high school years were not terrible, but they definitely were some of her most challenging days, ‘definitely character building’ she says. What kept her going was her trust in herself and her ability to still achieve what she wanted to achieve in life on her own accord. Now grown up and she sees how her confidence has carried her through some of her toughest moments, Vanessa advocates for self sufficiency and self development for children to help them get through their own challenging times. Her soft skills campaign is very relevant to bridging the gap in inequalities in education.

Having been participating in pageantry for 6 years now with her newest title as Miss Manchester 2024 set to go to compete in Miss England, Vanessa’s goal has remained consistent over the years and that is to empower through education. She aims to inspire young minds and bridge the gap in inequalities by working with the underprivileged in the city with some charities she is already in partnership with.   She would like to Encourage every girl to have the ability to wear different hats and take up space in the world and fields we would not normally be in.

Vanessa said ” What I would want anyone to take away from my story is to continue to believe in yourself despite what limitations other people try to put on you” …

Read Vanessa’s winning story here in the Manchester Evening News 

Vanessa will be representing Manchester in the Miss England National final sponsored by Watermans Hair  on 16th & 17th May 2024 at the Grand Station Wolverhampton.

For tickets to support Vanessa in the contest  visit here