It has been any Franchise holder’s vision to make beauty pageantry a celebration of true Kenyan beauty in a positive respectable way and to use beauty as a tool to market our culture and our beautiful country – beauty ambassadors.
The most hotly contested categories in our country are: Mr. and Miss World, Miss Global International, Miss Tourism World, Miss Teen World, Mr. and Miss Universities International, Nokia face of Africa, Miss Earth, Miss Provinces and Towns in Kenya, and many more other titles.
Mr. and Miss World beauty pageant is the oldest and the most widely recognized pageant in the world in its 57th year. It is the oldest and most widely recognized pageant that enjoys a massive television audience with more than 3 billion viewers in over 100countries being second to the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics in international participation. Age eligibility is: 17 – 24 years.
Miss Global International (formerly Miss Commonwealth) pageant supported by the Jamaican Tourist Board was first held in 2004. The pageant celebrates women of origin from the 53 Commonwealth countries. Age eligibility is 17 – 27 years.
Miss Tourism World is a pageant that promotes the beautiful Culture and Tourism Industry as a whole Worldwide. Age eligibility is 17 – 27 years.
Miss Teen World is a celebration of teenagers who come together to show how they contribute to the world. It’s open to young women who have a passion to excel, and display their culture, fashion, country and their way of life. Age eligibility is 14 – 19 years.
Mr. and Miss University pageant is a celebration of University students who come together to show how they can use their wits education and skills as young to contribute to the development of their country. It has no age eligibility.
The other titles of pageant are mostly emulation of the above five. They are a base of the above.
However Modeling is a general term for fashion shows, beauty pageants and catwalk. It’s defined as modeling because the participants are models thus the word modeling. A model is someone with unique and distinct features that is admired by the rest.
BEAUTY PAGEANT AND CATWALK
since childhood was to be a model with a big title like Miss World. I started
modeling after high school until 2005 when I participated Miss World under Miss
Global International category. It was the best experience that one would wish
to have. We went for audition that contained almost 1000ladies out of which
only 40models were shortlisted. I believe
am very beautiful and I was among the beautiful 40models who made it to the
We underwent a 1month training on how to catwalk with high heeled shoes before a huge crowd. Remember again that it’s the best experience. After the 1 month training it was not a must to win for you to be happy but I was content with making it to the finals and having joined the modeling world. My dream was fulfilled and now I became a model. I would catwalk before huge crowds and feel comfortable without feeling shy and out of place. This also built my confidence.
When the day of crowning the titles reached, all the 40 models showcased their talents, culture and more of it the beauty- not just the physical outward beauty but also the inner beauty as a person. We had five categories of clothes to showcase and be judged on that too. This includes African wear, Casual, Official, Beach wear and Evening wear. At the end of the pageant we already had the four titles crowned (Miss World, Miss Global International, Miss Tourism and Miss Teen).
I managed to scoop fourth position under the Miss Global International category. It was joy since I didn’t know that I can get this far on a first trial. That to me is a great achievement.
Kakamega was organized by youth from western Kenya to celebrate the talents and skills that youths within the province have and can utilize to support their country. Kakamega is a town in western province in Kenya cohabiting luhya communities. As I write am the reigning Miss Kakamega 2007/2008. Its reign is very challenging because you can’t do much because of lack of funds. I support one children home in kakamega: that is what I can afford to give back to the society.
The latest beauty pageant that I attended was Mr. and Miss Universities at Simba salon carnivore club. This is one of the famous clubs in Nairobi, capital city of Kenya. And the reigning Mr. and Miss universities 2008 are:
Mr. and Miss Universities Kenya 2008
One interesting aspect notable in the search for these crowns is that the crowns are never won fairly and that’s why Kenyan models don’t live to accomplish what the title entails and to move on to be big shot in the world. The only models who have done modeling and Kenya proud are the ones who have been chosen by International contests like Nokia Face of Africa or Ford Foundation. These models have never let Kenya down and are well established. They grace international runways, magazines and give back to the society: these are the likes of Ajuma Nasenya and Tess Njuhi.
To expound on this, there is no Miss World Kenya, Miss Tourism or Miss Earth that has ever made it to top 10 models in international pageants. This is a shame! This is because they were not the best to represent Kenya but were chosen on wrong criteria of who do you know or won through bribery. This makes model to achieve less in their reign thus the far most of us models reach is to do TV commercials or Billboard that is not well paying.
The owners of this franchise have let the modeling industry loose meaning in Kenya especially to young girls who have such dreams in future. Honestly I tend to think that the organizers have no clear vision for the crowns/titles but organize them just out of greed for money and waste models.
Kenya has come of age when it comes to fashion. The trends seen on the streets today were unheard of ten years ago. With the fashion world changing daily, we have had to try and catch up with the rest of the world, and this includes the fashion trend-setters who are mostly found in the capital, Nairobi. Designers are coming up at every corner in the city, all hoping that their designs will catch the eye of a big shot in the fashion industry, hence finding themselves on the glossy pages of our fashion magazines, and thus guaranteeing themselves higher sales.
One may have a good piece of garment, but if accessorized wrongly, or if put on the wrong body type, may prove disastrous, thus defeating the purpose for which it was designed for. This is where the model scouts come in. These are the people who walk around in major towns looking for ladies who can work the runway with ease, who have the right body type and posture, and also possess the smile that would sell the product for which they are marketing. They also scout for talented designers whose talent is yet to be discovered and experienced.
Fashion show as you all know is till part of modeling. This is a celebration that models showcase clothes, ornaments and jeweleries from different culture.
It’s the most highly participated by models because it’s well paying. By this I mean all models participating end up getting a reward for participation. The organizers normally pay the models per show and this keep s the model moving. Compared to beauty pageant, fashion show is fair and worth the efforts. This is because when you participate in beauty pageant you spend so much money and effort but in the long run it’s only the winner who gets the prize and the rest gain nothing.
After participating in Miss Kenya 2005, I gained catwalk skills that pushed me into the fashion industry which boosted me the whole of 2006. I did so many fashion shows in different towns of Kenya, Malindi being one of the towns that had many shows organized by Italians living there and the pay was good per show.
In fashion show we normally have different categories as shown below:
Eve &Jacky in jewellerie category
Evening dress, African wear, and Casual wear.
Fashion show being the most favorite for models, it contributes a little to the country’s economy because it’s one of the ways that Kenya’s models earn income alongside the shooting of TV commercials and Billboards.
With these pageants, aspiring models strut their stuff on the runway for the ultimate prize which could comprise of a trip abroad, a modeling contract with well known modeling agencies, and or to be a representative for a certain product. The latter is more enviable for it rakes in more money because it runs for a longer period. The title is held for one year.
As appealing as the modeling world sounds, most parents do not like their children getting into this as a career, rather, most parents encourage their children to study for courses which they will know for sure will land them a job in reputable firms, and to model part time. This is because they believe that since modeling takes their children to different parts of the globe, chances of them engaging in promiscuity are high. The aspiring models may argue that international models like Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks or Janice Dickinson have made it in the modeling world, but the parents here are still adamant, saying that those are not Kenyans, and that here we are not as liberal as the west is. The argument is still debatable.
I believe as Kenyans we can improve our fashion by borrowing from our rich culture and heritage and create Kenyan designs. Aping what the models or stars in the western world are wearing only makes us lose our roots and hence, we will not have anything to show the coming generations. We will not have anything to point to and say “That is what makes us truly Kenyan and yes, I’m proud to be Kenyan”.
Bye, Eve Africa