There is a saying that goes ‘A combination of beauty and brain is not very common’. The one who has got both brain and beauty is by far the luckiest person on earth. Every person has his own strengths and weaknesses, and the good traits definitely speak out in some or the other way. A beautiful person with his wrong deeds cannot excel; similarly, an ugly person with a beautiful soul struggles throughout his life to prove himself. When we come to the discussion who can rule the world – beauty or brain, there comes a plenty of points both in favour and against the notion.
In Kenya the Miss Tourism Kenya (MTK) contest has become a dream of every girl. MTK is a hotly contested affair that see women embrace every opportunity presented to them as they battle to be recognized as the ‘Runway Queens’ a title that comes with both money and brand endorsements.
Founded in 1990 by MaryAnn Wanja who is also the Managing Director of Vera Beauty & Fashion College. MTK is a registered trademark in East Africa. Vera Beauty College offers training courses in modelling, hair and beauty.
“The first event was a success by any measure, we have grown by leaps and bounds since then, “Ambassador Alice Kamunge, the National Director of MTK.
Following the promulgation of the new constitution in Kenya MTK was devolved following the new system of governance that was created by the new constitution. In 2013 MTK County edition was into the counties.
Today, MTK has the blessing to most counties as the event seek explore the opportunity to market their counties.
County governments, through their respective ministries of Tourism and Trade, have organized and held miss tourism events in the counties.
The annual national event that seeks to personify Kenya’s Tourism strengths through pageantry.
Ann Njoroge is the 2018 winner of Miss Tourism Nyandarua County. She believes that MTK represents the tourism sector as a whole.
Njoroge; “My aim is to promote the growth and diversity of Nyandarua country and Kenya among the best internationally. As a country we are gifted with distinctive combination of tourist attraction; abundant wildlife in natural habitats, scenic beauty and geographical diverse scenery. Cultural diversity brings about the amazing cultures in Kenya.”
She urges the government to create an enabling environment for investors to tap into the Big Four Agenda to help industrialize Kenya.
In Embu County, Fridah Kairuki, 21, emerged the winner of the MTK 2018 county edition. She is a finalist student of Communication and Journalism at Kenya Methodist University.
“The power of media and the internet has made the world a small village. Through different social media platforms, I will help change the stereotypes that are associated with the modeling industry as a whole by showing the world the beautiful life changing projects that models do as their way of giving back to the society.” Fridah says.
She plans to progress her career as a model and achieved a personal goal by giving hope to young models and showing the world what true beauty really is.
The Western region of Kenya and Bungoma County will be represented by Joyce Nasambu after emerging the winner in a hotly contested MTK 2018 - Bungoma edition. She studies Bachelor of Education Science at Chuka University.
Nasambu; “Beauty can only be defined with Brains.I will use my position and profession as a teacher to advocate for the mainstreaming of tourism in our curriculum especially cultural tourism which is becoming extinct. I believe we should embrace the cultural education since culture is the backbone of tourism.”
Sarah Pkyach won the MTK -West Pokot County edition.
Growing up, she watched people suffer from her county and she says: “ I have decided to take up this platform and use it to lend a hand. As the ambassador of my county, I plan to do everything in my power to sell both my county and its people and the gifts of nature that we have to offer.
It is unimaginable to the "common mwananchi" to think that West Pokot County is a tourism destination thriving with wildlife and scenic sites. I plan to change that perspective because on the other hand, we host three of the Big Five and also the biggest Black elephant in the world in North Pokot at Nasolot game reserve.”
West Pokot County’s terrain is the most mountainous with numerous breathtaking sites, hence it is known as the county of hidden treasures.
“I adore our culture and I plan to show the world the beauty that lies in Pokot culture together with our amazing beadwork,” concludes Pkyach.
Shamsa Noor will be representing the Wajir County. The 21 year-old student at Maseno University is passionate about the seven pillars of Miss Tourism Kenya because they will benefit all Kenyans, if well implemented.
She calls upon the organizers of the event to increase tourism activities so as to attract investors who can explore more investment opportunities within the sector.
Noor; “Advocacy for good environmental practices can transform semi-arid counties into more habitable areas, attracting more tourists and improving the areas’ food security and nutrition.Marketing tourist attraction sites will offer alternative places to visit for local and international tourists improving cultural diversity and practices through travel. Hospitality by communities around attraction sites helps improve peace and unity. “concludes Noor.
The Kamba people have not been left behind and Kitui County will be represented by Tiffany Mutethya. Her role model is Governor Charity Ngilu because she has been an inspiration to many women being among the first women to become Governor.
“She is known to be courageous and fearless in her political career. She has implemented one of the best insurance policy in Kitui County which is expected to help the people of Kitui county access medical care. She has provided countless job opportunities and has been there to speak for the voiceless people of Kitui County especially in the issue of charcoal burning and sand collection which has been leading to desertification in the area,” comments Tiffany.
Edith Knight Owido
Migori County might have received a lot of negative reporting following Sharon Otieno’s murder incident but Edith Knight Owido is holding her head up hoping to be crowned as the MTK grand finale winner. The 23 year-old is passionate about culture.
“We boast of beautiful landscapes, wildlife, the coastline, coral reefs sandy beaches and Africa’s largest fresh water lake among others; this mesmerizes many and always sees the country oozing with tourists and investors hence boosting our country’s economy. We are hospitable always open to welcoming visitors. Blessed we are for co-existing peacefully, having vast variation of beautiful environment which I champion to protect in my project; Nisomeshe Initiative which fights for equal education opportunities for both boy and girl child and also focuses on environmental conservation. Kenya has previously experienced tribal clashes and ethnic tensions, I felt that I could help ameliorate this situation thereby starting a project called “sisi ni Kenya, Kenya ni sisi,” comments Edith.
Ilikwel Alimlim Zipporah
The cradle of Mankind -Turkana County will not miss out in this year’s MTK 2018 grand finale.
They will be represented by Ilikwel Alimlim Zipporah, a Diploma Graduate in Crime Prevention and Management from Kenyatta University.
The county has reported many cases of drug abuse and alcoholism over the last year.
“I will sensitize the youth on drugs and substance abuse because it is rampant among the youth. I will set up rehabilitation centers where those struggling with addiction. I will partner with organizations with similar objectives to reduce the rate of drug abuse in my county,”