Mr and Miss Deaf Kenya Shine in St Petersburg as Kenya awaits the forthcoming Miss Plus World
Mr. Philip Ngovi Nzengu and Christine Nzangi were expecting their second born child in 1997 and the outcome of a Deaf girl, Catherine Ndinda was not on their plate, two years later their third born daughter Grace Kalunda was born Deaf.
For the residence of Itivanzoo village in Kitui County, this was an occurrence they had never witnessed and associated it with all manners of African beliefs that one would encounter especially those, which have contributed to stigma and discrimination of persons with disabilities. “I never allowed my children out unaccompanied because people wanted to take them to witchdoctors and as a Christian I was totally opposed” Mr Ngovi said.
He took the unexpected direction.
In most homesteads a case of two children with disabilities would have resulted in a breakdown of the marriage and bolting of the man due to societal pressure. He supported his wife and his beloved children and gave them the best education a child can get.
Modelling as a career!
Despite the belief and support he had for his children; modelling never crossed his mind as a path his beautiful daughter would pursue. ‘Modelling is for the slender, tall and without disability!’ a great misconception that has been driving the pageantry world for very many years.
This myth had left out Persons with Disabilities, plus size women and people who could not reach a certain height.
At the Inaugural Deaf Pageantry held in St. Petersburg, Russia early this month, our very own deaf participants Catherine Ndinda represented Kenya on the ladies side and attained first runners up position while the men were represented by Wilson Obange who attained second runners up in his category.
Catherine Ndinda has big ambition using her crown where she has vowed to fight stigma and discrimination against persons with disabilities and has called on children with disabilities to demand their space in the society, parents not to hide away their children with disabilities and the government to have policies that support PWDs to attain equality.
She is undertaking her diploma in business management at the Kenya Institute of Management and wants to be a role model to her deaf sister who is currently in form four at St. Angela School for the Deaf in Mumias, Kakamega County.
The selection of the representatives was done by the Deaf Artist Culture Association of Kenya (DACAK), led by its Chairman Mr. Simon Adem at the Nairobi Cinema hall, sponsored by the Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB), where Dr. Ezekiel Mutua was the guest of honor, National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) represented by Hon. Mohamed Gabow who also sponsored the duo with tickets to Russia and the Signs Media Kenya Limited (Signs TV).
Kenya is a hot bed of Talent.
In addition to the just concluded Deaf pageantry, the Miss Plus World founder, Miss Neomi Ng’ang’a organised a beauty pageantry for plus size women at Garden City mall on 6th July 2019. An event that showcases the diversity, creativity, leadership, style, grace and beauty of a woman worldwide. It is meant to inspire the ‘plus sizes’ to flaunt their bodies no matter their sizes. “The full figure African black woman has never been truly showcased as an icon of beauty.” Miss Neomi lamented.
Miss Tracy Nduati was crowned winner out of the 29 models and she is set to represent Kenya in the Miss Plus World competition on 3rd August 2019 in Houston, USA.
These Pageantries are a wakeup call for all persons, especially those with disabilities who feel they cannot showcase their talents and interest because of their disabilities to take on the challenges down the runway.
Good job for Miss Ndinda and Mr Obange for their win, and best wishes for the Miss Plus World, fly our flag high.
ARTICLE BY; GRACE TSIMBIKO