Deaf girl beats odds to win Mombasa beauty title
A 22-year-old deaf model has warmed the hearts of many after being crowned winner of Miss Tourism Kenya, Mombasa county over the weekend.
Babelyn Mukila, who is deaf and mute, defeated 10 other contestants in the beauty pageant.
Speaking to Nairobi News through the help of an interpreter, Ms Mukila said she had always had a passion for modelling and was determined to succeed despite her disability.
“I have always been interested in modelling since I was a young girl, and when I finished high school I knew it was what I wanted to do as a career,” said Ms Mukima.
She arrived in Nairobi on Monday where all Miss Tourism county finalists are converging before heading to Vihiga county for the finals.
After finishing high school at Mumias Vocational School for the deaf in 2013, she went back to Mombasa and joined New Image Beauty College to train as a beauty technician.
In 2015 she auditioned for the Miss Tourism Kenya, Mombasa County, and came in second in the county finals.
“In the beginning it was hard because of the language barrier. I feel it is just an attitude problem by everyone else who don’t try to learn the sign language. But I thank my family and interpreter who have always encouraged me during all the levels of the competitions,” said Ms Mukima.
Her mission is to fight for all disabled person to be included in all beauty pageants. However she sees her participation in this year’s Miss Tourism as an achievement and motivation to herself and people with disability.
“My goal now is to be crowned Miss Tourism Kenya at the national level. Being here is proof enough that disability is not inability. It is a window that shows that we (disabled people) are here and we should be given an opportunity to such competitions,” she told Nairobi News.
Her victory in the Mombasa county finals has opened a new frontier in the modelling and beauty industry where event organizers have never accommodated people with disability.
The Miss Tourism Kenya 2016 finals will be held in Vihiga County from June 18 to June 19.