Eldoret Prison’s new beauty queen’s mission
A woman serving two years in prison for child neglect is this year’s Miss Eldoret Women Prison.
Mary Muthoni Gathuna, 25, beat 15 other contestants emerging the best in the annual beauty contest event held at the correctional facility.
Clad in long blue dress, pink high heels and an orange strand around her neck, Ms Muthoni won the hearts of the event organizers to clinch this year’s coveted prize.
“I did not expect to be crowned the winner but I knew I had that special thing in me,” she says.
Ms Rahab Njoki was the first runners up while Ms Sharon Cheptoo was second runners up in the competition. The winners were given cash prizes.
“I found myself in wrong side of the law due to love issues. I was arrested for not taking care of my child… I have served one year and I still have another year remaining,” she said.
The beauty queen, who takes over the reins from Ms Rose Chelimo, hopes to use her win to reach out and support teens and other young women to uplift them out of low esteem.
She says her burning desire is to assist teenagers and young women in the society raise their esteem, and promised to use the new title to inspire those suffering in silence in prison.
She acknowledges that most imprisoned women have low self-esteem as they are oblivious of how the society will judge them especially when they complete their sentences.
“I was in such situation just like them but I want to help them realize that past doesn’t matter. We have to accept who are and strive for a better future. We are here to be corrected so that we become the best citizens in the country,” says Ms Muthoni.
According to Ms Evelyn Lagat, Vera Beauty College branch manager, they have been in partnership with the institution to nurture talent.
“Through this programme, we wanted to raise their self-esteem that what matters in not the past but the end. They have talent. We want to identify them so that when they come out they will use the talents to earn a decent living out of it,” she says.
Ms Lagat observed that the judges were also looking at cat-walks and their ability to express what was in their hearts and touch others in a big way.
“We were looking at how creative were they when making their own attire. The event has been going on for the last four years,” she added.
Ms Beatrice Were, the chief inspector who is in-charge of the facility, said the winner has displayed discipline and respect for others.
The officer said that the ‘open door policy’ promoted by the correctional facility had enabled them to get sponsors and partners to hold such events.