The First Ever Mr. and Miss Albinism East Africa 2018

The 30th day of November 2018 saw the first ever Mr. and Miss Albinism East Africa beauty pageant being held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre. The beauty pageant, full of pomp and colour, brought together thirty participants-come-models with albinism from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The event offered the selected models a platform to not only showcase their potentials and talents to the world but also to contest for various titles. Each of these countries produced ten models equally representing both genders.

The pageant was organized by the Albinism Society of Kenya in partnership with the Tanzanian Brigitte Alfred Foundation and the Ugandan Source of The Nile Union for Persons with Albinism. The free entry event which was themed, ’NIKUBALI- NIJUMUISHE- NAWEZA’ sought to demystify albinism and its related aspects. It also sought to affirm the right to inherent human dignity of Persons Living with Albinism across the East African region.
The pageant attracted a variety of sponsors including: Agnes Kagure Foundation; Kenya Film Classification Board; Open Society Initiative of East Africa; National Council for Persons with Disabilities; Safaricom Limited; KCB Foundation; L’OREAL; National Bank of Kenya; NIC Bank; Beauty Point Saloon and College; Hanan; Tropikal; Bonfire Adventures and Events as well as Posh and Pretty Events.

The organizers of this event came up with the idea of the regional pageant on albinism so as to create awareness to the general public within the East Africa and across the world by providing factual information on albinism. Its organizers felt the urge to insist on the need to end prejudice, discrimination and social oppression against persons living with albinism across the East African Region and the world at large. It was also put in place to offer the participating models a platform to showcase their potentials, abilities, talents and skills which would in turn attract various viable opportunities for these group of determined young persons. It was further informed by the need to counter myths, misconceptions and negative beliefs on Persons with Albinism. Fostering partnerships between the organizers and other albinism-affiliated organizations in order to mobilize resources and persuading the East African Governments to set aside resources specifically address the challenges facing Persons with Albinism also formed part of the event’s objectives.

The desire to lobby for the establishment of a normative framework, on legislations and policies, which will cater for the welfare of persons living with albinism lastly informed the organization of this pageant.  The pageant had extensive media coverage which included live coverage by some of the reputable media houses for both radio and television outlets. Social media platforms were neither left behind. The event trended on various social media platforms especially Twitter, for over twelve hours insisting on the theme, objectives and purpose of the event.
It was not until past midnight that the winners of various categories and titles were revealed and crowned. The overall winners of Mr. Albinism East Africa 2018 and Miss Albinism East Africa 2018 by the names Emmanuel Silas and Maryann Mungai respectively, took home Kshs 50,000 each. The aforementioned models also took an additional sum of Kshs 25,000 each for winning Mr. Albinism Tanzania 2018 and Miss Albinism Kenya 2018 respectively. Mr. Oreen Wakhulunya and Miss Chevawe Kasure went home with Kshs 25,000 each for winning Mr. Albinism Kenya 2018 and Miss Albinism Tanzania 2018 respectively. Mr. Paul Kiakibona and Miss Olive Auma also went home with Kshs 25,000 each for winning Mr. Albinism Uganda 2018 and Miss Albinism Uganda 2018 respectively. Miss Luciana Nyawira further went home with Kshs 25,000 for winning the People’s Verdict 2018.
Other contested categories included Creative Male Category, Creative Female Category, Best Talent Male Category, Best Talent Female Category, People’s Choice Male Category and People’s Choice Female Category which were won by Mr. Oreen Wakhulunya, Miss Maryann Mungai, Mr. Emmanuel Silas, Miss Vallen Bosibori, Mr. Ontita Clinton and Miss Shirleen Tunai respectively. Each of the latter categories attracted a sum of Kshs 5,000 each. Every participant also went home with Kshs 6,000 each as a token for taking part of the 2018 Mr. and Miss Albinism pageant.
In the forthcoming regional albinism beauty pageants, the organizers of Mr. and Miss Albinism East Africa 2018 have expressed their intent to bring on board all the other East African Countries in order to include all Persons with Albinism in the activities pertaining albinism which is rapidly taking shape within the East African Region. This will ensure that no Persons with Albinism miss out on the new programs being implemented by various albinism-affiliated organizations within East Africa.

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