19 year old student Aisha Shollei won the Miss Fabulous-Tupange pageant that not only tested her character but also her brains. In addition to the title, Aisha has been awarded the Mayoral key, which gives her unrestricted free parking within Nairobi, among other benefits. Carolyne Kiambo got a chance to talk to the beautiful Aisha.
It is one of those extremely hot afternoons in Nairobi; I bet it’s going to rain because the heat is just abnormal. My skirt suit is not allowing my skin to breathe and to make things worse, my shoes are killing me! I am outside the City Hall waiting for the Mayor; I beg your pardon, His worship the Mayor. I am here to witness history. A 19 year old lady is about to receive the honorary mayoral key.
Being a recipient of the Mayoral key is like getting those honorary degrees Kenyan universities keep dishing out to politicians. You get a symbolic key to the city and free parking within the city at any time.
The Mayor is apparently in another meeting, so this might be a long wait. Being the sanguine that I am, it is time for me to mingle! My target – Miss Fabulous-Tupange 2012 – the recipient of the key.
Beauty, brains and character are words that describe Miss Aisha Shollei, an architecture student at the University of Nairobi. Unlike other pageants, Miss Fabulous contest is not particularly fixed on weight, height and other nitty-gritties that are required by models. It focuses on personality and character. The pageant organized by NOPE (The National Organization for Peer Educators) seeks to find a young woman who can be a role model in the society.
A Miss Fabulous is a lady who has the voice and moral authority to stand against vices in the society such as drug abuse, poor family planning and sexual immorality and at the same time, has the heart for the less fortunate.
Aisha has always wanted to be a model. Earlier this year, she entered the Miss Kenya competition.
“I was kicked out in the early stages of the competition because of my height. I was told to go and grow three inches taller,” Aisha jokes about her past experience.
“Clinching the Miss Fabulous title was not a walk in the park,” says Aisha with a poignant look, as she recollected the day’s events. “I got shouted at many times during the pageant because I was always late for most of the things I was told to do. I was distracted; I did not have all the required outfits so I kept calling my mother with instructions of what and where to get them.”
In preparation for the event all, all contestants were required to meet early in the morning during the knock-out stages. They also had to visit various places so as to see the work NOPE does.
“This was really strenuous on me because I am in school, but I am glad I went through the experience, it made me a better person.”
Speaking of being a better person, Aisha describes the Miss Fabulous experience as a life changing one.
“It has made me see life from a different angle. Now I really care about the society…am not saying I never used to care, but now my heart is more into helping the less fortunate .The training I have received in preparation to the event and the visits to the children home made me realize there is more to life than what meets the eye.”
Aisha is also Sh.100,000 richer as a result of winning the pageant. She is also due to receive an additional Sh.200,000 from Aida Odinga. With the title, Aisha is going to be an ambassador of change. She is signed under NOPE for the next one year to work on projects such as promoting health and peace awareness to the youth, she will be the voice for the less privileged and above all be a role model to the youth.
We are interrupted by the event organizer who informs us that the Mayor had re-scheduled the event.
I guess Asha won’t be receiving the mayoral key today so she has to wait a bit longer to enjoy the free parking. In any case, she doesn’t have a car yet. But for the Arch student, she has found a deeper purpose for her beauty and brains.