Political season takes toll on pageant

Wednesday November 1 2017

Miss Tourism Kenya

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai puts a sash on Ms Wendy Omollo after she won the Miss Tourism Kenya contest held in Vihiga County on June 19, 2016. This year's pageant has not taken place. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Kenya will not have a new Miss Tourism this year due to the prolonged political season that has hampered efforts to hold the annual fete.

The reigning Miss Tourism is Wendy Omolo from Homa Bay County who won the pageant on June 2016, and the country was supposed to have a new beauty queen in June this year.

The pageant’s national executive director Alice Kamunge said the event did not take place due to the elections.

“We had a break for 2017 due to the elections but we are about to start season two for 2018-2021,” she said.

Ms Kamunge noted that auditions at the county level will kick off in December with the national competition expected to also happen in December.

The pageant’s Nyeri County director Mercy King’ori also cited politics for failure to hold the event.

“The long political season affected so many things, not just the competition. It would have been difficult to operate under the political tension,” she said.

Ms King’ori said preparations for next year’s pageant had begun and they were already scouting for donors.

The pageant, a concept of Vera Beauty & Fashion College under the stewardship of Ms Kamunge, gives counties a platform to market themselves.

Already, the organisers have reached out to the new county bosses to support the initiative that seeks to promote talent among the youth.

“It is not clear if they will be supporting the pageant because some of them are new but we are optimistic,” Ms King’ori said.

The pageant’s secretariat will hold regional auditions beginning in December at the constituency level.

She said Nyeri County’s last event was affected by lack of funding with the event almost called off.

The Nyeri County government declined to allocate the pageant funds, causing uproar among the youth in the county.

Politicians who were eyeing seats in the August 8 elections sponsored the fete.

The winner was also not facilitated for the finals held in Vihiga County.

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