What you need to know:
- To win the title, Phidelia Mutunga also had to beat the overall competition winner Chanique Rabe from Namibia.
- Phidelia, who runs her own transport company, was crowned Miss Supranational Kenya 2020 after being hand-picked.
Making her first appearance in an international pageant, Kenyan Phidelia Mutunga was crowned Miss Supranational Africa 2021 at the Miss Supranational World Finals held in Poland last Saturday.
The Miss Supranational Kenya 2020 beat seven African contestants to clinch the continents title in the 12th edition of the pageant. Kenya was placed 24th overall.
To win the title, Phidelia also had to beat the overall competition winner Chanique Rabe from Namibia, who was crowned Miss Supranational 2021 by her predecessor, Polish Anntonia Porslid.
“I have participated in only Miss Tourism and other local pageants in Kenya, I had not represented my country internationally before. I was excited to finally compete on the international level and do well. It’s a great honour and a huge responsibility,” the 24-year-old finance graduate told Saturday Nation from Poland. Phidelia’s multicultural African attire stole the show, giving her an edge over the other contestants.
“My costume was showcasing diversity. My national costume symbolised unity, diversity and included the Swahili, Indian and Maasai cultures in Kenya .
“The shield is mostly carried by the Maasai people... The red is a symbol of the struggle for freedom, while white represents peace and unity. My face was a representation of my fierce side and my commitment to keep raising my country’s flag high.”
International beauty pageant
Phidelia, who runs her own transport company, was crowned Miss Supranational Kenya 2020 after being hand-picked. With the coronavirus pandemic hitting the continent last year, no national pageants were held, so the mandate to represent the country fell on the shoulders of the 2018 Miss Tourism Kwale County.
“I was picked to represent Kenya by Miss Supranational Kenya 2018. I have to admit it was a difficult but fulfilling journey. Going on an international platform without a big organisation guiding you is no small feat. To organise all that is needed and prepare for the competition is hard work that needs patience, prayers, perseverance and fully believing in yourself,” she said.
Kenya has participated in Miss Supranational every year. The previous top 24 placement was in 2015. African nations have been actively participating in the competition although Kenya is yet to get the franchise and finally hold a national pageant.
Miss Supranational is an annual international beauty pageant mostly held in Poland and forms part of the five pageants regarded as the Grand-slam pageants, including Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss International and Miss Grand International.
“This pageant is all about bringing together people from all around the world. Supranational means countries coming together in unity. It is also a platform that focuses on giving back to the community, giving the contestants a chance to share with the world their goals, ambitions, passions. There’s also showing compassion towards the less fortunate and making a difference in the society,” Phidelia explained.
The pageant offers high monetary value in terms of prize money and brand partnerships.
Overall winner Rabe took home prize money equivalent to over Sh3 million. “Besides the prize money, the winner gets a contract, becomes the brand ambassador of their organisation and collaborates with so many renowned world brands, designers and magazines.
Phidelia intends to travel across Africa doing charity work as well as advocacy.
“I feel privileged to have been won the African title and will use this platform to leave a mark and change people’s lives in the little ways I can.
“My advocacy plan is to come up with a drive that helps girls to realise their full potential by creating awareness on the effects of early childhood marriages, FGM (female genital mutilation) and importance of education. This will be my mission when I start my work across the continent and hopeful many organisations will collaborate with me to see to it that this is realised.”
With her eyes on the ball, Phidelia also looks forward to an opportunity to work and learn from international supermodels like Naomi Campbell.
“I like Naomi, Adut (Aketch) and Zozibini (Tunzi). I’d certainly love to work with them. Not forgetting our own Cecilia (Mwangi) and Ajuma (Nasenya). These are women that have left a mark in the industry. I believe it wasn’t easy for them to break through in a world that’s not 100 per cent favourable to or accepting of black models.”