Nine-year-old Margaret Andrea Mbodze from Kilifi County is the Mini Miss Kenya 2022 winner who will represent Kenya at the International Beauty Competition to be held in Dubai.
The young model who is a pupil at Bright Beginnings Kindergarten Preparatory at Bofa area in Kilifi, emerged the best in the Little MR & MISS Kenya (under category 9-11 year-olds) held on 18th September this year at Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi.
The child star has a passion for environmental conservation and among her projects, she prioritizes to immediately embark on beach cleaning activities to improve the marine life and converting trash into useful commodities.
Speaking to the media in her school where pupils eagerly waited to receive Mbodze back, her mother, Josefrida Nyamvula expressed her joy while asking for further support from the national government to help her daughter realize her dreams.
“Maggie is a Kilifi child to the world and my hope is that she will one day be the Miss World Kenya and a role model in society,” Nyamvula said.
The proud single mother of two was overjoyed having received an invitation from the Kilifi governor Gideon Mung’aro to his office, something she acknowledged was only made possible through her daughter’s talent.
As Mbodze’s mother, Nyamvula explained how she had to endure a number of challenges including lack of resources and negative innuendo from the public.
As much as the county’s gender department has promised to finance the air tickets, Nyamvula says it’s not easy for her as she still requires a number of things to have her daughter represent the Kenyan nation internationally.
This includes logistics at the host country,35 mandatory Kenyan souvenir items that her daughter is supposed to carry to gift other contestants, costumes, among others.
Nyamvula said she is happy as a mother for her daughter’s achievement and hopes that it will be a chance for greater opportunities in the future, adding that through the platform her little Maggie will be able to excel in her ambitions.
“Maggie being a child has the potential, there is an opportunity to achieve all her dreams and as a young leader all her projects can come to life in the future. We are now looking forward to her journey to Dubai and hopefully in January we will be going beyond this, across the world,” Nyamvula said in amusement.
She urged her fellow parents to take time and support their kids in matters relating to their talent even though the success might take a while.
“I thank God for being a witness to my daughter’s win. There are a lot of benefits that come with talent and awareness is the most important factor in our country to achieve them,” she said.
Mbodze in her speech gave special credit to her mother for the outstanding support while urging other parents to emulate her if they want their children to succeed. “It is now or never,” she said, excited about her journey to Dubai adding that it will be her first time travelling outside the country.
“My advice to my fellow kids is, do not give up on your dreams, work hard and believe in yourself because if you don’t, no one will work it hard for you,” Mbodze said.
Jacqueline Nyambura, her grade 2 former teacher and coach, stated that Margaret is not only a winner in Kilifi County but also in the whole country Kenya.
She thanked the Department of Gender, Culture, Sports and Tourism for their support. She further asked the national government for support as Mbodze will be representing the country saying that they have not yet received any support from the national government.
The beauty coach noted that Mbodze is a bright and quick learner. “It has been a long journey of sleepless nights; It was however easier working with Margaret as her creativity contributed a lot,” Nyambura said.
“It’s our time to show Kenya’s heritage as this will boost tourism and all we need is support because it is not easy,” Nyambura added.
The Bright Beginnings Kindergarten Preparatory director, Leah Mureithi, elaborated that she has seen Margaret’s potential and as a school, she is willing to support her in every step of her journey.
“When her mother approached me asking for support in regards to Mini Miss Kenya competition, I offered the help,” Mureithi said.
She further posits that it is important that schools be built to help support children’s talents. According to her, Competency Based Curriculum is the best thing that ever happened to schools as it has given a platform to pupils to realize their talents.
Being a teacher, she said she is focused on nurturing talents to help pupils achieve their dreams at an early age.
The school head urged parents also to support their kids in doing what they love just like Mbodze’s mother.
By Treeza Auma