It was all smiles for remandees and inmates at the Thika Main and Women prison as they participated in a beauty contest and other forms of art to discover life outside prison.
Among the activities that they showcased included a beauty pageant, modelling, dancing, and reciting the spoken word among other forms of art.
The Deputy-in-charge of the Prison, Doreen Ombati, said the event is aimed at breaking from the prison environment that has been monotonous since visits were banned due to the spread of Covid-19.
She said most of the participants have been able to discover their talents adding that the talents that were showcased were unbelievable.
“The prisoners are talented and need nurturing such that once they are released they can use them to make a living,” she said.
She said the prisons will organise more of such shows to break monotony that have characterised prisons since Covid-19 struck which forced authorities to ban visiting.
“We’d love to do this more often though more professionally in the future, where winners are fetted,” she said.
The participants lauded the show saying it was an eye-opener on the talents that they have, which they can use in future to make a living.
Jimmy Mfalme, one of the winners and who is waiting to be convicted for defilement, stated that the event gave him hope and discovered a talent he didn’t know he possessed.
He called on the event organisers to sponsor such events more often to restore hope for humanity among the inmates.
“We feel overwhelmed with joy because the event has shown us the other side of life outside prison. We used to watch such shows on TV but now we have participated in them,” he said.
Christopher Mungai, also in remand for defilement, and who won the Mr Thika Prison 2021, said his aim is to pursue modelling as a career once he completes serving his sentence in prison.
He further advised youth to stay away from activities that might lead them to jail saying prison life was brutal.
Ms Thika Prison 2021 Caroline Wangui and who was jailed for flouting curfew rules said she was unsure of a win, and that the event has unearthed unknown talent that she possessed.
Caroline, who is adjusting to prison life added that she would pursue beauty and modelling once she completed her jail term.
The prison facility holds 115 women, 8 children and 980 men.
By Maureen Kyalo and Muoki Charles