When she walks past people, they just can’t help but stare. They sell all their attention to her and she buys it for free! The stares may turn into drooling especially when she is in a pair of nude flared block heels with neat pedicure sticking out of them. Scaling up is a red bodycon, highslit bareback dress. The perfect outfit for a date, but not just any date, a date with destiny as a beauty pageant.
That was her killer outfit when she was crowned Miss MMUST 2018/2019. Meet Christine Wanjiku, popularly known as Tinah.
I didn’t know what to expect before I first met her. But the social scene around campus sure had prepared me for what the eyes of beholders call beauty. And as the interview began with a walk around campus to a cool place we could sit, just like me, you are in for a lovely surprise from her personality that tells the tale: beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive.
In other words, I was seated face to face with an icon among the league of ladies whose beauty is complemented by brains –as she confidently began by saying:
I am a third year student pursuing bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. I am from Kiambu county. Yellow yellow tingz.
I thought Kamba was famous for yellow?
(Laughs) That’s according to memes. But even Kikuyus.
Anyway I am a simple girl, the girl next door type but very strong. I like being indoors. I have a strong feminine personality. My face may look innocent but I can do things that can surprise you. Besides that, I love fun.
What convicted you to contest for Miss MMUST?
It may seem kind of weird. I was going through quite a hard time back then plus I didn’t have anything big I was doing. I feared modelling and swimming of which may be somewhat weird too. I mean most people know how to swim. Being a huge fan of YouTube, I came across a video that said you should do something that scares you and that’s how you’ll know what your capabilities are. So on my sticky notes I wrote those things I was scared of and Miss MMUST was among them because it’s modelling.
However, I wasn’t psyched up about the Miss MMUST thing. Not long after I met my friends and they said I should contest for the crown but I was like, “No aki I can’t.” To my own surprise, I found myself signing up, going for the auditions and soon I started buying things while telling myself to stop until the last day of the competition.
So you didn’t expect to win?
Well, it was very far at the back of my mind but I can say many people had more faith in me than I had in myself.
That’s really nice. What do you think it takes to become Miss MMUST?
You need to be very bold. The title comes with a lot of backlash; some of which you’ll know and others you won’t.
Also, needless to say, you need to have both beauty and brains.
Ehe, tell the ladies…
Most people think beautiful people don’t have brains or it’s all about inner beauty. But when you’ve got beauty and brains, you’re the bomb! You can get anywhere and anything.
And when you get this title or even before, think about what you want to achieve out of it. Do you want to serve the comrades or do you want the fame? But I’d say don’t let the fame get into your head. Dare to be different.
Although you say let not the fame get into your head, you have to feel something as you hold that title. How does it feel?
The feeling is great. Well, obviously sometimes you wish nobody knew you but it’s still amazing. At times I’d go out and people just greet me and others fear even saying hi but you can see they really want to. It’s great when the comrades have your back.
Briefly tell us your experience, starting with your achievements.
I feel like I have been one with the people. I have always been there to offer help in ways I can to those who have approached me with various challenges.
I have been a flag bearer for anti-jiggers campaigns, clean ups in town and school and generally helping the under privileged in the society. I have done six projects so far in partnership with organizations and I have certificates for some of them. The most recent one was with the county government. We partnered with the public health officers for the clean ups.
I have also created the office of Miss MMUST. The office had been in existence only on paper. There was no Miss MMUST who had an office with actual people. So the current office has about 200 comrades who support what I do. Whenever I have a project, we plan and execute it together.
So is the office a place or something?
No, not really. We choose a venue we can meet and think about what we will do. They are a great team that I must say I am proud of.
Now, the most obvious of experiences; the challenges?
(Exclaims) I have had the worst backlash from models in campus. I think that came as a result of my victory. They thought I was just pretty with nothing else to offer. And I also collided with them because most models are all about fame and not working for the crown or after getting the crown.
There’s also the issue about being over sexualized. What I mean by that is girls and especially light skins, are over sexualized; they are seen to be morally loose and beautiful but without brains which is not the case. What follow closely are absurd rumours.
Lack of support from the administration is also another challenge, especially the student leaders. There is a long legal procedure to follow before you manage to get financial support. They have never shown support for what we do.
What can you say has been the source of your zeal as you held the title?
My small circle of friends has been with me throughout. Seeing the less privileged in the society, especially children, moves me to do something to help. And also the longing to be different.
And being different in this case is…?
Being one with the comrades. Not rolling as if I’m above them because power resides in the people. And having done projects that have never been done before.
That’s worth a compliment.
The most special thing you can say you have experienced so far in relation to the title?
I can say the publicity we got that beat all the Mr. And Miss MMUST records. From interviews on magazines to radio and we almost got to TV. Publicity from the comrades as well. Not a few wanted me to recontest and some even once said that if they had a chance to vote again, they’d vote me in as their president. That was when I spoke for the comrades after one of our own passed on.
Now let’s loosen things up. What about the craziest?
(Laughs) Well, so there is this time I went clubbing with my friends. Comrades are not used to seeing me clubbing but that day they saw me in the club dancing my youth away on stage and having a great time with friends. It was really fun.
Crazy indeed. Now the fun part is here. Quick answer challenge. Answer yes or no:
Is there any day you walked into the MMUST premises and left without remembering that you’re Miss MMUST?
Have you ever been broke while being Miss MMUST?
Are you in a love relationship?
Have you ever been heartbroken?
Si ni life. Now on to True or False:
You have ever skived lectures.
A comrade is always a comrade. You’re currently the hottest girl in MMUST.
With brains, true.
Your predecessor said that she cannot date campus guys. What’s your take on that?
Guys in campus have their own issues, though not all of them. They don’t know how to handle girls when they say no or when they need more from them. But I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing or a good thing. Because other people have dated in campus and it worked well till marriage and a family. So if that’s her taste, then she just doesn’t have a taste for you campus guys.
So would you prefer campus guys?
Ehe! Moving on swiftly, flats or heels?
Lipstick; Mate or Sleek?
Flowers or chocolate?
Chocolate all the way… Ah no no! Flowers… Ah wait! Both!
Haha. But if you were to really choose?
If so then, chocolate.
One thing that personally irritates you?
What wouldn’t you like your man to lack?
Jesus! That’s a hard one.I think the heart to let me go out thereand grow. He may be growing and longing for me to support him but I wouldn’t like it if he didn’t do the same.
What’s in today’s society about the girl child that you long to bring a change to if you were able to?
We are weak and worse, we are treated as inferiors. So I’d want that mentality to change.
Any other pageant title you’re looking to contest for?
Maybe Miss Tourism.
So since you’re handing over your title, what’s next for you?
I’m going to focus on starting a business, my art which is makeup and getting my name out there positively; business-wise.
Finally, parting shot! A word for the incoming Miss MMUST.
Most men have three balls, that is, ego, confidence and entitlement. But if you’re going to be a hardworking Miss MMUST rather than sitting down and being pretty, you must have six balls. That way, you’ll be different.
And for the comrades…
I have really enjoyed my time as your Miss. I’m grateful and proud of you for backing me up and helping me in my projects every time I called on you. I’ll forever be your Miss MMUST.