While many young people would relish the chance of travelling by air instead of bracing Kenya’s potholed roads, the newly crowned Miss Tourism Kenya, Rabella Wendy Omollo, chose the opposite on Monday, June 20.
Rabella, who beat 44 other contestants to the crown, says she did not want to fly from Kisumu to Nairobi because she preferred mingling with her colleagues – county beauty queens who used road transport from the town of Vihiga to Nairobi.
Describing her personality as down-to-earth, Rabella told eDaily: “On Monday, I was supposed to fly to Nairobi from Kisumu, but I rejected the offer. I wanted to be with my fellow models. We were driven in a bus from Vihiga to Nairobi. There is a way I bonded with the ladies and that made it special to me.”
“Not everybody is happy with my win, but I know for a fact that majority are happy for me. The contestants knew I won fairly.”
Recounting her experience at the Miss Tourism Academy in Vihiga, Rabella says she bonded with her colleagues.
“There are ladies who came to the academy with a lot of pride, but I am that person who says: I have come to learn; I have come to have a good time; I have come to make friends, and whatever the outcome I would welcome it. I blended with everyone – even those who had an attitude approved of me. I would make people laugh, and the ladies would say: ‘…we are glad this time round the Miss Tourism is a model who is lively,’” she said.
“And when I won, you saw the reaction on the contestants’ faces. They were not disappointed. Actually some models ran from backstage to come and congratulate me. I am the kind of person who gets along with people well. If you are nice to me, I will be nice to you. If you are not nice to me at first, I will try to be nice to you. If you don’t see my commitment, I will let go.”
Her coronation, characteristically attracted privileged treatment – a treatment that Rabella declined yet again.
“After I was announced winner, I did not opt for any special treatment. Organisers wanted me to be chauffeured in a private car to the hotel, but I refused. I joined other models in the bus and we were driven to the hotel.”
Rabella Omollo, 21, is a Second Year Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication student at Moi University.