Crowned Mr & Miss Kibera 2018 respectively, Dennis Adere and Ronn Wendy Ojala are a shimmering light in the slum, writes Elly Gitau
A few days ago, Dennis Adere and Ronn Wendy Ojala were crowned Mr and Miss Kibera 2018. The two were feted at a colourful event that marked the end of this year’s annual three-day Amani Festival held at the Kibra Day Grounds. After their deserved wins, the duo opened up to Spice on what it meant winning the crown.
Dennis, who defines himself as a humble and down-to-earth person, says that his flexibility within the community as a boda-boda rider couldn’t be ignored.
“What inspired me to join the contest was the event’s theme, ‘Vital Voices’. I believe I am a leader and, therefore, I contested to enhance my leadership skills and impact them to the society. This is a big platform for me.
As an influential young leader, I would like to make use of the large fan base I have amongst the youth to encourage them that irrespective of what they do, they can also contribute to the building of the community by helping others. I will use the title to promote the celebration of diversity and urge those involved in crime to stop and find alternative ways of making a living.”
On her part, Ronn — a 19-year-old dancer born and bred in Kibera — is passionate about social projects with a positive impact, especially for children with disabilities. Describing herself as a go-getter, she is also a volunteer in an upcoming organisation known as Voice Of A Boy Child.
She says: “I love modelling and dancing and I thought to participate in this contest would be a great platform to showcase my talent and also develop my leadership skills and confidence. I have friends who participated in the previous contests and always admired what they do to the community. I wanted to emulate them.”
She says no matter the challenges, growing up in Africa’s largest urban slum has been a blessing in disguise for her.
“Growing up, I knew nowhere else was better than Kibera. Kibera has provided me with an environment to have a real community around me and also to nature my talent as a dancer, something I would have to pay so much for if I wasn’t raised in this slum,” she tells Spice.
Dennis adds that the title equips him to be a proper “voice for the voiceless and harmonious bridge between the youth and other initiatives, local organisations and leaders.” He says since winning the contest, his boda-boda business has been booming.
“My message to other young people is for them to step out of their comfort zones to their power zones. They should be go-getters for them to achieve what they work for,” says Dennis.
Ronn adds that standing out as a proud and great product of Kibera, she hopes to inspire other girls from across the country to believe in themselves.
“I will start by voicing out the importance of people living with special needs in the society, eradicating the negative vibe about Kibera and try to impact positivity on perceptions about it. I believe if we work on our self-esteem, enhance our education and build our self-confidence, we can accomplish our dreams and become great contributors to our nation,” she says.