DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY: FIRST EVER DEAF TO WIN A BEAUTY PAGEANT

 DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY: FIRST EVER DEAF TO WIN A  BEAUTY PAGEANT
Babelynn   Mukila’s quest for fame and stardom was never inhibited by the fact that she is deaf as she went ahead to clinch the Miss Tourism Mombasa and Miss Deaf Africa.

 Babelynn, 24, always had a passion for modeling since she was 6 years old and she was determined to succeed despite her disability. Her mother noticed she was always glued on TV screens keenly watching how models do their stuff after which she would imitate them on the corridors of the dining room with precision.

 “I was so much interested in modeling since I was young, and I wanted to do it as my career,” said Babelynn.

Babelynn went to Mumias Vocational School for the deaf in 2013 thereafter joined the New Image College to train as a beauty technician.

During her study at the beauty college, Babelynn continued to train as a model because she believes that with practicing she can climb to the highest peaks of achievement.
She holds a diploma in beauty therapy and modeling from New Image Hair and Beauty College, front office and a customer care certificate.

In 2014 she enrolled for the audition for the Miss Tourism Competition Mombasa but was rejected because she is deaf and there was no way she could join the completion. This really infuriated Babelynn. She came face to face with discrimination because of her condition.

“I was angry and devastated at the same time. The receptionist kept telling me that I could not be accepted as a candidate because of my condition.”
For Babelynn, to participate in such an event she needed an interpreter. Being a fast learner and a highly disciplined individual ready for challenges she brazed for the next encounter.

Prior to that incident, deaf people had never been accorded a chance to participate in such an event for the mere fact that they would not follow instruction on equal measure with their counterparts with hearing abilities.

 Despite her hearing inability she was not discouraged and she promised herself her
photo credit Elcaboos 
condition can neither kill her dream nor her self confidence.

She decided to report the matter to the Human Rights activists in Mombasa. She went ahead to enjoin disable persons, political leaders and a  human rights lawyer in her campaign to have deaf participate in the future pageants.

Babelynn was later allowed to participate at the auditions. Suddenly without any notice she was removed during the audition with no valid reason. When the human rights lawyer   decided to take them to court, the organisers quickly accepted to settle the matter out of court and they later registered  Babelynn for the main competion.

“It was hard because of the language barrier but … the sign language came in handy,” said Babelynn.
Babelynn emerge to be the first runners up during the competition that was held in 2014 at the Wild Waters Park in Mombasa.

Her main objective was to represent Mombasa, to promote tourism and be the Kenya’s tourism ambassador, and to fight for the disabled person to be included in any event or job despite their challenges.

The main objective of Miss Tourism is to create Tourism ambassadors who will champion the uniqueness of our County event that’s brings people together to celebrate Heritage and diversity.

It also aims at identifying and promoting tourism products increasing tourism awareness and activities while encouraging and improving public sector.
In 2016 Babelynn decided to contest the Miss Tourism Mombasa County   and still as the only person with disability.


After what happened during the first audition in 2014 there were changes in the committee giving her an equal right just like other contestants.

She emerge the winner and she was given the Miss Tourism Title Mombasa county ,and later she went to the major competition of the Miss Tourism Kenya bringing together all the 47 counties beauty pageant.

She emerged 4th overall and she was awarded the title of Miss Congeniality being a deaf. During December 3rd  2016 the international day of disability she was recognize   and appreciated for the job well done.

July   2018 she was   crowned Miss Deaf International Beauty Pageant in Taiwan, China, and the competion that brought together competitors from across the Africa continent.

“it was a very nice exposure meeting with people different sign languages from different countries, a friend from Nairobi Calvin Musalia  who was once Mr. International Deaf taught me the international sign languages.”

In China she met different culture, unique fashion and got a chance to interact with people.

During her term as Miss Tourism Mombasa, Babelynn used to visit the orphanage, sensitizing the community in peace building and many more.
 Babelynn who now works at the County Government department of youth and gender, through her interpreter added that her colleagues in the office support and love her despite her disability.

 She gives a lot of gratitude to the Youth and gender and the government office for their full support towards her journey, and her family who encourage her throughout the competion.

Babelynn’s advise to the younger generation especially people living  with disability is to let her story motivate them and ‘grab that opportunity without any hesitations.’
END…







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