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Beisy Amanda: Model driven by need to spread love

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 07:46 | By
Kisumu-based model Beisy Amanda. PHOTO/COURTESY

Memories of this year’s Valentine’s Day are still fresh on Beisy Amanda’s mind, a Kisumu based model. This day was a special one for her as she won on many fronts. Amanda scooped the 2022 Miss Valentine Kenya award in an annual event that brought together participants from across 47 counties. Amanda, who represented Kisumu county in the competition, emerged overall winner among 49 contenders.

This was the first time the young model won a top national award, which was a pleasant surprise, a feat that has inspired her even more to pursue the career.

“I never expected to take the crown because I knew my journey in modelling was still young. It came as a surprise to me,” recalls Amanda.

The 19-year-old attributes the success to the support received from Freelance Model School in Kisumu town where she nurtured her talent. Her family and friends have also been supportive of her dreams to the top.

“What stood out during the competition was how I answered the questions. I was confident, and this might have also made me win the award,” she says.

She was awarded a cash prize of Sh50,000, a trophy and a certificate of recognition. In celebrating the victory, Amanda donated part of the award money to support street children in Kisumu town as a way of showing love to the less fortunate.

Starting small

Amanda’s journey into modelling traces back to her childhood when she first developed an interest in the career. She was only six years old when she developed a passion for fashion after watching a live broadcast of a previous Miss Universe contest. “I  admired everything about that event... the red carpet, catwalks,  the confidence of the models and generally how they looked glamorous. I wanted to experience the same,” the young commercial model says.

At school, Amanda participated in co-curriculum activities that helped develop her talent, such as fashion events. Years later, a woman in a local church where she worshipped identified her passion and introduced her to a modelling agency.

In 2020, while still in secondary school, she joined Freelance Model School Kisumu. After six months in modelling school, she made her first attempt at the Miss Kenya competition but failed. In the same year, Amanda was among the contestants for the Kisumu county Miss Environment competition, where she became the first runner up. Determined to get the title, she proceeded to the Miss Environment contest the following year and eventually became the winner.

Though she has made huge steps in the industry, her father was against it at first arguing that she won’t be able to strike balance between school and modelling.

“He (father) wanted me to forgo modelling and concentrate on my studies. Somehow I listened to his advice, but didn’t lose focus on what I wanted to achieve,” she says.

However, her mother supported her. “My mother has been my pillar. She guides me with love. She keeps motivating me to go for something I love and do my best. This has brought me this far,” Amanda states.

Spreading love

The model further uses modelling as a platform to promote charity activities meant to support the needy in the community such as orphans and street children.

Showing love and care to the vulnerable in society has always been her passion. “I believe that through this platform, I can reach out to other people who can assist the vulnerable in the society who need help to have their needs sustained. Love is the key driver in this,” she notes.

Besides modelling, Amanda is a peer educator and teaches teenagers about Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and behaviour change.  With support from Blue Cross Kisumu, a youth-led community-based organisation working with children and youth on the prevention of alcohol use and other drugs abuse. She coordinates a small group called Support The Dreams comprising young children aged between five and 14 years.

 The organisation provides her group with training and a platform to showcase their life skills.

Amanda formed the group to help the young ones in the community to embrace their talents and unleash their potential. The teens explore various activities such as modelling, dancing, acting and poetry.

The group currently has about 20 children. “The objective of the group is to bring the young girls and boys together to showcase their talents. This is done on weekends and during school holidays,” she explains.

On other occasions, she offers motivational talks in primary and secondary schools.

Amanda, a  firstborn girl in a family of five schooled at Kondele Primary School, Kisumu before proceeding to Koru Girls High School, Kisumu where she sat her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) last year, scoring a mean grade B (plain).

This was enough to earn her admission at the university, but due to financial limitations, she is yet to join. Her parents couldn’t afford to pay school fees for her younger siblings and still pay university fees for her. Hence she has been forced to shelf her education plans. In future, she wants to pursue a nursing course.“My dream was to proceed to the university and pursue a medical-related course, but this has not been accomplished because my parents could not afford to pay my fees,” Amanda says.

Currently, she is also taking a short course in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (Kmet), a non-governmental organisation.

Staying put

Though Amanda is not earning much from her modelling work, she is determined to stay put. Her eyes are fixed on the upcoming Miss county competition to be held in Trans Nzoia county. The auditions for the event are set to take place in Nairobi next month

Gone are the days when becoming a model was all about looks. Amanda says that one must be humble, well informed and learned. “Being a model is not all about a pretty face.  You should have good moral values and you have to stand out both in what you say and do,” she says.

Amanda says modelling should be treated as a career just like any other as it can take someone places. She claims that many people think models are social misfits.

And with the responsibility that comes with being the firstborn in a family, Amanda is determined to be a role model to her siblings. “As a firstborn, society places a lot of expectations on you. You are expected to be responsible, well behaved and generally set a good example to your siblings,” she explains.

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