Miss World Kenya: How My Classmate's Health Condition Gave Me a Life Purpose

  • Sharon Obara, Miss World Kenya Posing for a photo.
    Sharon Obara, Miss World Kenya Posing for a photo.
    Sharon Obara twitter
  • When most of us think of a pageant, what comes to mind is a flawless dress, a pair of heels, a pretty face and a crown. 

    It is paramount to note that these competitions entail more than just modelling on a runway. In fact, that is just but a small part of the process.

    Sharon Obara, the Miss World Kenya 2021, in an interview with a local media station, shared that the core of the Miss World competition is about changing the world, and having a positive impact on society. 

    Obara started modelling in 2019, she drew her inspiration from a desire to get a larger platform and be the voice of the many people who suffer from mental disorders in Kenya. 

    This, she states, is because quite a number of people have a wrong perception of individuals who suffer from mental disorders, and thus end up stigmatizing them, instead of finding ways to help them live through the challenges. 

    Sharon Obara being crowned Miss World Kenya 2021 at the trademark hotel in Nairobi.
    Sharon Obara being crowned Miss World Kenya 2021 at the trademark hotel in Nairobi.
    Miss World

    In a video shared by Obara, where she expressed what really inspired her to join the competition, she shared that her passion grew way back in primary school, where she had a friend and classmate who suffered from epilepsy.

    Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is marked by sudden and recurrent episodes of convulsions. 

    Obara, a psychology graduate from the Kenyatta University, narrated how that friend was able to recover from her disorder, because of the support she received from friends and teachers. 

    “My journey in psychology started back in Primary school from a friend who suffered from epilepsy. Her work towards recovery was geared by love and support that she received from classmates and teachers."

    Obara proceeded to state that although she was still too young to understand what was happening around her back then, it later became clear that those gestures were fundamental in her friend's journey towards recovery. This inspired her to start a talk on how to get through mental illness. 

    “It is so unfortunate that there is a lot of misinformation widespread in my country about how to care for individuals living with mental illnesses, yet I have first hand information of how a friend recovered out of love.

    “This is why I stepped forward to contest for Miss World Kenya, which is a platform that is all about change, and gives out extensive reach to impact positive change in the society, and destigmatize access to mental healthcare,' she mentioned. 

    Ever since Obara was crowned Miss World Kenya, she took advantage of the platform to campaign and normalize conversations on mental wellness. 

    “The government, private organizations and individuals like Hon. Rachael Shebesh, have strongly come in to support my advocacy journey in destigmatizing mental health and wellness in Kenya," Obara stated.

    In a recent event, Shebesh stated that Obara's contribution to the world this year will be mental wellness. 

    The model stated that it is her dream to see Kenya normalize conversations around mental health, and destigmatize the ill. 

    Hon. Rachael Shebesh speaking during the launch of Mr. and Miss World Pageantry 2021.
    Hon. Rachael Shebesh speaking during the launch of Mr. and Miss World Pageantry 2021.
    Miss World