Irene Ng’endo Mukii
My year of reign
Kenya’s Irene Ng’endo Mukii found herself reigning during a year in which the world was – and still continues – to battle the Covid 19 pandemic. She is now getting ready to hand over the reins in an event that will go virtual with limited audience attendance as per regulations. We caught up with her to find out how her year of reign was.
You were crowned Miss Africa Calabar at the end of 2019 and then boom, 2020 the world experiences a lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic, how did that impact the plans you had for your year of reign?
I expected to travel and document the marginalized communities of Africa to share with people our beautiful culture but instead, I was stuck at home and so I decided to use that opportunity and impact my few Instagram fans through educational webinars on the issues ailing Africa.
I’ve listened to them as well and it’s been an opportunity of growth for me and that is what I am most grateful about.
What were some of your biggest challenges that came with operating during a pandemic?
I’ll be like everyone else I faced the challenge of anxiety. That’s what uncertainty brings. So what I did is I held on to what remains true which for me is that no matter what I have a duty to serve and lead and doing that at home to my sphere of influence doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
What do you now know about yourself that you did not know when you were crowned queen just over a year ago?
That I have a genuine heart for the people. I truly think that this has been more than anything a leadership position for me and it has challenged me to see that in myself.
What are your top highlight moments during your year of reign?
Getting to do an Instagram live with one of the biggest African historian pages on YouTube which is known as ‘hometeamhistory’ and also with one of the biggest human rights organizations in Uganda: Kusimama Africa. This is because I got to learn so much and share the same with my audience.
What would you like the next queen to never forget?
Never stop dreaming and never stop being innovative and creative. If it was not for continuing to dream and choosing to be innovative I wouldn’t have managed to do anything with my reign because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What for you makes the City of Calabar special?
In terms of physical destinations, I think I really enjoyed the river that’s why it’s called Cross River State. I also enjoyed being at the marina resort. But really for me, it’s the investment in my life this place represents. Because of choosing me to be Miss Africa Calabar, daring me to be a leader, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
What’s next for you?
I’m definitely not done with pageantry yet. I really believe in the platform it provides therefore watch out for me in other pageants as well and make sure you support me. I am also going to keep up with projects to add to the development of Africa because I cannot unlearn and unsee the things that have grown in my heart this year.