Kenya’s female contestant for the Little Miss & Mister Universe 2022 risks losing out on the event to be held at the United Arab Emirates in Dubai owing to financial shortcomings that have crippled her travel and accommodation plans.
Gloria Victoria Juma, 14, who hails from Trans Nzoia County who won the Little Miss Kenya 2021 edition that was held at the Kenya National theatre, is expected to join other participants in the universal by March 22.
“I have been looking forward to this competition but I still don’t know if it will materialize since my parents cannot meet the finances required for my air ticket, accommodation and registration for the competition,” Gloria spoke at her home in Kitale.
Her parents said they have made several efforts to get assistance for the county government of Trans Nzoia and the national government with regard to their daughter’s travel but no help has been forthcoming.
“We have made several visits to the offices but we have not been supported. We thought everything was to be catered for by the government since our child will be representing the country,” said Mrs. Sylvia Juma, Gloria’s mother.
Gloria who sat her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) this year at the Kitale School ventured into modeling at class three upon which her mother supported her to perfect her performance which saw her become victorious.
“I have lost many competitions but I never lost hope. I kept on practicing and taking part in all competitions both at school and outside school until I managed to win the national title,” she said.
The father, William Juma, who had to secure a loan just to support his daughter participate at the national event last year said he has tried to pool resources to finance the journey to no avail.
“It is the wish of every parent to assist their children to achieve their dreams. It pains me to see the agony Gloria is going through when she imagines that her effort may be wasted if she fails to travel,” said Mr. Juma.
Neighbours at their home also called on the government to support such talents saying this is one way of promoting the benefits of the Competence Based Curriculum which focuses on talent development against academic excellence.
“The government should not neglect this young girl since she deserves to be supported just the same way footballers and athletes are promoted. Every talent is very relevant since not everybody can join the famous sporting activities,” said Ms Eileen Chelagat.