‘I used our small mirror at home to do catwalks’ — Sation Parmuat

Sation Parmuat is the reigning Miss Tourism Kajiado County and the county director for tourism. She shares a glimpse into her life, beginning from a humble background to the stardom she enjoys today. The former technician at Zuku was Kenya’s representative at the World Miss Tourism Ambassador event that took place in the Philippines from November 26 to December 11, 2018. She spoke with our correspondent.

What is your education background?

I am an IT expert by profession. I possess a Bachelor of Business Information Technology from the Kenya Methodist University.

How then did you end up being a model?

I gave it a try in 2013 during the inception of counties, where Miss Tourism was devolved. Thanks to devolution, my talent was activated. It all started after a friend approached me to participate in the Miss Tourism Kajiado County contest in 2013. She knew that I had always harboured a passion for modelling. Though I got in for the fun of it, I realized my potential when I emerged second in the competition.

How did it feel to emerge second?

I got very motivated and indeed in 2014, I tried again with the intention of winning the [Miss Tourism Kajiado County] competition. Many people encouraged me. Although I was worried that I could once again fail to win, going through the same competition was an added advantage for me since I had known my past mistakes and what to do. I was well prepared and won.

What has been the impact of your career as a model on the community?

I had always wanted to serve my pastoral community and winning Miss Tourism Kajiado gave me a golden platform. I landed my job in the county government as the director for tourism. This was a huge opportunity for me since I could traverse the larger Kajiado and offer service to the community.

From where did you get your inspiration?

I was inspired by the former Miss Tourism Africa, Debra Sanaipei. She is the granddaughter of the late William ole Ntimama. I grew up watching her on television, even though I never knew how my own dream to become a model would come true. I used our small mirror at home to do catwalks and admire myself. Every moment I sit to reflect on my humble beginnings, I can only attest that indeed every dream is valid.

What challenges do you encounter as a model?

The challenges are many. For example, the community itself has a lot of expectations in terms of projects to deliver. People trust me and expect nothing less but to see projects done, and this gives me a lot of pressure. This is especially so when you consider the little funds allocated to meet the needs of the community. Low funding is a major challenge that complicates planned projects and makes people to lose trust in government authorities as projects remain incomplete for many years. Besides that, I have to keep up my lifestyle as a model.

How supportive is the cultural, social and political environment as far as modelling is concerned?

Modelling is a new thing to our culture, but people are warming up because of the benefits they are seeing at the community level.

How has your career changed your own life and those of others?

My life took a complete turnaround when I won Miss Tourism Kajiado County in 2014. First, I landed the job at the county government as director for tourism. The society has benefited through the projects I have initiated in my docket. The office of Miss Tourism Kajiado has given me the opportunity to found the Sation Parmuat Foundation, which has initiated several projects. Among these is “Solar Lamps for Education,” through which I donate solar lamps to needy children in remote areas to enable them read at home. Where I come from, electricity is a luxury and some families can hardly afford paraffin to light up their homes at night. Having grown up in such an environment, I saw the need to help these children access their books away from their classrooms. The solar lamps have enabled schoolgoing children to comfortably do their assignments at home, since some have to trek for several kilometres and they get home when it is already dark.

The other project is on the environment and is dubbed, “save a tree”. I initiated planting of trees to secure our future environment, with a target of 100,000 trees. I have been planting trees with the help of the community and schoolchildren, and now I am already at 4,805. This year, it was challenging because of prolonged drought in Kajiado County.

I also do mentorship is schools, where I mentor young girls who want to become models.

Have you won any other awards?

Yes, I won Miss Tourism Greater Nairobi Region, representing Kajiado, Nairobi and Kiambu counties. I also won Miss Tourism Best Cultural Dress, and Miss Tourism Queen of the Year Kenya, through which I represented Kenya in China last year and emerged among the top 10 out of 55 nationalities, and first in Africa.

What is your message to young girls who want to follow your career?

I would urge them never to give up. They should follow their dreams and passion despite the challenges that will come their way. The key to success is perseverance, patience and persistence – and God above all. If I made it, they too can make it. I charge all ladies to keep their focus on fulfilling their dreams and never to lower their dignity or standards. In all their pursuits, they should never settle for anything but the best.

Whom do you give credit for your success?

I give thanks to God for this far, it’s all about Him. I also give tribute to family members and friends for their constant support and prayers. I will not forget Miss Tourism Kenya for giving me the platform, and most importantly the County Government of Kajiado for always holding my hand and supporting me in all ways to ensure that I raise the flag high.

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