Marion Kisoso is a 21 year old lady from Kajiado County, eighty kilometres south of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. She went to school in Milimani primary school and Solomon Schools in Primary and attended Baraka Girls High school for her secondary school education. She beautiful, a hard worker and really ambitious. She joins the likes of Ariana Huffington, Beyonce and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg in women empowerment. She has passion for leadership, youth mentorship and community work. As the national winner for Culture and Friendship titles of the Miss Tourism Kenya 2013 edition, she has a lot to be done as her crown comes with a responsibility.
As Miss High School back in 2010, she was the best in public speaking category in her county. She’s using that admirable aptitude to carry out development activities with the government. She graces government events to talk to youth, her recent being a visit to Kilonitok Primary School where she’s helping out with a sanitary towers program, an annual donation worth Ksh. 5 million. All these have been covered by Standard Media, Kenya’s leading television station Citizen TV, Nation Media and Kiss 100 radio.She shares with me about her experience during last year’s Miss Tourism Pageant, what she’s been up to and her future plans!
Me: Who is Marion Kisoso?
Marion: Young talented and humble lady. Well, I don’t really know why but many people say so.
Me: I first met you at United Nations Gigiri during the Miss Tourism Kenya 2013 pageant. It was an amazing experience getting to know the various delegates from the various counties. You stood out…what’s the secret to your success so far in your modeling career journey?
Marion: Putting God first and knowing exactly what I want and going for it. Well, not everything happens as I plan but persistence is the only key right? I have learnt to ask for advice from people close to me and those I look up to for me that is the best way to grow. Physically, I work had to stay healthy. I do exercise in the morning, drink lots of water. I love food though…I find myself eating chocolate and crisps a few times, but that motivates me to work out more. I also swim from time to time.
Me: How was the whole Miss Tourism Kenya experience? What’s that thing that you learned that’s made you a different person from who you were before?
Marion: Miss Tourism Kenya was great. I met different talented young women from all over the country. I had not been to Turkana or Marsabit for example but I got to meet with the delegates from those counties. I made friends and exchanged knowledge on our different counties, their way of livelihood and their tourist attraction sites, investment opportunities, cultural integration and environmental conservation. I also became better in catwalk, as we had intense training in etiquette, catwalk as well as marketing the tourist attraction sites in my county. I t was a whole package.
Me: I am aware of your various projects as Miss Tourism Kajiado County flag bearer. You visit schools, empower youth by sharing inspirational stories with them. You mentor them. You also promote your county’s tourism sector as an ambassador. What’s your master-plan to make your agenda achievable, to make a positive impact unlike other people who talk and act less?
Marion: I have initiated a yearly programme which is a marathon that is going to be in Kajiado County. This marathon aims to raise funds for purchasing sanitary towels and solar bulbs for schools in the interior Kajiado County. I approach sponsors to make donations for the same. This way I am able to make a change in the lives of the young generation in my county. This marathon supports sports tourism and changes the lives of young people. It is an opportunity for people from all over the country and the world to come and visit Kajiado County, have fun in sports and see all the opportunities Kajiado has to offer.
Me: What’s your inspiration to start modeling?
Marion: I love fashion, catwalk and I also have a height. I tried it out severally until it worked.
Me: What’s your favorite book?
Marion: Robin Sharma’s book, The leader who had no title. He teaches on how to influence people regardless of your position, how to balance your personal life, real secrets of innovation as well as how to transform your life and the world around you. My interest in leadership makes it my best book.
Me: Modeling in Kenya is a contrive. There are many challenges young people have to go to get into the industry. What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced and how did you get over them?
Marion: M y parents at first did not think modeling was a good idea. There is a whole misconception that modeling is indecent and exposes women to humiliation and being taken advantage of. It really depends on one the kind of person you are and what you want as well as what you consider as your limits. What you can and what you cannot do.
Me: What’s that thing that your fans do not know about you and you would love to let them know?
Marion: I am one very aggressive person. When I realize that I have passion for something I pray about it and go for it…that’s it.
Me: How has your family been in terms of supporting your talent?
Marion: My mum and dad always ask me what they can do to support me as much as discuss what I am up to. My aunts and uncles are very supportive as well as my friends. In short, I am very grateful to God.
Me: In Africa, talent is less supported. I personally as a writer, have gone through a lot of challenges, endless letdowns and dead ends. What do you make of this? How would you advise the youth to go about the challenged they’ll face while trying to make it? Is there something parents can do to change the status quo?
Marion: The youth should identify what they are good at and what they want to do with their talent. They must learn how to vocalize their likes and interests. Let us not give up so easily. Persistence, persistence persistence!!! One should also start. However small your start is, you’ll not be on the same level forever.
Me: What’s your future plan in terms of career and life goals?
Marion: I want to be an entrepreneur and venture into real estate. Leadership any time as I continue to carry out community service to develop my country. I am also looking forward to work in the media as a reporter and an anchor. I love telling stories on the different developments around the world. I got an opportunity to work for Royal Media Services last semester as a reporter for Hot96 and Citizen TV. In the meantime I am working towards clearing my Communications Degree at Daystar University this year.
Me: How would you describe your personal style?
Marion: Smart, simple, decent and outstanding.
Me: You are beautiful, talented, humble and fun. I got that while hanging out with you at UN. Do you think that will change in the future? Do you intend to go wild just to remain relevant? I mean, that’s the trend these days…
Marion: Hahahaha! Wild? No…this is who I am…
Me: What’s your favorite Kenyan dish?
Marion: I love well roasted meat…especially made in Kajiado…once in a while…But I love ugali, ukumawiki (kales) and meat. But honestly in general I love food. A well cooked meal does for me…
Me: Any TV shows that you love?
Marion: Churchill Show, Inside Africa, Fashion Police, just to mention a few.
Me: What’s the quality you look for in a man of your choice in terms of dating?
Marion: Honest, God fearing, hardworking and ambitious.
Me: The recently completed MTV Music Video Awards have seen celebrities hit the red carpet and shown less skin, they flaunted their bodies but Miley Cyrus decided to do it different this time round. She chose a former homeless teen to accept her award for “Wrecking Ball” which won the top award of video of the year. Do you think people can change? What hope can you give guys who are hopeless in life, are doing drugs, are lacking an incentive to do something constructive?
Marion: Drugs are harmful whether taken for leisure or whichever purpose…They are a no-no!!There is something for everyone. You just need to strive to search to find what is yours.
Me: What’s that thing that has always boosted your confidence?
Marion: My faith in God makes me feel that I can do anything. Also, believing in myself my dreams and knowing that my failures are not the end of the world.
Me: You’re an inspiration to many youth out there. What would you like to tell them to do so that they can achieve their dreams?
Marion: It’s important to go for it. Take the risk and have faith….Most of the time we doubt ourselves or our dreams…let us learn to ignore those feelings. I t is also important to know that many people will advise you…but you can only take advice from few. Have a positive attitude about life and people.
Check out Miss Tourism 2013 delegates conference at the United Nations Visitor’s Service on K24 Television’s Youtube Channel: