Beauty queens, we know them for their looks, charming smiles and sophisticated walks. But sometimes we tend to fixate so much on the outer image and fail to penetrate beyond the exterior hence missing their value. A true beauty queen should not only be beautiful on the outside but also on the inside.
In case you’re yet to meet a beauty queen with all the mentioned qualities, look no further because Wabaiya Kariuki exceeds the definition. At the age of 23, Wabaiya Kariuki is not just the reigning Miss Universe Kenya but also holds a Bachelor’s degree in actuarial science. Wabaiya Kariuki is set to join the Urban Change Lab team where she’ll interact with craftsmen from different parts of Kenya and share their stories through the Urban Change Lab platform. Prior to this initiative Wabaiya had dedicated her reign to selflessly serve a controversial cause, mental health. In a society where issues pertaining to mental health are considered an embarrassment and best discussed behind closed doors, Wabaiya Kariuki stood before men and openly discussed the issue.
Picture this, it’s 2019 in Nyandarua, a small village in Kenya. Suicide cases are on the high as poverty pushes men to their graves leaving women widowed and children without fathers. Wabaiya Kariuki dares to step on Nyandarua’s soil where mental advocates twice her age opt to avoid. She walks in humility and compassion and spares her time to try and solve the issue at hand. Wabaiya has conducted social media campaigns promoting self care, she has also run a high school program that provided a day of fun and education on mental health.
After learning about the Urban Change Lab model which allows people from different parts of the world to share ideas with craftsmen in Africa and have them realized in fairness as single custom made items, Wabaiya shared an idea which was realized by Isabell Mathenge, a craftswoman in Kenya and confirmed that she loved the experience and appreciates the skills offered by her craftswoman. More often than not, craftsmen in the consumer industry are overworked and underpaid and Wabaiya believes that Urban Change Lab is the perfect solution towards curbing this exploitation of craftsmen.
“I believe that the platform suits Kenya’s development plan, as it will reduce the high rates of unemployment in Africa. I want to be part of this revolution, I plan to give craftsmen a voice and provide a better understanding of their challenges. I also expects to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. I can’t wait to start my journey with Urban Change Lab.” says Wabaiya.
Jochen Baumeister, founder of The Urban Change lab, describes Wabaiya as the missing puzzle piece for the Urban Change Lab team. “She knows how to put things into a perspective where people listen to her message. Wabaiya has this ‘just change it’ mentality, where one puts herself in the driver’s seat to achieve something coupled with an attitude of caring for others in weaker positions. This is exactly what we want from customers when we ask them to change the way they consume products and she is what the Urban Change Lab is looking for when getting craftspeople on board to make the change happen. She really has an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit. After two hours of discussion on how the Urban Change Lab could help her to start her brand, I realized that apart from her beauty, she is an intelligent young lady, who can program in C++, can analyze big data and knows how to design gym wear. Just the perfect brand ambassador for the Urban Change Lab!” says Jochen
Well, with all this in mind we can’t wait to start our journey with Wabaiya Kariuki. Welcome to the team Wabaiya!