MANILA –Stay positive.
Such was the message Kenya’s 2016 Miss Universe candidate Mary Esther Were imparted to the world, drawing on her experience as an orphan struggling to make her dreams come true.
“Keep hope alive,” the 27 year-old marketing administrator from Nairobi said onstage after landing as the first of 13 semi-finalists in the Miss Universe pageant beamed live Monday (Jan. 30) from the Philippines.
She believes in making the most of her time, aware challenges are inevitable in the journey towards achieving dreams.
“I always live my life like it’s my last moment,” she said.
Miss Kenya is the only African candidate who advanced in the 2016 Miss Universe competition.
She ended up as among the competition’s top six candidates.
France’s bet Iris Mittenaere emerged as the new Miss Universe, succeeding the Philippines’ Pia Wurtzbach.
Swahili, Luo and English are languages 5’11” Miss Kenya speaks.
Among her aspirations is helping encourage adolescents pursue their dreams and guiding them in exploring their personal uniqueness.
She’s also interested in promoting affordable rehabilitation as well as awareness about HIV and drug addiction.
Miss Kenya urged women worldwide to be the best they can be, noting there are no limitations to what they can achieve if they remain focused on pursuing their dreams.
“You shouldn’t be defined by what you wear or who you date – what should make you complete as a woman is confidence in knowing you can achieve anything,” she said.
Orphaned at an early age, Miss Kenya said she was left in the care of a woman who inculcated positivity in her early on and encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
The beauty candidate acknowledged such nurturing helped build up her character and confidence.
“I feel blessed to be a confident woman and to represent what Miss Universe stands for,” she said.
Miss Universe Organization considers confidence the most important quality a person must possess.
“A confident woman has the power to make real change, starting in her local community, with the potential to reach a global audience,” the organization said.
The organization aims providing tools for helping women be their best.
Every woman should have the confidence to stand up in any situation and declare “I am secure and that’s what makes me beautiful!” the organization added.
This year’s Miss Universe competition was the third the Philippines hosted after the organization’s 1994 and 1974 pageants in Metro Manila, this country’s main urban hub.