Today on Pearls and Heels we feature Odek Beth Amondi, who is the current miss Tourism Homabay County and also the reigning Miss Tourism, Nyanza region. Odek Amondi is a second-year student at the University of Nairobi currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB). She is passionate about talent nurturing, charity and youth empowerment. She is the founder of Kila Mtoi Ana Future, a youth-led initiative aimed at impacting the present and improving the future of all children in Nyanza region.
- Describe your typical day?
I’m usually woken up each morning by alarms which probably are not mine because that’s not my thing so I wake up to prepare for my lessons, think about sponsors for my projects and send out emails and make noise on social media about tourism in Homabay. For my evenings, I have to get every assignment done, clothes ready for the next day and on the days that I have to miss school, this is the time I go through whatever was earlier on covered in class. I am a night person so well, this is the time I get to think about everything else and recite my rosary.
2. What did you want to do when you grew up?
Growing up I wanted to be an air hostess. I know I’m not the only one who found their lifestyle to be interesting, ha-ha. I got into modelling right after high school. There was this event in Homabay “MISS TEENIE H/BAY”, so mum heard about it and knowing I had interest in modelling she thought I should try it out. She even designed my clothes for the event and trained me to catwalk. Surprisingly I won and that’s how my journey began.
Modelling and Law? Well, the law is a social science and I come from a background of teenage pregnancies and premature marriages. Combining law and modelling has allowed me to attract and encourage young girls to go beyond traditional limitations and to become whoever they want to be. My legal background has easily helped me to associate with the youth and motivate them to go beyond the limitations imposed by the society.
3. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I am happy and blessed. Everything about my carrier is seemingly working out the exact way I have always wanted it to, except for the ups and downs but I wouldn’t change any bit of it.
- What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed in your job?
Persistence. The first shot is not always going to win the day, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying. Sometimes we win or lose, and what happens when the latter happens?
Thick skin. In the modelling industry, one has to operate as who they are and not be swayed by anybody. Every day, we get trolled on social media by people who know nothing about us and who only want to confirm how good our self-esteem is. We judged by friends, classmates and others.
Passion. Passion is everything. It is what pushes us to wake up each morning and try all over again.
5. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
Nairobi is the home of opportunities. There are always different types of events. It is a good place for exposure and networking. But being in Nairobi means I have to travel a number of times each time my services are needed in the county, this is work you know.
Being in Homabay, on the other hand, doesn’t come with very many opportunities but well, it allows me to monitor my projects easily, plan for a number of events here and there. Also, it is here that I get to breath fresh air and have a relaxed mind.
6. What motivates you?
I get motivated by the fact that each day is a new day, with different opportunities and a chance to try again.
7. How do you define success?
This is the process one is willing to undertake just to get whatever it is they want.
8. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
This is the point I crown my mother, she’s the only person who’s ever believed in and stood by me at my worst and most trying times. God, I love this woman.
Tyra Banks – I mean, it’s not every day we meet people who encourage people with talent.
9. What is your favourite aspect of your job?
I love travelling and this is something I do most of the time to market tourism in Homabay. Plus, every time I get the chance to touch a soul, what could be better?
10. What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
Patience. Trust in the process, your time is coming. Work and the results will handle themselves.
Persistence. Sometimes we lose or lose, but does that mean we stop?
Passion. Bearing in mind that we will never stop dealing with problems, that is where passion comes in. If life is an endless pursuit of happiness, then the secret has to be in the pursuit. Because we will live trying and will die doing so, but if our passion is our struggle we enjoy every bit of it.
11. What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
Be yourself. Don’t let anyone rush you or change your perspective of who you are. Trust in the process.
Be passionate. Ask a bodybuilder, those hours in the gym are his favourite time of the day. He never feels muscular enough but walking up to a challenge is what makes him happy and that makes it worthwhile.
12. What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career?
Starting my foundation “Kila Mtoi Ana Future”. I love kids and this foundation has made me touch a number of souls and put a smile on different faces, this to me is goals.
13. What makes you happy?
It makes me happy knowing that in today’s society we still have people who celebrate and appreciate the culture and the people. Take the example of The Rusinga Festival in my own county, thumbs up to Anne Eboso, you deserve a trophy ‘maa.
14. What are your hobbies?
I love reading, writing, site seeing and listening to music-this works magic for me on the days’ words fail.
- Where do you see yourself in around 10 years?
I will be an established brand. I will be operating a foundation in which all children irrespective of gender are empowered to fulfil their potential and make meaning of their lives with no talent left behind. And of course, I will be one of the most competent lawyers.
If you would like to interact with Odek Amondi, you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Pearls And Heels: Anne Eboso Okongo