My name is Wangari Muranga, and I was born in the land of bipolar weather, Seattle, Washington. I am currently a full-time student at Highline College in Washington State pursuing my AA, hoping to transfer to get a degree in Business and Spanish as well as a minor in Social Work. I heard about the pageant through my dad and since It was the first time having Miss Kenya USA in Washington, I knew I had to become a contestant. At first it was just a bucket list check-off but I’m coming to realize that this pageant, in particular, is so much more than that.
The very first time I visited Kenya, at the age of 9, I absolutely fell in love. I ended up going to Langata West Primary School for 3 months in the 3rd grade and I made so many friends it was honestly overwhelming, but I loved every moment of it. I’ve been back 3 times since and plan on going back again this summer. On that journey and every journey since I can’t help but to feel so blessed with what I have, but yet feel so much compassion for others. Attending school there and going from an American style learning system to the strict British-Kenyan style was such a culture shocking experience. Getting hit for being late to class, going to fill buckets of water once a week to clean out the dust in our classroom, and getting my lunch stolen from me because other kids didn’t have any, quickly humbled me at a young age, and I’ve had a different perspective on life ever since.
Kenyans are some of the most loving and God fearing people, I believe, on this planet. I always try to give to my community as much as I can but ultimately I want to go back home to Kenya and be able to build houses for the homeless and feed the hungry. Obviously, building homes are costly and even though I want to be able to do that in the near future, for now I want to focus on the hungry families. Yes, this kind of platform to feed the hungry is a bit cliche, I do agree, but this is something I am truly passionate about because I cannot begin to even understand the kind of adversity that some Kenyans have to deal with every single day of their lives.
Our people are so strong, some of the craftiest people I’ve ever seen with their innovations, and they know how laugh when they could be crying instead. I want to be a blessing to them because I believe our people deserve that and so much more. So should I have the honor to become Miss Kenya USA, I will use this platform and experience to start in my own community and collect items that’ll make living on the streets a bit easier and raise money to be able to buy other necessities. I also plan to collaborate with shelters, soup kitchens, churches, and nonprofits in the area to accomplish this as well as take it back home to Kenya where the real work will be done, to put more food on families plates and make life more worth living. I believe this opportunity will be an honor to my country and my family, so I can’t wait to see what the future holds because regardless of whether I win or not, I got some work to do.