Jackie Wanjiru–Nwuzor has been selected to represent Kenya in the Mrs Tourism Queen International pageant in Malaysia.
The 39-year-old mother of two has lived in the US for a couple of years and is a certified health professional. She was raped at the age of three by their houseboy but her mother did not know about it. She was raped again at the age of 13.
Speaking to Word Is, Jackie narrated her rocky background. “I born in Kenya but lived partly in Uganda with my parents, who later separated.
“At some point in life, I opted to commit suicide because the person who was taking care of us, that is my brother, was making my life more unbearable. He was into cheap liquor and became abusive.”
Her brother put her in danger by pimping her to men. At 18 she gave birth to her first son. Jackie moved to America after she was rejected by her boyfriend’s family.
“I broke up with my boyfriend and went back home but I could not stand the abuse so I had to look for other means. This was because now, it was affecting both my son and I. My sister helped me to get a place to stay where I had to work for my brother-in-law but I was cursed out and had to also walk out,” she said.
“I had to look for means to go to the US, where I struggled and put myself through school and later got married and got another son.” She not only paints the picture of strength but also embodies the belief that with perseverance one can succeed in life.
“I came to Kenya in July for a vacation and to work on my brand because I’m also an actor and I got the chance to represent Kenya through the internet, where I applied and qualified to go to Malaysia,” she said.
“I am looking for a way to promote tourism in Kenya through that opportunity as well as try to get an opportunity to work on a way to mentor young girls and impart them with my knowledge from my experience in life; change lives that need to be changed in society. This is whether I win or not.
Jackie also hopes to start a foundation to help children in need of emotional and physical support, and help them get out of depressing situations as well as give them confidence and hope.
The Mrs Tourism Queens pageant promotes tourism and the culture of the host country as well as the winner’s. The contestants are married women drawn from all over the world.