Don’t let the native name fool you that this girl is anything close to mshamba. She is not, except that well, she is ripe?
Achieng’ Omollo, is the woman you want to be when you grow up ladies and the girl your mama told you to take home gentlemen. Now while we have known our comrades from the lakeside to be the self-made model faces of fifty shades of black, this one has somehow managed to escape that predicament. Need I say? The orange ball has radiated its rays of splendor and grandeur upon this nyathiwa from Homa-bay County. It has shone on her like sunshine should (Read that with the deep luo accent). Even the rains have poured more than just showers of blessings on her, they have flooded her life with exuberance. Exuberance, for those of you whose grasp of the queen’s language goes as far as ‘English Aid book one’ and/or ‘Sipoi and the ogre’, is the other word for “full of life”. Euphemia, for that’s her first name, is the perfect definition of this.
On a normal day she walks with the flare of the Westerlies and sits with the grace of the stalactites and stalagmites. Her personality is that of a tornado when it meets a volcano, yet her spirit is as gentle as the delta of a man-made lake. When she speaks, even the tombolo stop to listen… (Phewks! Talk about finally using that Geography in real life!)
If you asked me I’d tell you there is a ninety nine and one percent chance Achieng’s mother and mother-nature know each other on a personal level. They probably are in the same chama. If you asked me why I say so, I’d tell you how their kids; nature and Achieng are such best buddies. How then can you describe her rare unrelentless beauty? Beauty undefined by nouns but felt with verbs, assets on the outside and goodwill on the inside; the inner kind that Mugabe will tell you can blow up an X-ray machine… Here’s her story:
Euphie on growing up…
Euphie was born twenty three years ago as the only girl in a family of three. Contrary to popular belief, she was not raised feeding on goat milk or bathed in honey as people perceive of only-female children. Her mother was quite the tough nut back then. She treated her like any other child, spanking her when she came back home late or when she was seen talking to Johnny from next door. Even if it was Johnny Bravo. Euphie started school in Genesis Preparatory in Kisii (see, Nyakemincha isn’t the only school in Kisii, haters!) before her family moved to Homa-bay where she attended Sango academy.
Despite the occasional crying due to bullying she faced because of being plump, Euphie went on to be class prefect from class five to eight. She later scored a stunning 408 marks in KCPE which secured her a place in the school of her dreams, Loreto Limuru.
In Loreto life took a whole new path. Everything was different; the people were strange, even the weather was colder! Away from the keen eye of her parents, Euphie had to take her position and know her place in a school where students from all spheres of life converged to quench this thirst that is education. Besides the all-too-familiar thrills of high school: drama festivals, funkies, The insider, boys – there was the tiny-huge problem of academics. Most precisely, mathematics. It was her biggest challenge, dragging her performance index to ugly places. She had moments of despair yes, but she never gave up hope.
So what the odds of numbers seemed stacked against her? Euphie worked on them figures tooth and nail. She even got famous while at it, what with the rumor that she was dating her math teacher because of the alarming rate of her after-class consultations. She did not relent. Artistically balancing her books, love for creative arts (Dressing up contestants for Miss Kottet) and her leadership roles (house captain/dorm prefect), Euphie grew to become a self-aware independent-minded individual who was ready to take the world by storm. What more? That same headache of mathematics got her to engineering! Talk of using the stones thrown at you as stepping stones.
About campus, engineering and in between:
Euphie was admitted to pursue Chemical and Processing Engineering at Moi University after she successfully attained the cut-off mark.
It has not been a walk in the park she tells me, but it sure has brought good tidings along her way. It is in campus that her love for fashion and art bloomed into something more than just a thought or a mere idea. She was called to study engineering but that did not limit her from tapping into her passion and talent. To date Euphie is the go-to person when it comes to matters fashion. She organizes most of these events in Moi Main Campus including the annual Mr. and Miss Engineering and Moi University fashion week. By so doing she has set a name for herself and this has created a platform for her in other corporate involvements in and out of school.
It is also in campus that she met her squad, as the Instagram world calls it.These are friends who stood with her during both her high and low times. They’ve been through a lot together, including epic photo shoots. Each one of them is so different from the other yet similar enough to form a friendship that has stood the test of time.(Special mention to Brenda, Daisy, Jewel, Lillian)
Let’s talk plus-size… And modeling:
Euphie started an outfit in the year 2014: Plus-Size Kenya, together with her high-school buddy Sharon Odongo. Later on she joined forces with a lady film-maker from Denmark to form Amara Incorporated, another plus-size woman initiative whose aim is to promote positive body imaging for women who society considers ‘fat’. She kept knocking doors, using her social media influence to talk to the relevant people and that paid off. Some doors opened; the most recent one being the chance to work as ambassador for Curvaceous Lifestyle Kenya, sister to South Africa’s Curvaceous Lifestyle; an outfit that promotes the curvaceous figure of the African woman . Apart from that; Euphie has participated in the pageant dubbed ‘Miss Curvaceous Kenya’ and modeled for Pepsi and The Nairobian newspaper where she’s been featured thrice so far.
According to her, there is no such thing as “too fat”. For plus-size women, positive body-imaging is the way to go. It should be a way of life rather than a nagging numbing fear as is custom of young ladies who feel like they don’t look as beautiful as their skinny counterparts. Self-love first before anything!
Of finding love and loving mummy…
Just in case you are a ninja who has been flexing your muscles, evaluating the state of your wallet and bank statements (Or just M-pesa balance) because something tells you can land this mamacita, stop! Euphie is taken. And we are not talking cheap thrills.She found love in an engineer like her, a man of gusto that she says her heart beats for (Awwwwww).You might look at her lifestyle and assume there must be a man robbing a bank for her but that is not the case. The gospel according to Euphie to all ladies out there is find your own young man and groom him. Sponsors achia events… Period!
Euphie tells me she has been misinterpreted as to being rich and full of maringo a number of times. This she says is false information because as far as she knows she is down to earth. She learnt this from her mum who grew herself from being a kindergarten teacher to building a private school of her own from scratch. To Euphie her mum is one of her closest friends and source of strength. She can’t help mentioning her every so often during the interview and I find that adorable.
Our phone interview draws close to two hours. By the time we are done I am quite taken by this lady, her zeal and her energy. Euphie might have her flaws but those make her human and so are we. She is the perfect emblem of elegance in style, individuality in decision-making and confidence in life all wrapped up in one. I am quite taken by the fact that there’s more than meets the eye for every person we come across. That we live seeing people but never spare time to actually look at them. Sometimes the beauty in life and people is just passing us by while we re-forward bland jokes on Whatsapp.