In January we carried the story of aspiring Kenyan model Teresia Muthoni Kinyanjui from Muranga, who was trying to find a sponsor to finance her entry in the Top Model 2018 competition in London.
Unfortunately for Teresia, despite tirelessly trying to find sponsorship in Kenya, none was forthcoming. However, thanks to the generosity of her fiancé, Stephen Pickering who covered her costs, she was able to enter.
Not only did he sponsor her, but he also travelled halfway around the world from Darwin in Australia to London to support her in the competition. The charitable element to the competition was fundraising for a children’s cancer charity and this cause was close to his heart having previously lost his own father to brain cancer.
The Top Model UK event took place at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel and the families and friends of both Teresia and Stephen were very supportive, voting for her and offering encouragement along her journey through the competition.
An exclusive welcome party for the international finalists was held at the Amba Hotel Charing Cross where the entrants had a chance to meet and interact with show director Geoff Cox, Top Model designers, photographers and fellow contestants from around the world who had come together to represent their homelands and raise awareness of childhood cancer.
While she didn’t win the competition, Teresia did get to model Omar Mansoor and Karen Gold creations.
She also wore her self styled beach wear which she had designed from scratch with the help of her mother. Speaking about the outfit, Teresia said she was “happy showcasing African pride in African fabric.”
While in London, she took the opportunity to visit various tourist attractions including the Shard, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, and St Paul’s Cathedral among others which before, she had only seen on television.
The funds raised from her entry in the competition will support institutes involved in childhood cancer research and treatment for children with the disease.
Speaking to Brits in Kenya about the competition, Teresia said: “I am proud to have participated and represented Kenya. Now that Kenya has geared up to create childhood cancer awareness, we can all make a change from the little we have. Thanks to Top Model UK for taking fashion to another level and supporting worthy charities.”