Born in the US to Kenyan parents, Trina Njoroge won the hearts of many when she clinched the heavily contested Face of Kenya, USA 2015 at 19 years. The 20-year-old beauty queen, based in Los Angeles is opening a school for orphans in Elburgon,
Nakuru. She spoke to Cherotich Tanui about her journey.
What inspired you to run for Miss Kenya USA?
I have always been interested in pageantry. When my mentor and sponsor, Lydia Akumu, asked me if I would be interested in participating in the 2015 FOK USA, I was humbled. The founder of Face Of Kenya, Janet Wainana, is doing noble work for the
youth in diaspora, as well as promoting community cohesion, charitable initiatives, and cultural diplomacy. This pageant is not all about beauty; it gives us an opportunity to do what we love (modelling), and a platform to give back to our country, Kenya.
When did you start modelling, and how has the journey been?
I have done minor modelling contracts since I was 15, but I started professional modelling and pageants at 16 when I first ran for Miss Teen Bakersfield in 2012. In 2013, I was awarded Miss Teen 2nd runners-up and the Most Photogenic Award at the
pageant. The journey has not been without its challenges; I was in high school and it was important for my parents and I to make sure that I balanced school and modelling. But challenges are what make us stronger.
What do you attribute the win to?
Without the relentless support of my parents, family and friends, the Kenyan community abroad, the Bakersfield African community, and my dedication to my charity of choice (Angels Forgotten), the win would not have been possible.
I was determined to win so as to have a platform to make a difference.
Has the title changed anything?
The Face Of Kenya USA 2015 title changed me in many ways. It helped build my confidence and potential. My life has been changed by my visit to my charity school.
I was awakened to how blessed I am to have my family. A big thank you to Face Of Kenya founder Janet Wainana for having this dream that no matter how young we are, we have the potential to make a difference.
You support orphans in Kenya whose parents have died due to HIV/AIDS. What is your motivation towards this?
My charity of choice helps educate, clothe, feed, and meet the healthcare needs of orphaned children. What motivated me was the loss of my aunt to HIV/AIDS, practically rendering her four children orphans. My family helps take care of my cousins.
The thought of these children at Angels Forgotten having no one to care for them concerned me and I thought I had a perfect opportunity as Face Of Kenya USA ambassador to fundraise for the school, turning the children from “angels forgotten’ to “angels
What is beauty to you?
They say that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty, though, is a combination of inner strength and physical appearance. It is about positive attitude, humbleness, and selflessness... and it comes from deep within.
Would you consider moving to Kenya?
I love Kenya as it produced the two most important people in my life (my parents). Life is dynamic and I will take it as it comes. I am a citizen of two countries and, if God’s plan for my path after college and my passion in modelling is to come to my
motherland, then I will. It is too early to make that decision as I am still in college.
Will we be seeing you around more often?
I visit Kenya with my family quite often, but now that Face Of Kenya has given me this opportunity, I have reason to visit even more frequently. I will be following up on my angels.
What has fascinated you the most about this visit?
The reception they gave me at the school was heart-warming. I was humbled by their appreciation of my contribution. I was also lucky to have some time to go on safari and to visit the Kenyan coast. Oh, Kenya is a beautiful country that one can never get enough of.
How would you describe your personal style?
Adventurous. I try out just about anything. It is good to be diverse.
Who and what inspires you?
I get inspiration from many people, but my parents inspire me the most. They both are from humble backgrounds and I saw them work really hard to raise us up. They hold our family together; they are loving, selfless and they never give up on their loved ones. They are my role models.
What is your fitness routine like?
Physical fitness is important to my overall well-being and health. I work out often and eat healthy. My mom, being in the medical field, always emphasises on eating well. My siblings and I always make fun of that, but we take note of her recommendations.
You study biology; many people think models just walk and pose. Tell us about this choice.
My parents are big on education and they keep saying the best beauty is one accompanied by brains. So, yes, I have grown surrounded by daily emphasis on academic achievements.
Modelling is a fragile industry and, as my parents always tell me, it is critical to have something to lean on just in case. One of my biology teachers in high school was an inspiration to me.
The study of life is without a doubt one that interests me; I would like to pass down that knowledge to others in the future by being a teacher. So modelling isn’t just about walking and posing.
Many young people look up to you. What would you tell them?
There is no limit to one’s God-given potential, but the youth have to be focused and determined. They also must stay out of trouble, listen to their parents, and remember that the fear of God is the beginning of
wisdom. I also always preach that the sky is the limit!