Standing at 5’9”, Celestine Awuor, better known by her brand name, Celestine Awuor Kenya was born for the runway.
“My mother is a lover of fashion and my father is a supporter of talents so there was no pressure from home to be anything else except what I was passionate about. I started modelling immediately after high school,” she says.
As a child, Celestine was drawn to the runway because for her, it meant being royally on top of the world and feeling like a queen. This alone was a great motivation for her to want to model.
“When I developed a strong passion for fashion TV shows as a child, I instinctively knew that my path was already laid out,” she says.
Today, her modelling portfolio includes working with fashion brands like Brian Roberts of Brads Fashion and Modelling Agency, Sally Karago (a fashion designer), Galina Tatarinova (designer), Mr Atman Ngau of Kenya Fashion Awards and Agency, Letoya Johnson – Director Toy Toy Models, Mrs Kamunge-franchise holder Miss World Kenya and Couture Magazine. She was the brand Ambassador for Carole Kinoti Fashion House in 2016.
For her day job, she is the talent manager for Miss Environment Kenya, and a brand associate of the biggest hotel in Kisumu West- Ciala Resort. She is also the brand ambassador for Nato design house and Kavirondo Beauty.
“The team behind my success so far includes Jenkins Kuyoh- my official photographer, Nehema Georgina- my brand manager, Mcee Azu- my Digital Director and Justo Asikoye of Jabali Afrika,” she says.
MET ON FACEBOOK
Her first show, 'Road to Paris' by the Brad’s Fashion House in Nairobi took place when she was just 17 years old.
“This was a culmination of a month’s training. I met the Brian Robert, the agency’s owner on Facebook. He told me about the show and invited me to train for possible participation,” she says.
The intake had 20 models who were already doing one or two things in the modelling world so Celestine was the only newbie.
“The other models were already practicing for the upcoming show so I joined them for the training and that ended up being my first show,” she says.
Thereafter, she took a break to go to school, Zetech University for a diploma course in travel and tourism.
“I contested for Miss Zetech University 2013 and clinched the First Runners up. I like to think this was my breakthrough in modelling because it was here that I got the opportunity to meet international models and mentors such as Kevin Omondi (models trainer), Odada Okello (former Mr World Kenya) and Rehema Mohamed (etiquette and grooming) who further prepared me for the field of modelling and opened up more opportunities for me such as being the assistant trainer for Miss Tourism Kenya, Makueni County in 2013. I trained her on how to pose and walk in a straight line, setting off my choreography journey,” she says.
In 2014, Celestine joined the Kenya Fashion Awards Academy to train as a high fashion model. She got her certification after six months and joined the Miss World Kenya competition where she represented her county (Siaya County) up to the national level.
“During my reign, I partnered with locals in my village to run a campaign on HIV/AIDS awareness among adolescents aged between 13 and 20 years old. For this project, I got a lot of support from my father. I had to stop after six months because I was going back to school. But that is a pet project that I am dearly attached to and I will go back to it later in my career,” she says.
Because of her focus on high fashion modelling and beauty pageant choreography, she has secured contracts from universities such as Moi, Zetech and Egerton to train their Mr/Miss for the national contests.
In 2018, in partnership with Machawood and Culture Hub entertainment, she launched the Catwalk Marathon.
“Through this platform, I mentor by sharing my life’s experiences with up and coming models through structured monthly engagements in different countries. The aspiration is to build networks for models and help in structuring the modelling industry in the country so that models can benefit more from their hard work, skills and sacrifices,” she explains.
Celestine plans to use her modelling skills and experience to boost the tourism industry, a path she is already on with her brand associate duties at Ciala Resort, and work with other like-minded initiatives such as Culture Hub to manage upcoming musicians and promote their talents.
She also plans to partner with private sectors to continue raising awareness on HIV/AIDS among adolescents