Moi University student trains prisoners to model for annual fashion show

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When Sharon Shakillah joined Moi University, Alupe campus, she had no idea that she would one day go to prison and “fall in love” with convicts.

The 22-year-old Bachelor of Education student found a path that was far from her profession.

She visits prisons to train women in fashion and modeling.

Shakillah says she trains inmates at Busia Women’s Prison to compete in celebrations held annually at the facility. The party is meant to break the monotony and spice up prison life. Prisoners also get the chance to show off their skills.

“I also motivate them to remember another side of life and keep a positive mindset,” Shakillah told Campus Vibe.

She adds: “I try to urge them to understand that they can have a second chance and make better decisions when they are released.”

Shakillah works with other county models. They contribute at least 100 shillings to buy anything the inmates may need for the talent show.

“Miss Busia Women’s Prison is run by the correctional facility. Winners and participants are rewarded. “It makes us happy to help out and organize a colorful event,” Shakillah said.

However, it has not been a walk in the park. Shakillah and the models spend more time trying to convince inmates that they can show off their talents and have fun in prison. “Most of the women in prison live in fear and some of them look traumatised.

“We have to do a lot of persuasion before we have a handful of people willing to participate,” Shakillah says.

She says it is a daunting task to convince them that they still have a lot to offer even though they are serving sentences.

“They can still model and impact other people’s behaviors,” Shakillah says.

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