The fashion industry in the UK and Ireland does not have many black models, agents, managers and companies in the world of the catwalk. Fashion icon Naomi Campbell said this. So in metropolitan areas, there is a tendency for ambitious young black men and women to do start-ups in the business.
Most of them make it obvious that they are targeting young ethnic minorities, especially black women and girls, to walk down the catwalk because in their world they have not been recognised in the same way that black athletes, musicians, actors and other genres of life have succeeded.  So, in the big cities, there are fashion enthusiasts, investors and fans who have the African or black couture on their to-do list, every year. They just can’t wait to get things up and running again after the long lockdown is finally over.
It will be new energy for Anne Njeri, a very beautiful, brainy and smart working woman from Kenya who entered her name in the Miss/Mrs Africa UK 2020/2021 pageant. Anne has a background in the energy industry but fashion is her passion. She says it is not a beauty contest only, in fact it is mostly about how one impacts society and their drive to change things. Anne has a lot of confidence  that she is making a name for her family, village, country and above all telling the human race that they must put philanthropy into practice, helping where they can the poverty stricken around the world. She is too polite to say whether she will emerge the winner in the July 2021 competition.
Anne lives in Armagh and loves everything about the city and its people. She is married to an Irishman and they have a beautiful young daughter. At 38, she believes that life is just beginning and no one disputes that of course given her stunning young looks and positive outlook on life. In her own words, Anne says that the people of Armagh are warm and good craic. Wait until she comes to Belfast! The craic’s is even better – Barack Obama himself said it.
In 2019 when Anne landed in the North for the first time via Heathrow, she had many culture shocks that in this interview she feels that she must share. Everything was so confusing to her and their little baby. The daughter stayed on her laps for the entire journey from Kenya. Being a very sociable person, she thought that at the airport shaking hands with a total stranger was just a given. On the dining table everywhere she went, the foods were a whole new world; Anne didn’t know what she had got herself into. Mentally, she wasn’t unhappy –  that little feeling that she had of a fish out of water.
“After staying here in Armagh for a short time I was learning the local lingua, it was surprising to me that someone says they are calling and I thought that’s fine, yes, you’re phoning me. I found out later what that meant that they would be visiting me,” she tells me. “Also, unlike in Kenya, when someone visits you here you are not obliged to give them a meal, I found that very strange. I also had to get used to carrying the baby around in a pram and then a stroller, never ending. In Africa we carry our babies on our backs, I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so many strollers.
“I miss the madness of the music and jive in our public transport in Kenya, the matatu taxi, I miss those buses but I like the way the buses keep time here.”
This is the place where Anne has met up with a thing called soda bread yet it is nothing to do with the soda drink. Don’t even mention wheaten bread because for her, the African loaf may have been bland but she misses it.
Let us welcome Anne.