Eleshia Ais from Nairobi is the current national director of international modelling competition – Miss Supermodel Worldwide. She is responsible for selecting Kenya’s representatives for Miss Supermodel Worldwide competition. An accomplished model and beauty queen, Eleshia has won several awards and titles. She is one of the very few beauty queens in the world who went to become a pageant director. She was elected Miss Intercontinental Kenya and Miss Face of Royal Africa in 2018 and won Miss Style and Miss Fashion Global title in 2019. She is one of the very few women in the world who have won multiple beauty titles. Apart from this, she is also an entrepreneur and runs her own organization – Reines Palace. In this exclusive interview, she talks about her tryst with pageantry and her association with Miss Supermodel Worldwide contest.
Q. Beauty pageant industry is rapidly growing. Tell us about your tryst with pageantry. When did you enter this fascinating world of beauty pageants?
Eleshia Ais: I joined pageant industry in 2018. I can say it did help me become more confident and gave me the opportunity to get connected to people from different walks of life. It helped me grow – personally and professionally. The journey was not easy, it had its own ups and downs. The experiences that I gained and the lessons that I learnt made me the person that I am today. I will forever remain grateful to the almighty and the people who supported in this.
Q. Tell us something about your association with Miss Supermodel Worldwide contest.
Eleshia Ais: I feel very honored that I have been given the rights to select Kenya’s representatives for Miss Supermodel Worldwide contest. It is the biggest international model hunt event based in South Asia. From being a beauty pageant titleholder to becoming a beauty pageant director, I have learnt a lot of things. It has been such an amazing experience working with Miss Supermodel Worldwide and Mr. Sandeep Kumar. He is very professional and understands every little thing that goes around. He is very empathetic so I never felt like my words were getting unheard. It has been a great experience and I am thankful to each and every person who made it possible.
Q. In your opinion, what are the major challenges faced by a national director or a beauty pageant director?
Eleshia Ais: It is not easy being a national director and there are multiple reasons for that. It is a very responsible role to play primarily because you somehow become the face of the nation whose national director you are. After that, making proper arrangements for the national representatives who get elected for international competitions is also a crucial task. It is a learning process; you are constantly learning new things once you get such responsibilities. You may never become perfect however, you constantly make improvements.
Q. What are the key responsibilities of a national director or a pageant director?
Eleshia Ais: From my experience, the main responsibility of a national director is to be always be there for your candidate. It is the director’s responsibility to make sure the candidate never feels alone or disheartened. Just helping him / her with tangible things is not enough. You have to be an overall support system for your candidate. Other responsibility is to make sure the candidates get proper training. Even when the circumstances seem stressful, it is the national director’s job to provide reassurance, moral and emotional support to the candidate. I always try to deliver the things I mentioned and I believe every national director should do this for his / her candidates.
Q. While selecting a candidate for an international pageant, what are the major things that you take under consideration?
Eleshia Ais: We generally look for a candidate who possesses the potential to represent our nation in the best way. For that, various parameters are taken under consideration like personality, attitude, intelligence and if we talk about the superficial qualities, that goes as per the international organization’s requirements and prerequisites. Being beautiful is not all about being of a specific height or shape, it’s much more than that. So, we do not generalize a specific prototype or follow a defined set of rules for selecting candidates. Every individual is different and we should embrace our individuality. Adhering to the international organization’s requirements is important however just by doing that we do not put a general definition of what our country’s candidate would be like.
Q. When you look back in time, what do you believe has been your greatest lesson?
Eleshia Ais: Inner beauty is priceless and it never fades away.
Q. Lastly, any message for the readers and your well-wishers.
Eleshia Ais: Thank you for reading this interview. I am thankful to all the people who supported and my work. Please keep supporting me and I will never let you down. Take care and take care of your near and dear ones.