Jumia partnered with Maybelline NY to celebrate the Cleftie Lip and Palate Women ahead of National Lipstick Day celebrated on 29th June.
Importance of good lipstick has been emphasised by five women who shared their experiences of being born with a cleft lip and cleft palate ,among them is Chepkoech, 25, who was fired from work as a result of her cleft palate that gives her difficulty in speech ,Importance of good lipstick has been emphasised by five women who shared their experiences of being born with a cleft lip and cleft palate ,among them is Chepkoech, 25, who was fired from work as a result of her cleft palate that gives her difficulty in speech.
A cleft palate is an opening or split in the roof of the mouth that occurs when the tissue doesn’t fuse together during development in the womb. A cleft palate often includes a split (cleft) in the upper lip (cleft lip) but can occur without affecting the lip.
Eating and smiling are among things most people to do with a lot ease. However, Catherine Kahway Kimani considers the two as a great privilege in her life. Kimani was born with a cleft lip and palate, a condition that has brought her experience that she says she will never wish to see any person go through.
The 36-year-old mother of three recounts undergoing at least six surgeries to fix the condition by the time she was four years old.
“People with cleft lip do not like smiling in public while those with a cleft palate would not prefer to eat with others. This is because the food or drink might come out through the nostrils and cause them embarrassment. This is if the condition remains unattended to “
said Kimani, an influential member of Cleftiescliqque Kenya. Kimani made the remarks on Friday, July 26, when e-commerce giant Jumia celebrated women with cleft lips and palate at its new pickup location at Kantaria House, Nairobi. The event was attended by five ladies who have experienced the pain of living with either a cleft palate, cleft lip or both.
Apart from sharing their experiences, the five gorgeous women also got a chance to have free makeup, courtesy of cosmetics company Maybelline. Among those who attended was 25-year-old Gladys Chepkoech. Born with a cleft palate, Chepkoech, disclosed she went through humiliating experiences because of her cleft palate which affected her speech.
Her latest nightmare was in August 2018 when she was fired from a supermarket in Eldoret where she worked in the records department.
“After I cleared my Form Four, I looked for a job and I was lucky to find one in a supermarket, however, my seniors kept complaining that they found it hard understanding my speech and this prompted them to dismiss me. Since then I have been living with my brother in Nairobi. He has a milk vending business where I help,”
Narrated Chepkoech,She added she was still trying to find ways to have a corrective surgery.
Chepkoech said she always has difficulties talking on phone, especially when strangers call her. because of the cleft pallet, she struggles to pronounce words and sometimes people end-up laughing at her when she pick calls, for instance, in matatus,during meals, food might also come through her nose since the roof of her mouth has an opening leading to the nose. Another lady who turned up for the makeup session was Catherine Mwende, a former cleft lip patient.
Despite undergoing a corrective surgery, she said the condition made her change her mind about the career she wanted to pursue in life.
“I wanted to be a TV journalist. It’s all I ever envisioned becoming. However, I had to change my mind following a spate of trolls that I received from friends who criticised my looks. They singled out the scar that the surgery left on my upper clip, friends right from primary school made me believe that the mark will be an immediate turn off to whoever wanted to hire me as a news anchor”
Stated Mwende, 25, a business administration graduate from Nkabune Technical Training Institute.
Mwende’s story was no different from that of Immaculate Achieng’ Okello who spent at least a year at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) where medics were attending to her cleft lip. Though at first classmates took issue with how her lip looked like, she credits her high self-esteem to a strong spiritual life that she lives.
This, she said, made her understand there is more to life than what meets the eyes.
“I have always believed that I was created in the image of God and that there is always a good purpose for anything that happens in life,”
Said Okello who runs a hairdressing business in Nairobi.
Joy, a Computer Science student at St Paul’s University also graced the occasion. The corrective surgery was conducted on her while she was still very young and she remembers nothing about it. She, nonetheless, vividly remembers being bullied by classmates who branded her as ugly during her primary school days. Her scar, however, cannot be easily spotted unless one takes a closer look at her.
The five ladies were gifted with stylish lipsticks by Maybelline ahead of the National Lipstick Day on Monday, July 29. According to Jumia public relations and communication manager Pauline Masese, the event was aimed at improving confidence among women who have or once lived with the cleft lip or cleft palate. Masese revealed among architects of the idea was Lucia Moki, founder of cleftie clique Kenya.
Content courtesy of Jumia Kenya