Queen Kiden vowed to introduce sign language education

By William Madouk Garang

The just crowned Miss Deaf Africa 2021, Queen Josephine Kiden has vowed to advocate for the introduction of sign language training and interpreter at Airport and government institutions to help empower people with hearing impairment.

The 24-years-old beauty pageant who also doubles as a model revealed upon her arrival at Juba International Airport (JIA) from Dodoma, Tanzania.

Miss Josephine Kiden was born in Juba with hearing deficits, she was the first ever South Sudanese lady to represent her country in a neck cut throat Deaf beauty competitions event along with other African contestants.

On 1st Oct, she was crowned as the first ever South Sudanese Miss Deaf Africa 2021 held at Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Convention Centre, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania while Tanzanian Khadija Kanyama was the second.

Kiden would be expected to travel to Italy next year to participate for grand competition of Miss Deaf Pageant representing Africa Continent as well as East Africa.  

 In a simple but a glamorous ceremony, the beauty Queen was received by her fans, families, friends, facilitators and impairedgroup with ululation, euphoria and applauded herfor raising the flag high at regional auditorium.

In her statement to the media, the newly crowned Miss Deaf Africa 2021, Miss. Josephine Kiden, through her interpreter Grace Anviiko said confidence helped her to attain the title, she also vowed to fight for the people with disabilities. 

“Thank you so much for welcoming me back home, I love you very much and I love my country South Sudan. at the same time, I love Africa, world, and all the deaf and everyone in this country,” Kiden said.

“Actually, I really want to advocate for sign language.More importantly, we need sign language training becausein this airport,we need sign language interpreters to be here,so that in a case any deafperson coming from the outside country, thoseinterpreters will help such persons. So, we need service from the airport and at difference institutions to encourage and empower the deaf,” she added.

She also urged the government to support girl child education adding that most of the girls drop out from school because nobody support them and train people with special needs to have skills they could rely on.

On the same note, the owner of a company known as Arow (MGMT) Management, which work to identify, sharp, guide, prepare and trains beauty queens that would compete nationally and internationally, AcholArow said she was happy and proud to see that Kiden had gone that far in particular the international stage and won audience and judges hearts.

“My job as a trainer,we have to do this together, we did a lot of training and co-working on how to win the audience and judge’s hearts because at the end of the day disability mean nothing, she is able to do anything anyone can ever do,” Arow stressed.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director for Young Women Christians Association (YWCA) one of facilitating organization, Ms. Modi Enosa Mbaraza stated that they had initiative called ‘together for inclusion program’ which assisted people with special needs with training and meantto embark on business.

“The achievement of Josephine made us to know that disability is not inability, everybody can do something wonderful,” Mbaraza stressed.

“My message to person with disability is that they should not sit back home, they have a role to play and nobody should undermine them because they have the capability, they can do something but if they sit back with their talents then we can be able to identify them,” she added.

However, Kiden’s father, Joseph Gira Santo expressed his pleasure and said that this was the first ofits kind which truly indicated ‘disability’ is ‘inability’.

He also pledged to the government through concerned ministries to support national and international organization which were supporting the people with disability.

Kiden’s mother, Josline Luma Joseph said when her daughter first started to join modelling session, she was worried but later she granted her permission and support and now she made her country proud.

“when the child was still young,it is yours but when grew it belongs to everyone and can rise the flag of her country, so, today I am not the only mother of Josephine but Josephine is a daughter of South Sudan,” she concluded.

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