Earlier this month, Miss Universe Great Britain, Muna Jama, broke a barrier, making the decision that she wouldn’t compete in the swimsuit portion of Miss Universe if she had to wear a bikini. Wearing a bikini goes against her religious beliefs, and therefore, judges agreed Muna was able to wear swimwear of her choice.
So what did she do? Wear something she always wears to the pool – a kaftan. While it may seem risky to some of us, Muna told WhatRUWearing, it was anything but. “I didn’t risk anything – I believe, I gained more knowledge, skills and confidence. I have very strong women in my life, who have raised me to be just as I am and encouraged me to speak out regardless of my fears. My mother would always give me words of wisdom and empower me to embrace my difference. To remain open minded and stay true to myself.”
We caught up with Muna to find out more about her world from where she gets her bravery from and pageant life, to her beauty secrets and her go-to date style. Check it out below.
How did you get started in the pageant world, can you give us a little background on how you got interested and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always been very fashion forward, I love dressing up, I love makeup! I like going to new exciting places and traveling. However, I’ve been very captured by being selfless and giving back – it is a unique feeling. Knowing you’re not getting anything in return. I used to watch pageants particularly Miss Universe – this pageant is internationally known for many things, but I was captivated by the humanitarian activities that were carried out by the contestants and many of those finalist who went on – even after the competition to continue giving back to the community and helping vulnerable people and children in need of medical attention.
I’ve never been in a pageant before and when I had been given the opportunity to participate, I made full use of it. I made new friends from the experience and I got to travel – also I was able to see a different side to me – that I am capable, and it was just an exciting new chapter in my life.
What’s your favorite favorite portion as a contestant?
I enjoyed the interview round- many would find it nerve wracking but I was excited, and I had the chance to tell the judges who I am, where I had been and what I stand for. I take pride in the fact that I can now say I have friends all over the United Kingdom and that there’s a home for me wherever I go and you get that from experiences like this.
I also love the evening wear round – where you’re able to get glamorous and try new looks with your make up. It gets exciting when you’re on stage with all the other finalists and everyone just looks superb!
What advice do you have for women when it comes to standing up for what you believe?
There is no guarantee that you will get the answer that you want to hear. However, don’t let this stop you from standing by your choices – do not second guess yourself, be assertive and if otherwise, be understanding of the final decision; especially if it’s not want you wanted. It’s very important to surround yourself with like minded people, individuals who wholeheartedly support you.
Not only are you inspiring woman all over the world, but you’re also the in co-founder of Cloudless Research, a start-up tackling illegal migration and child abuse in east Africa. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and how you manage to still do it all with your incredible girl power?!
Thank you so much! But again my mother is my driving force – my superhero in human form. I am the co-founder of Cloudless Research a start up non-profit organization which nurtures vulnerable people and children against natural disaster and the resulting famine . We aim to educate the dangers of illegal migration and human trafficking to put an end to child abuse in the Horn of Africa.
This is anything but an easy task – we aim to raise global awareness and put a stop to dangerous people who capitalise from poverty and death. Whist challenges the on going national disaster – threatening the lives of vulnerable people and has left thousands more people in East Africa homeless. We welcome global support and hope to help millions of people – for many years to come.
“No one lets their child run towards high seas when they can’t swim, unless sinking ships is safer than staying on land. A land you once called home. I am working towards welcome a world where child won’t be manipulated and discouraged by evil people who pray on poverty and death. A world where we listen to each other’s pain and find a resolution benefiting humanity; and not human traffickers.” – Muna Jama Photographer: Me Date: January, 2017 Location: Somalia #MediterraneanSea #migrantcrisis #refugeecrisis #Italy #Greece #UK #London #Egypt #Somalia #Ethiopia #Sudan #SouthSudan #illegalmigration #Forcedlabour #Unitednations #childabuse #humantraffickers #childtraffickers #slaverymodernday #sextrafficking #Somaliland #EuropeanNations #EuropeanUnion
We couldn’t get enough of your look. You were FLAWLESS! Can you describe your every day style?
I have a different look every day! I like trying new hairstyles. I’ve got an obsession with lipsticks and different colors so it depends on how I’m feeling that day – my mood definitely influences my style choices and look.
My look today was – slick my hair back single braids. I matched it with tailored black H&M blazer, fitted white shirt from ASOS, Ted Baker trousers and a black bow from BooHoo– of course I had to add red lipstick! – natural look makeup and Kryolan professional makeup highlighter.
You’re skin is perfect – do you have a favorite go-to beauty product?
I always use natural or homemade products. It’s important to have a really good face mask and clean your face properly when you’re removing your make up. Face wipes do not do deep cleaning. It’s important that your skin breathes and always use a primer before applying makeup – that’s a must!
Speaking of makeup … what are three items we’ll always find in your bag?
What’s your go to style for date night?
Depends where you are going – but I’d say if it’s Top Golf – slick back high bun and full lashes, my all black vans with the red logo on the back (if you don’t already know reds my favorite color HA!) light denim boyfriend jeans, black silk vest matched up with a crop black leather jacket, my snake print black and gold Kurt Geiger mini bag and red lipstick!
Sounds like the perfect look. Because you’re such an inspiration, we have one more super important question to end things on … are you able to share with us any future plans you have coming up?
I’m truly thankful for the experience that I’ve been given and the people that I have met and cross paths with along the way. I appreciate and acknowledge all the support and the kind messages that have been sent to me. I’m really excited as to what the future holds for me. I may try new looks and outfits, but I will always stay true to myself! I can’t so much at the moment, however I will continue to work hard and I look forward to traveling.