Nurturing my son’s runway journey

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Derwin also loves acting. Photo/PD/MILLIAM MURIGI

Little Derwin Tyron Mutinda showed interest in modelling when he was just two years. However, it has taken his mother, Elizabeth Kitavi, to walk with him to realise his dream.

Milliam Murigi @millymur1

Elizabeth Kitavi never considered baby modelling until she saw her two-year-old son imitating models.

She realised the boy had a talent and worked hard to nurture it. And although her son booked a great gig for the first competition (Little Miss Kenya pageant), she didn’t think he would take it seriously until he started asking for more.

Currently, her son Derwin Tyron Mutinda is seven years and has won several titles in the modelling world.

Before Covid-19 hit, he was chosen to represent Kenya in Cebu, Philippines for Little World Tourism Festival.

“It is fun seeing him on stage. He is always happy. I see it in his eyes. He has come to love it a lot,” says Elizabeth who works in the insuranc industry. 

Going big

Elizabeth, too loved modelling, but never got that chance as a child. So she decided she would allow her son to follow his dream.

To hone his skills, she started teaching him the moves/walks and the poses. Baby modelling, she says, requires a child who interacts with the camera and who works well with adults, other kids and new faces in a smiley, calm fashion.

 All along, Derwin has been participating in Little Miss Kenya pageant. The competition crowns talented children, both boys and girls in Kenya who have a passion in modelling and fashion and exposing them to international pageant.

 “For a start, he started with Cute Face competition and it was fun. He went for Mr Kenya Mombasa county when he was four years, but he only got Tiny Prince, Mombasa.

However, his journey didn’t end there since according to him he wants to be at the top.

Last year, he tried again and clinched Tiny Mr Kenya, Mombasa. He qualified for finals, but he emerged as second Prince Tiny Mr Kenya. His goal is to clinch Little Mr Kenya title,” she says.

 Derwin is in Grade Two at Cambridge Springs School, Mombasa. Elizabeth is careful to help her son balance his talent and education.

Seven-year-old Derwin Tyron Mutinda and his mother, Elizabeth Kitavi. 

Before Covid-19 pandemic, he would practice a few weeks before competitions.

The boy has also shown interest in acting too.  “Derwin is doing great in school— you can’t even know that he is a model out here.

He has a keen interest in books. He has also created rapport with his teachers who support him.

After school, he would do his homework before embarking on anything else,” she explains.

Just a normal child

Elizabeth says praising accomplishments, however small, makes children feel proud; letting children do things independently makes them feel capable and strong.

By contrast, belittling comments or comparing a child unfavourably with another will make kids feel worthless. 

And has celebrity status got into little Derwin’s head? Elizabeth says ‘no’. Being in the limelight has not changed him at all.

He is still the same boy she has known for seven years. He interacts well with his peers too.

The sociable child loves modelling as seen here during a past Little Miss Kenya pageant. MAIN: Derwin also loves acting.  PD/MILLIAM MURIGI

“I thank God he is just a normal child and does everything that any other kid would.

He’s a humorous and social child— he talks so much until sometimes I tell him he is like a radio. He is a joyful baby. And he doesn’t throw tantrums,” she says.

 And what makes him stand out among other children? His fashion sense, especially his hair.

He is a little fashionista and Elizabeth says though she chooses his cloths, whenever he sees a stylish attire, he requests her to buy it for him.  

Currently, Derwin is not attached to any agency and Elizabeth is the one who trains him. She is, however, looking forward to signing him for more opportunities. 

Apart from modelling and acting, Derwin likes swimming, taekwondo, skating, playing chess, Ludo and scrabble during his free time.

However, his mother reveals that the journey hasn’t been without challenges. Among them is not getting all the attires for the competition on time.

So many times they have gotten their orders at the last minute, something which makes him so uneasy.

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