I was born in Cameroon, West Africa where I lived for the first 10 years of my life. I stayed with my grandparents as my parents were working abroad. I loved living with my grandparents not only because I could get away with being naughty and climbing trees and hurting myself almost all of the time, but also for the upbringing and core values they instilled in me.

For me, living in Cameroon for the first decade of my life made all the difference. Even though I was fairly young I retained memories of the lives people lived and the struggles they had to go through to make ends meet. This has always been a humbling experience for me and gives me a different outlook on life. It taught me to appreciate and value what I have and taught me to make the most of the opportunities around me and those I am presented with.

This spirit led me to contesting for Miss Leicestershire 2013, which I was fortunate enough to win. Never in a million years did I think I was capable of even making it through to the semi-finals of the contest yet here I was crowned as Miss Leicestershire. The smiles and the tears of joy shared between my family and loved ones showed me how proud they were of me even though I had no self belief at the beginning of the contest. Upon reflecting in hindsight, the whole event proved to me that regardless of what the hurdles may be and how many times you may doubt yourself, often the person who says they can and the person who says they can’t are usually both right. What I want to say here is the difference lies in the belief you have in yourself, knowingly and truly believing that you are powerful beyond measure makes all the difference.

It has always been my philosophy to give back by helping others realise the potential within themselves and playing a part in placing them on the path to success. I wouldn’t say I’ve been successful in abundance but I do realise that with the little I have I can make a dramatic difference even if it’s to one person, by leveraging the people I'm fortunate enough to have around me. I am in the process of organising a beauty pageant (Miss Afro-Beauty) this Year with the purpose of raising the aspirations, self belief and confidence of young black women who otherwise would be left to form part of another statistic while at the same time sending a direct message to the status quo that not only black but young people such as myself are cultured, appreciate education and are hardworking. Refusing to be just the ordinary; I believe everyone is made for a special purpose and we need to take steps everyday to accomplishing whatever these individual purposes may be.

I do sing from time to time, although that means mainly in the shower and I have a guilty pleasure for food! I love cooking and sometimes (all the time) eating it. If you want to catch me fall bring food, all manners and decorum will disappear! Feel free to drop me an email at ruthmukete@live.co.uk.