Kenyan female bodybuilder Everlyn Owala put Kenya on the world map for the second time in a row this year after winning the coveted Women bodybuilding 2019 championship title in Angola.
Evelyn, a personal fitness trainer and proprietor of Eveal Health and Fitness, was awarded the title by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) on Saturday.
This comes just three months after she scooped two trophies following her exemplary performance during the annual Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival’s held in South Africa in May.
Following her Saturday victory, the Ms Kenya Figure 2016 and Runners up 2017 Figure, shared the good news on her Instagram page, thanking her trainers and fans for their support.
“To all the people who keep asking if they are good enough; YES YOU ARE! You are seasoned for the season! African championship wellness 1st place, ” she wrote.
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This is what it means when God says I will walk ahead of you, and cover you to victory. My God is faithful, so faithful! . . . @usnsa @usnkenya @usnuk @usncz #USNtransformationchallenge #celebritytrainer #addictedtoiron #bodybuilding #divasnlifters #GAINS #restday #fitchicksalsoglam #usnkenya #usnfit #bluelabwhey #poweredbyusnkenya #teamUSN #kenyangirls #bikinibody #figurecompetitor. #figureathlete #fitchickdiaries #fitness #strength #beautyinthebeast #beautyandthebeast #Mskenyafigure
In June, Evelyn, in an interview with Kahawa Tungu, shared her interesting journey to becoming a star in the male-dominated sport.
Growing in Mbita area, Homa Bay County, Evelyn never at one time visualized a career in bodybuilding – after secondary school, she pursued a career in banking.
However, her stay in the banking industry was short-lived, as she identified her place in the bodybuilding industry nine years into the profession.
“I didn’t see myself having a career in it [Body building] before, but sometimes you find yourself doing something you like and if it gives you money…” she said.
On if it was influenced she said: “my husband had been training ever since he cleared form four. So, he was physically fit with muscles. After some time the synergy rubs on and you try it and you like what you see.”
At first, her father was opposed to her decision to quit her job at a local bank, but years later he has learnt to live with it. He actually loves what she does, said Everlyn.
“Initially my dad was [opposed to it] because my real mom passed on … my other mom was very understanding, she was like that’s her thing let her do it. My dad was like you know am a pastor, you can’t be walking in a bikini. But I think when he realized that I was not changing who I was as I remained true to self, he has come to love it and I think the best call I got through all this experience is my dad’s call [when I win], it’s normally priceless, the last one was amazing because he was so excited. It has taken a process to understand what I do, ” she said.
Her husband, siblings and more importantly her fans have been a great pillar in her life as she pursues her dreams of participating in even higher levels of the sport.
“I gain energy by working out. Fans can push you quite a bit, they have expectations you’re going to train, you’re going to show them how to work out… I can’t slack. Every time presents a different motivation, right now am trying to put myself out there which means it’s a bigger challenge for me because I don’t know how hard they are working so I have to present myself all the time.”
Self-drive, dedication and resilience have pushed her to spend hours at the gym, not just for herself but to train other people.
She disclosed that the people she trains – the young, old and the sick – play a major role in her success: “Transforming people’s lives motivates me.”
She revealed to this writer that her next move is to hunt for a Pro Card, which was not allocated for the category she participated in during the May competitions.
“Once you compete in an IFBB competition you’re supposed to get a Pro Card, which enables you to compete with higher-level athletes, in this case, I missed it by just a bit because it was not allocated for it [My category].”
The main challenge in the sport is funds. Evelyn said the industry has not received the recognition it deserves despite there being a Kenyan bodybuilders body.
“Right now I have to rely on sponsors and my pocket to support myself because right now I’ve not experienced any funding from the government, and if it existed I’ve not seen it, ” she added.