A GRADUATE from the University of Sussex won a beauty contest set up following last year's Black Lives Matter protests.

Rehema Muthamia, who graduated with a first degree in genetics, has been crowned Miss All African Colours.

She received her award and sash from her proud gran Monica, 69, after Saturday's virtual final which took place via Zoom.

READ MORE: Picture gallery and special report of Black Lives Matter protest 

The 24-year-old entered the contest to celebrate racial diversity and to raise money for Woman's Aid.

The Argus: Rehema was born in the UK but her family are Kenyan and she speaks four languagesRehema was born in the UK but her family are Kenyan and she speaks four languages

Rehema said: "It was a new experience, but I can always say I had a live final competition on Zoom, that can only happen in a pandemic.

“It was surreal I couldn’t even compose myself because I was on Zoom and everyone was watching my face.

“My grandmother started screaming and plonked the crown on my head.

“She was just so happy and proud of me.

“I just loved the fact that we were celebrating minorities and ethnic women."

The Argus: Rehema with hr grandmother MonicaRehema with hr grandmother Monica

Rehema was born in the UK but her family are Kenyan and she speaks four languages.

She beat eight other competitors to win Miss All African Colours - part of the Miss England competition.

The Argus: Rehema will compete in finals of Miss EnglandRehema will compete in finals of Miss England

Rehema said: "I did some googling and saw the brand new heat called Miss All African Colours and thought this is just perfect and it’s helping raise awareness for diversity.

“The work was actually quite a rigorous process in terms of the heat and the idea was as if we were getting ready for the Miss England finals.

“There were catwalk sessions, learning how to speak and present ourselves and also starting to work on our charities and finding a cause we were passionate about.

“My family are so supportive they can’t stop talking about it and the Kenyan community has really got behind me and wanted to support me and loved seeing someone from my heritage being represented.”

The Argus: Rehema speaks four different languagesRehema speaks four different languages

Rehema, who lives in Luton and works as an associate recruitment consultant in life science, is now through to the Miss England finals this summer.