A MISS ENGLAND finalist says she is “proud” to be using her platform to raise awareness of domestic abuse.

Rehema Muthamia, who graduated from the University of Sussex in July last year, earned a place in the final of the prestigious competition after she won the Miss All African Colours title earlier this year.

The 25-year-old has chosen to raise money for Women's Aid and hopes other female victims will be able to identify with her.

The Argus: Rehema Muthamia Rehema Muthamia

She said: “I’ve had my own personal experiences of domestic abuse and I just thought if I can use the platform that I have to raise awareness and bring the conversation to light, this is the best place to do so.

“I think there’s almost a misconception or a stereotype around beauty pageants that they are just superficial and materialistic and all about beautiful women walking up and down a catwalk in a bikini.

“But what I’ve come to understand about it is it is actually more about charity work and having a passion or a cause that you want to advocate for.”

The Argus: Rehema Muthamia Rehema Muthamia

Rehema raised hundreds of pounds for Women’s Aid while competing to become Miss All African Colours.

The new contest was set up following last year's Black Lives Matter protests and celebrates racial diversity.

She beat eight other competitors to win Miss All African Colours and was granted a spot in the Miss England competition.

The Argus: Rehema Muthamia with her gran MonicaRehema Muthamia with her gran Monica

Rehema said preparations are now well underway for the Miss England final which is set to take place in Coventry on Friday, August 27.

She said: “It’s been over a year ago now since I started this whole journey so there’s a level of excitement plus nerves.

“The anticipation is just starting to reach its climax at this point so I’m more looking forward to it than I am nervous.”

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

She said her family are all “incredibly supportive” and are looking forward to watching her in the final.

She said: “I have a group of family and friends coming along to the event with me.

“It’s set up to be a really big event with a three-course meal and entertainment.

“It’s going to be a big night and a celebration of finally being out of lockdown.”

Rehema, who lives in Luton and works as an associate recruitment consultant in life science, will go through to the final of Miss World in Puerto Rico if she is crowned Miss England.

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