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Miss Bakersfield Morayo Olujumu plans to compete for Miss California this year. 

Morayo Olujumu’s journey to a brighter future began when she was crowned Miss Kern County in 2019.

Olujumu was born and raised in Palmdale and attended Cal State Bakersfield for her bachelor’s degree in business administration. She said she made the decision to move to Bakersfield because she wanted a hometown feel.

As a first generation Nigerian American, Olujumu said it was important for her to make a difference wherever she stepped foot.

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In this file photo, a line of Miss Kern County winners wave to the crowd and judges for the Black History Parade.

“I come from a low income family, so I wasn’t always able to do every extracurricular activity I could do and I always dreamed of competing in a pageant,” she said. “Every time I go back home, I see how these humanitarian issues affect the country and our status quo as a world.”

In 2019, Olujumu went on to compete for her first beauty pageant and won the title of Miss Kern County.

“It was a learning experience. I didn’t have a chance to compete in pageants before so I went in on the lowest budget I could. I didn’t have a pageant coach, but I got so many sponsors. My best friend coached me so I had to pull in all my resources, but I left home with the title,” she said.

Aside from getting the opportunity to compete, Olujumu was able to be a part of the competition's mantra of uplifting women and society. And being a part of an international competition like this one has inspired Olujumu to reach wider philanthropic activities by continuing to create fundraisers for the community.

“During the last three months, I’ve been trying to host virtual dance classes or an in-person dance class to raise money for The Thirst Project — a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the water crisis all over the world,” she said.

Olujumu added beauty pageants teach younger women how to be confidently beautiful.

“These days it can be hard to be confidently beautiful because we’re forced to see perfection in our media and everyday lives," she said. "The competition and organization teaches us not to compare ourselves to others by setting a standard for ourselves."

Olujumu said she wants to show the world what the Central Valley and Kern County can bring to the table. She also wants to encourage other young women to pursue pageants because of the skills you gain through the process.

“I want to show everyone that we have girls that are awesome, confidently beautiful and capable of being showstoppers,” she said. “I believe it helps young women because it teaches them to handle pressure, how to be tenacious, teaches them confidence and how to be competitive in a healthy environment — that’s something we can all take into the workforce and everyday life.”

Olujumu is set to compete for Miss California USA from April 8 through 11 in San Gabriel. The weekend-long event will consist of a motivational dinner, keynote speakers and walking on the runway.

“It takes a lot of tenacity to be able to withstand all of that and perform at your best. You fight to the finish and remain positive,” she said.

With the big competition near, Olujumu said preparing for the Miss California event has been difficult because of COVID restrictions but is doing what she can with the resources she has.

“The most important preparation is the mental part, being so prepared that I don’t get anxiety that weekend and making sure I’m confident. The preparation process is really where you earn your title and you go into the competition to pick up your crown — act like a queen until it’s time to be the queen,” she said.