Mr. Fidelis Anosike, wants to use a beauty show to define the Nigerian woman, writes Solomon Elusoji
This week, Thursday precisely, a new Miss Nigeria will be crowned at the Eko Convention Centre.
The journey to this year’s finale started in November when auditions were held in three cities – Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Lagos – over a one-week period. From personal photography sessions from Studio 24 using cool photo props, there were also monopoly games and passion project activities to keep the ladies entertained. Refreshments were also served.
The auditions started at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja on November 7 with an impressive turn out of contestants from the Northern region who showed up for a chance to become the next queen. George Okoro (photographer and Lifestyle Magazine publisher), Adama Indimi (CEO Reign by Adama Lashes), Ogugua Okonkwo (CEO Style Temple) and Andy Ogbechei (Creative Director, A-Squared Network) were the guest judges at this phase of the auditions, accompanied by Enyinne Owunwanne (CEO, Times Multimedia – organisers of the Miss Nigeria pageant).
Then the team moved to Port Harcourt on November 9 to receive contestants from the South-South/South-East region at the Echelon Heights Hotel, before heading to Lagos where the audition was held at the Times Multimedia Lagos Headquarters.
A week later, the 37 semi-finalists were announced in a special Instagram Live Session, setting the stage for Thursday’s grand finale.
Miss Nigeria was started by Daily Times Nigeria in 1957. Then, contestants were required to post their photographs to the Times headquarters in Lagos, before the finalists were shortlisted and invited to compete at the Lagos Island Club. It was the premier pageant in the country, and was a powerful medium which empowered several young Nigerian women, and inspired the country as a whole. Grace Oyelude won the maiden edition. She would not be the last.
The pageant continued to prosper until it was rocked with several scandals, the collision with military history and national turmoil, and the unfortunate decline of its parent brand, Daily Times. It lost his exclusivity, uniqueness, and credibility, and was virtually buried under the sands of history.