Chidinma Leilani Aaron, a youth corps member and professional chef was crowned Sunday night as the 42nd Miss Nigeria.
Chidinma, who emerged from the South East Zone beat 17 other girls to emerge the new queen at the Eko Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Eighteen contestants made it to the grand finale before the selection of the final 12.
They were made up of Ntan Nton, Egede Lagele, Thomas Mseve, Ameh Munirah, Otunba Ifunaya, and Shitta Remilekun.
Others are Tizhe Usa Miriam, Okudili Odinaka Doris, Agida Stephanie, Ugwu Ijeoma, Aaron Chidinma Leilani, and Dunu Chisom Olivia.
The contestants were later reduced to five from where Aaron emerged.
The final five were Dunu Chisom, Ntan Sharon Nton, Ameh Munirah, Agida Stephanie and Aaron Chidinma Leilani.
Dunu, from the south east zone like Chidinma, picked the prize for the first runner-up, while Ameh, from the South South was named the second runner-up.
Aaron, winner of the pageant, took home N3 million, a luxury apartment and an automobile.
She succeeded Mildred Ehiguese who won the 2017 edition.
There was no registration fee for the 2018 edition of the pageant in a bid to be all-inclusive and “to prevent financial restraints on the part of young ladies who are truly deserving of the ultimate title”.
The AMVCA 2018 held Saturday night at Eko Hotel and Suites. But on the sidelines of the main event, the female celebrities had their own grand slam of the most fashionably dressed for the night.
From social media threads, CeeC (Cynthia Nwadiora) of the BBNaija 2018 fame appeared to have run away with the trophy in her regal red outfit. In contrast BamBam drew a lot of hisses for her ‘chicken’ like dress.
The President of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Independent Women Initiative, Monique Ededuan, on Thursday counselled women not to use independence as an excuse to usurp the hierarchy in their homes.
Ededuan, who spoke in Lagos ahead of an upcoming empowerment conference organised by the group to help more women to be economically independent, said that her NGO empowers 30 women annually with start-up funds to enable them to be self-supporting in the society.
She emphasised that an independent woman should not become unruly or take over headship of her home.
Ededuan hinted that that this year’s conference, holding on July 29 in Lagos, aimed to take women through a journey from dependant to independent.
“Some marriages today have stood the test of time because the responsibility of catering for the home does not exclusively rest on man alone. Independent women have risen to become agents of positive change by becoming inspiration to people through the positive roles they play in giving back to these communities,” she said.
“The woman strikes a balance by being a responsible woman, submissive, supportive wife, excellent business and career woman.
An empowered woman with a vision finds fulfillment and achieves the impossible in her area of business and contribute to the nation’s economic growth,” Ededuan added.
She, however urged the three tiers of government to create an enabling environment for women to thrive in their businesses, adding that an empowered woman becomes a positive tool and an inspiration to others.
“When a woman is empowered, she supports her family, which creates a society and extends it to all people in the environment. When a woman moves from being idle to independent, definitely, she becomes an agent of change in the country,” Ededuan stressed.
Established in 2016, the NGO is a business and entrepreneurship network, with a vision to support women financially with startup business fund and business ideas, to contribute financially in their homes and country.
Deletable actress, Tonto Dikeh took to Instagram today and declared that she was a proud born again Christian.
“I am a proud born again Christian. Christianity isn’t religion to me it’s a way of living. I am soaked in Gods Strength. No weapon formed fashioned against me or my son or my workers can/Shall prosper In Jesus Name Amen,” she said.
It was gathered that the actress is presently in Kenya for the Peace concert that will be held at Uhuru Gardens, a campaign aimed at ensuring Kenyans are peaceful during the forthcoming general elections.
A Nollywood popular actress, Chika Ike, has expressed satisfaction over her admission into Harvard Business School for her Masters after five years that she has been applying to study in the institution.
The businesswoman and former model, who announced the development in a post she shared on her Instagram page yesterday, wadys in state euphoria after she received news that she has been consider to study in the school.
“I finally got accepted into Harvard business school for my Masters. After trying for 5 years and getting rejected..Yes! The prestigious Ivy League University… Yippee ….I’m super excited….The good part is it’s an executive study so I can work as an actress, TV host and CEO and school…” she said.
She recalled that she started doing business at age 17 and has been doing it solely on self knowledge and instincts.
“I think it’s time to hone my business skills from the mother of all business schools so I can have a sustainable company. … God is awesome; he has done so much for me, looking at all my achievements so far,” Chika divulged.
“His grace has been with me all through. Doors that people said will never open, opened for my sake. …May He give you a blessing that looks like a lie such that people will question your blessings because of its magnitude. May your enemies be confused and in awe of your blessings,” she prayed.
“May He give you reasons to smile as you rise in style and in glory. God is no respecter of man and doesn’t care how anyone feels about your blessings. My story so far has truly been his divine Grace… one advice …Never ever give up!#harvard #EMBA #africadiva,” Chika added.
Meanwhile, some fans have accused the actress of lying, saying Harvard doesn’t offer executive Masters in Business Administration (MBA), but she responded with a dance.
Born on November 8, 1985, the actress made her film debut in Sweet Love in 2005 and has featured in many movies including Paradise, Mirror of Beauty, To Love a Stranger, Girls Cot Reloaded, Happy Ending, Yes We Will, Anointed Queen,The Prince and the Princes, Heart of a Fighter, The Assasin, Beautiful Bride and The Weak Heart.
For advocates of a girl child including current Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, there are so much beliefs that every female children needs to be randomly sensitized particularly, in the area of environmental issues, which could bring about positive change and development in Nigeria.
The 40th Miss Nigeria, in an interview with Ada Dike bares her mind on her Green-Girl project, an initiative which is aimed at increasing the preservation and sustainability of our environment, being a project she inherited from her predecessor. She also discussed other riveting issues, including how she has commenced pushing more educative programmes towards the direction of the girl-child.
As latest miss Nigeria who inherited Green-Girl project, aim to educating girls and women on environmental issues, from her predecessor, how have you been able to sustain the thread and continue the laid down programs for the project?
After emerging as new Miss Nigeria, I looked into the Green-Girl project goal and objective, been laid down by my predecessor,Pamela Peter-Vigboro Lees, after it was passed onto me, I realized that matches my dream, which is to educate both girls and women folk on environmental issues
The Green-Girl Project is a Miss Nigeria project aimed to increase the preservation and sustainability of our environment.
It started with my predecessor and it is a five-year project we are doing to increase the awareness in Nigeria about environmental issues. We have a lot of environmental issues which we are not aware of because we neglect it and tend to see it as Nigeria’s problem.
With my project, I have been educating girl-child on issues such as that of epidemic in Nigeria, dysentery, diarrhea and even cancer caused by water pollution.
I also used this project to warn people against environmental issues.
Many people have lost their lives and properties because of erosion. Some hectares of land were lost in the North in the past as a result of desertification. A lot of children are born with defects. There has been severe pollution in the South-South due to gas flaring which has resulted to sickness and diseases. These problems are not Nigeria’s problem but our problem. We should take it as serious as we take financial issues, because any issue that can affect our way of life, been it health, child’s health and mother’s health should be treated as an important issue.
It is time for us to speak up as one Nigeria and fight for our environment because the mother earth has blessed us in ways beyond our imaginations that we now have zero natural disasters. Let us not keep hurting mother earth. Let us stand together and protect her to serve us better.
It is believed that there are challenges attached to every position, is Miss Nigeria excepted of the stereotype, and if not, what is the reign like as a queen?
It has been awesome. The 60-year-old pageant has a lot of weight on my shoulders. It has been amazing. I have built my intellectual strength from being the queen.
I am presently still in school. I am a 200 level student of Geography and Meteorology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State. I think my background in Geography has helped my driving force when it comes to environment.
Emerging as the entire nation’s queen has to do with determination, did you have any premonition that you were going to win and how did you get into the competition?
While growing up, my mother was always calling me Queen because she said I have a queenly look and demeanor, coupled with the fact that I was always opinionated. I need a platform to project my voice to be heard. So when I realized that Miss Nigeria embarked on a project, I recollected it is a pageant I like which has to do with environment I am grounded in, I decided to contest for Miss Nigeria pageant.
I am a confident person. When I go for something I built confidence that I would win. Of course, I saw a lot of beautiful and smart girls that I looked at and felt that they were really smart. I did not allow that to wear me down. Moreover, my mother encouraged me to pray and do my part.
I am a 22 years old from Neni in Anaocha Local Government Area, Anambra State, born into an average family of one girl and three boys.
Growing up for me was smooth. I have amazing brothers. Boys are very strong and agile so we had a nice playing together. Most times, they hot me because they were stronger than me. I have good parents which have always been supporting me. so i do not see anything been too challenging to try.
Since your dream is to touch both girl-child and women folk lives through which capacity available, is there inspiring message that has always keeps the focus moving.
I always say to people that if they dream it, they should do it . I dreamt of being Miss Nigeria and I am Miss Nigeria now. So whatever one dreams to be is who becomes.
While growing up, I wanted to be Miss Nigeria because it is ambassadorial. I would like young people looking up to Miss Nigeria to know that it is not about beauty but, for projection of peace and unity in Nigeria.
“No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him or her; it is the amount of excellence of what is over and above the required that determines greatness,” -Charles Kendall Adams
Being successful in career has much more to do with how deep a person loves as profession and the level of commitment towards it. Several entrepreneurs in Nigeria today such as Tara Fela-Durotoye, Kaffy and others worked on their hobbies and became successful, over time.
Is the Chief Executive Officer of House of Tara International with about 20 studios and over 3000 representatives is known as the pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria. She studied Law in the Lagos State University, Lagos.
Born on March 6, 1977, she launched the first bridal directory in 1999, set up a state-of-the-art makeup studio and established the first makeup school. Through her craft, she has bagged many awards including Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
At times, someone may have a juicy job she collects fat salary but don’t derive satisfaction in doing it.
For instance, artworks curator, organiser of film festival and a fashion designer, Ugoma Adegoke, is the brain behind Zebra Living and also the managing director and co-founder of Life House alongside her husband, Dayo.
She worked for four years in the financial sector but had to resign because her mind was telling her that she did not belong there.
She studied Economics, graduated in 2001 and did her Master’s degree in Manchester, United Kingdom also in Economics in 2003. Along the line, she was restless and curious, coupled with the fact that her stay in Manchester opened her eyes concerning deriving satisfaction in the job one is doing.
“There, one person can do two jobs just like what is happening in many banks where someone goes with some clothes and gifts to sell to his or her colleagues. When I moved back to Nigeria in 2006 and saw how people were working hard to survive, it endeared me to try a bit more. While working in a bank, I asked myself “Is this what you really want?” she explained.
She also revealed that when she left her job, everybody including her father thought she was mad, asking why she should leave a paying job and chase after fashion, despite the fact that she doesn’t know much about fashion as a profession.
“I knew that it‘s what I have passion for and I have always been interested in aesthetic things. I know how to make things look good, be it decoration or furniture. I always rearrange my home and also do it for my friends for free. I have learnt that there is no boundary to what one can do, that is why I do fashion, art exhibition and organize film festivals,” Ugoma said.
“Within the few years we started Life House, its success has spread beyond Africa. My husband was in New York sometime ago, some people who visited Nigeria and attended our events recognized him and complimented him,” she added.
Another example is a popular gospel artiste and soundtrack producer, Chimere Emejuobi. She wanted to be a broadcaster because she used to admire ladies’ beautiful faces on television when she was younger, that is why she studied Mass Communication at Oko Polytechnic, Anambra State.
Chimere said she used to take music which she said is in-born as her hobby and decided to do it as her profession. She was a back-up singer for musicians such as Majek Fashek and Obi Nwankwo, before she released her songs.
Popularly known as “Nollywood’s queen of soundtrack”, she is the only female musician who has devoted her time, talent and strength to produce many soundtracks for movies in Nigeria. She did her first soundtrack in 1992 for a movie, A Cry for Help. Since then, she has produced over 100 soundtracks and some of them include: Warrior’s Heart, Magic Cap, Sleep Walker, Corporate Maid, Love My Way, Comfort My Soul, Face of Woman, Next Door Neighbour and Shakira.
Apart from producing soundtracks, the Imo State born lady is widely known as a worship songs singer and her songs appeal to emotion, thereby connecting people to God.
Initially, most people don’t know her face but they know her name and her music because her manager did not put her picture in her first album.
Emejuobi, who dominates soundtrack business and also has full control of her career, has her own record label called DEMIDEE Entertainment Company, which serves as a music production unit and engages in artiste management and modelling.
One of her songs, African Praise is a medley she sang in many languages including Nigerian, Ghanaian and Swahili languages. She is glad that her hobby turned talent has taken her to many countries including Ghana, France, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, the United States of America and so on.
“My experience in all these places was fantastic. At the Berlin Film Festival in Germany some years ago, I mingled with famous Hollywood and Bollywood actors and producers including Titanic’s Dicaprio,” she recalled.
In the past, dance was not regarded as a career. No parent would ever advise his or her children to choose it because they did not see any future in it. Moreover, dance could be regarded as a hobby.
Today, the reverse is the case. A Nigerian lady, Kafayat Shafau, popularly known as Kaffy hit the Guinness Book of World Records for dancing for 53 hrs, 30 minutes in Nokia Marathon Dance in 2006.
“I have a Diploma in Data processing. I have a certificate for fitness training. It’s not about certificate but about expertise and ability to get a desired result in anything you want to achieve in life. I can never stop dancing. I use it to make money and at the same time make people happy. I don’t have to be on stage at all times. I could be a choreographer. I also run a dance school called “Imagnato Dance Company”. It offers services like teaching young people how to dance for fun or for commercial purposes. We have older women and business class for those who want to keep fit. We also do personal training, total and general body weight loss, diet plan and nutrition analysis, among others.
“Choreography lasts forever. We teach and guide people on how to dance. It does not end on a dance floor. There is a lot of moral guidance I can instil to people through it. A lot of them don’t know the right thing to do to themselves. It’s a school for ethics, moral upbringing and dancing,” said the choreographer who hails from Epe in Lagos State.
There are few African women that have made tremendous impact towards development and promotion of creative arts. One of them is Nike Davies Okundaye, an artist, batik originator, singer and dancer.
Spurred by a strong desire to set up a gallery where Nigerians, Africans and tourists would learn and appreciate Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, she built a state-of–the-art gallery in Lekki, Lagos State. The gallery houses artworks, cloths and bags. The bags and cloths are made with locally made fabrics.
Born on May 23, 1951, she lost her mother at the age of six and went to live with her grandmother who died the following year. So she went to stay with her great grandmother who was the then head of fabric weaving.
“Because I lost my mother early in life, one of my mother’s sisters had to bring me to Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. Osogbo has rich art and cultural heritage and was one of the centres for Yoruba artistic heritage. It was while I was in Osogbo as a young girl that I heard about the late Susanne Wenger and her husband Ulli Beier. Up till today, I consider them the major catalyst of Nigerian art movement,” Okundaye said
She explained that extra-moral classes that Beier conducted in those days was what helped art in Nigeria to blossom.
“They identified those talents and built them in arts. Today, as you know many of them have become international artists.”
For her, Susanne was the one she derived inspiration from specifically, likewise other artists. Okundaye said it was then that she decided to go and grow up with her because of the way Beier embraced everybody including Yoruba religion and culture.
“Honestly, she truly inspired me during my stay with her. That was how I started with arts. But let me equally say that from the very beginning, my family is into craft art especially, where I come from in Ogidi Ijumu, Kogi State. My first effort was in weaving, then from weaving I moved into Adire (indigenous textile designing), but later, I discovered the Batik, which I called the loss wax method,” she said.
Okundaye explained that Batik is also called campalla.
She noted that due to her avowed love for weaving indigenous textile designing, she was dubbed Mama Adire, adding that Adire making has taken her across the globe .
“The Adire has carried me to so many countries of the world,” says Okundaye.
She stressed that though she loves Adire, she also does oil and acrylic paintings which she all exhibited at her gallery.
“We have held so many exhibitions in my gallery since we opened. Some featured my works and other Nigerian and foreign artists,” Okundaye said.
Her Lagos art gallery is one of the highly patronised tourists’ centres in Nigeria. At present, she has more than 7000 artworks in her gallery in Lagos, though not all of them are for sale.
“A lot of them are displayed for Nigerians and tourists to see the creativity in Nigeria just like in museums abroad. People pay money to enter museums abroad but we do not collect money in my gallery because it is a foundation and it is a dream that came to fruition,” she revealed.
Artists are happy to see their works displayed in my gallery. Each artist works with a spirit that drives him. We don’t see what they are seeing till they are through with their works,” she said.
On how she makes fortune from her gallery, she said: “I actually make money within and outside Nigeria. I do workshop in many countries such as Austria, France, Spain and so on. That is how I succeed with my work, but I derive joy and satisfaction of doing it in Nigeria. My gallery enables Nigerians to learn and develop their cultural heritage. I want to leave the gallery as a legacy after my death.”
What is the major challenge facing her gallery? she was asked. “Funding has been my major challenge so I hereby appeal to individuals, private and public organisations to come to my aid. I know that government cannot do everything for us but I want them to assist us in any way they can,” Okundaye said.
When she was asked to predict how art as a profession in Nigeria would look like in the next 10 years, she said with the help of the Ministry for Art and Culture, Nigeria would be known as African art depot in the next 10 years.
“We have over 30,000 registered artists in Nigeria which is quite intimidating compared with other countries. I am sure that the unregistered artists are more in number than the registered ones,” she said.
According to her, “Artwork is a therapy, If you see a work in which a mother is carrying her baby, it means love and warmness. If you look at an artwork, you would forget your problem.”
The cool and calm woman who is on a mission to reposition Nigeria and indeed Africa’s rich culture in people’s minds advises young artists in Nigeria to be honest in anything they do.
“Whatever you are doing, do it well. Let your work advertise your name. Market yourself in a good way. When you make money, save for the rainy day. Divide it into three parts-for your needs, family, then save the third part for your future. Above all, pass the knowledge to your children. Spanish painter and sculptor, Pablo Picasso was not a millionaire before he died but his works are now in many countries,” Okundaye added.
Though she did not have formal education, she has two doctorate degrees from schools in the United States of America. The second is on performing art.
“I am also a singer and dancer too,” she said with a smile.
The proprietress of the nationally spread cultural centres said her vision for opening art centres in Osogbo, with branches in Lagos, Abuja and Ogidi Ijumu is to promote artists, empower rural women and provide training opportunities for those interested in learning the practical aspect of art.