The proliferation of different categories of beauty pageants in Nigeria is not helping matter. Every year we hear of such pageants as:
*Miss Bold & Beautiful
*Most Beautiful Face in Nigera
*Miss Aso Rock
*Miss Teen, to mention just a few.
In as much as quite a number of ex beauty queens seem to have gone into obscurity, there are few who would always be remembered because of the controversies that trailed their reigns. Age falsification scandal has always been a recurrent decimal in the Nigerian beauty pageantry.
*In 1981, Miss Nigeria Tokunboh Onanuga was demoted after a flaw was discovered on her WAECcertificate. The West African Examination body also states on their Twitter account, “Tokunbo Onanuga Miss Nigeria 1981 demoted for having fake WAEC results.”
*In 2001, Ama Valerie Perterside, dethroned Miss Nigeria, lost her crown June 15 after a five-man panel found her guilty of falsifying her age and certificate. The first runner-up Amina Ekpo took over the crown. Ama also falsified her educational qualification in addition to reducing her age with 4 years, so as to meet up with the criteria for the pageant.
*Isabella Ayuk MBGN 2012 was also involved in age falsification scandals. It became a lot more confusing when the organisers announced that 1st runner up DiametteCharles will go for Miss World while Ayuk goes to Miss Universe.
*Iheoma Nnadi the current MBGN was recently enmeshed in age falsification scandal but she managed to wriggle out of it.
Here are the top 10 most popular/outstanding ex beauty queens in Nigeria.
10 ANNA BANNER
She represented Bayelsa state and won the MBGN in 2013. She’s still relevant as she has gone into acting which would obviously help her to remain in the limelight.
9 CHINENYE OCHUBA-AKINLADE
Chinenye won the MBGN in 2002 and she was among the top 10 finalists. Chinenye got married and relocated to London.
8 MUNACHI ABII
Muna won the MBGN in 2007. She’s currently trying to make a career in music as a rapper. She’s still relevant unlike some of her peers that got the crown after her.
7 HELEN PREST AJAYI
Helen Prest Ajayi is one queen that is deeply loved bymany Nigerians. She reigned as Miss Nigeria in 1979 with grace and composure. She represented Nigeria in various beauty pageants including the Miss World pageant. Helen is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and also holds an LLB and LLM from the prestigious Kings College London.
She is the creative director of media business company and my life time solutions.com. She is happily married to Tosin Ajayi and they both have three children. Helen never goes wrong with her fashion style and she still looks incredibly beautiful for a woman who recently clocked 54.
6 MATILDA KERRY
Kerry was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl Nigeria in 2000 after which she represented Nigeria in in the Miss World 2000. Kerry made leprosy her project as abeauty queen and she promoted awareness of the disease. Since the end of her reign, Dr Kerry has continued to use her public persona to promote healthy living and disease prevention in Nigeria.
Kerry is presently a medical doctor and the presidentof the George Kerry Life Foundation, a non governmental organization that promotes cervical health Campaign. Queens like Kerry only proves that Nigerian beauty queens are not just dumb beauties, they are also loaded with brains which makes them complete.
5 OMOWUNMI AKINNIFESI
Beauty, Poise and brains won Omowunmi Akinnifesi the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria crown. She represented Nigeria in the Miss World beauty pageantin China that same year. She did’nt stop there, she went on to win the Miss Tourism international in Ukraine. Omowunmi just keeps getting it right.This queen is a graduate of Geography and regional planning from the university of Lagos.
In 2009, she was appointed environmental ambassador by Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola. When it comes to style, Omowunmi never fails to dazzle.
She is simply classy and fabulous. She runs her own public relations and ushering outfit “Elle Poise”.
4 NIKE OSHINOWO
Nike Osinowo was crowned the Most Beautiful Girl Nigeria in 1991. She represented Nigeria in the Miss World beauty pageant that same year. Nike is an entrepreneur.
She released her own work out video Nike Osinowo, fit, forty and fabulous. In 2010, after a six year attempt, Nike finally bought the Miss Nigeria franchise from former organizers Daily times. Although it was later revoked. She’s currently running her TV Show.
3 REGINA ASKIA-WILLIAMS
Regina Askia took over from Bianca Onoh Ojukwu when she resigned halfway through her reign. She wore the crown of the Most Beautiful Girl, Nigeria in 1989. She proved herself a worthy beauty queen . Regina went on to become one of the pioneering actors in Nollywood.
She featured in many Nollywood movies, most times taking the lead roles. She has won several awards including the Best Actress, Nigeria in the year 2000 byAfro Hollywood London. She also has her own fashion label Regine Fashions.
Even though Regina is no longer in Nigeria, she can never be forgotten. She now resides in New York where she is a registered nurse and also married to Rudy Williams with children.
2 BIANCA ONOH OJUKWU
Bianca the daughter of former Anambra State Governor, Christian Onoh.She was the Most Beautiful Girl, Nigeria in 1989. She represented Nigeria in the Miss Universe beauty pageant and went on to win the Miss Intercontinental in 1989, making her the first Nigerian girl to win an international beauty pageant.However, in the 90’s, scandals trailed Bianca because of her marriage to the Biafran warlord , ChiefOdumegwu Ojukwu who happened to be her father’s childhood friend and thirty years her senior. The scandals led her to resign.
Bianca is a successful business woman who owns a skin and beauty clinic in Enugu. She is also a former lawyer and was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as Nigerian Ambassador to Spain.
Bianca Onoh Ojukwu is one queen that is forever in the minds of Nigerians not only because of her marriage to Ojukwu but because she is a queen that achieved more than what society expected of her.
1 AGBANI DAREGO
Agbani Darego is a shinning star that needs no introduction. She won the Most Beautiful Girl Nigeria in 2001. She later broke records for winning the Miss World 2001 crown.
She was the first black African to win the Miss World title.This made her a star both home and abroad. She was given a Nigerian honour by former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Agbani is a former L’Oreal international model and was also signed to Next models New York. Agbani has a successful modelling career and is a role model to numerous Nigerians as she changed the face of beauty pageants in Nigeria. Prior to her emergence as Miss World, people didn’t take beauty pageants serious, but everything changed after she won the coveted title.
It appears that MBGN winners are more popular than Miss Nigeria Pageant.
Maybe it’s because of the fact that Miss Nigeria can’t represent us at Miss World/Universe. Only MBGN winners can represent us in any of those international pageants.