The Miss Independence Beauty Peagent was introduced to promote Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage, unity, patriotism, and peace while harnessing youthful vigour to celebrate the country. In this interview, 2015 Queen, Nneze Richard spoke with SOLOMON NDA-ISAIAH on their motivations and what she hopes to achieve during her tenure.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a 2012 graduate of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology. Right now, I’m running a professional programme at the University of Jos of which I will graduate next year.
What were you doing before contesting for this pageantry?
Like I said, I am running a professional accounting programme at the University of Jos and I’m into full time modeling too.
What motivated you to contest in this competition?
I know I have what it takes to participate in any beauty pageant. I’m beautiful and intelligent because beauty without intelligence is nothing. So I know I will do very well.
As the Miss Independence Beauty Queen, what is your task?
My task is to promote patriotism, peace and unity in the country.
How did you get involved in the competition?
This is the actually the third edition of the Miss Independence Beauty Queen event and it has always been my dream to be a queen. I’ve always been into modeling and even before now, I’ve gone to other beauty pageants and I really put my best into this one. I pray to God that I really want to win this because I want to impact on people’s lives.
How do intend to impact on people’s lives?
With the situation in the country now, there is insecurity right now and a lot of persons have been displaced from their homes. I want to start by visiting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and providing them with the necessary things they need and the ones that I can afford through the help of the government. I intend to go on courtesy visits, going to motherless babies homes, visiting hospitals, visiting bomb blast victims and donating the little I have which may mean a lot to them.
What is your opinion on the education of the girl child?
Girl child education is very important because there is a saying that when you train a girl, you train a whole nation. Education of the female child is very important and should taken seriously in this country.
What are your aims and aspirations?
I want to be a champion of girl child education, reach out to people in the rural areas who ordinarily would not have access to the basic necessities of life and I need to draw the attention of the government and other policy makers to the existence of these people. I want to campaign for these people in the rural areas especially the girls who have not been to school and take them off the streets and give them scholarships so that they can add value to their lives.
Your tenure ends next year, what do you hope to have achieved before you leave office?
I want to have achieved a one Nigeria. A Nigeria where there would be no tribalism and where we see ourselves as one- the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba- come together as one. When we are united, we can move this country to greater heights. A Nigeria where we would love one another and there would be peace. I also want to help people who don’t have anybody there for them in my own little.
I want to be known as a humble queen, who is very down earth. A queen that can actually mingle with any calibre of people whether rich or poor, that is how I actually want people to see me.
Do you hope to contest in any other beauty pageant anytime in the future?
Yes, I want to contest for the Face of Globe next year in Canada. By winning this Miss Independence contest, I will have to represent Nigeria in the Face of the Globe Beauty Pageant next year in Canada.
What are your likes and dislikes?
I don’t like proud people, I really hate proud people with dislike. That is my number on dislike. But I love hardworking people who are down to earth. I love girls who are actually trying to be successful in this life without sleeping around with men. I love girls that are trying to add value to their life by going to school, and doing businesses and trying to change this nation and not just depending on men. I love girls that are “go-getters”, they know what they want in life and they go for it.
How do you relax and spend your leisure time?
I’m a movie person. I go to cinemas a lot because I love movies. I also love to sing and cook, that is how I relax.
What is it that you are doing or want to do that may not be known to the public?
I actually want to launch a pet project and I want people to come and support me. This project is about helping people, taking the girls off the streets, going to rural areas, visiting people in the hospitals and paying their bills no matter how little it is.
What advice would like to give other young people who may want to tow your line?
I want them to be focused, because it was not today that I started. I started way back in school. I’ve gone for four beauty pageants and I’m lucky to be crowned today. I didn’t come out from now where to be crowned. I’ve been there, I’ve struggling, working hard and praying to God and I believe that God has finally answered my prayers. I don’t just want to stop here. I want to be an international model. I want to go for beauty pageants in various country and I want to tell every young person there that they can make it. They shouldn’t depend on anyone because if I had depended on somebody to sponsor me, I would have made it. I took the bull by the horn, I did everything by myself and believed that I can make it.
I came out and prayed to God and he heard. They shouldn’t give up rather keep trying and one day, they will make it.
Are your parents in support of your participation in this competition?
Yes they are in support. In fact, my mother even saw my dinner gown before the pageant and she said that I’m already winning. She gave me her blessings. My parents are very full in support of this.
What have been the challenges?
My first project would be how to raise money and start my pet project but I believe that concerned Nigerians will help me raise the money to start up this project.