Mary Obadofin, now Queen Mary, is a staff of Leadership Newspapers. She won the Miss Indigenous Africa beauty pageant recently and in this interview with Margaret Coffie, she tell us more about the pageant.
What was the contest about?
The beauty contest as the name goes, has to do with promoting made in Nigeria goods, culture, arts and crafts, food and fashion.
Who are the organisers?
The pageant was organised by an NGO, Clint Fashion Entertainment. The CEO of the organisation is Clinton Jackson.
Briefly, take us through the stages of the pageant.
I got my form and registered here in Abuja, about 27 contestants registered in Abuja. I won the contest in Abuja so that I was made to represent FCT at the national level. Many states participated. There were contestants from Lagos, Edo, Kogi, Benue and other northern states like Kano.
What was the criteria for selection for the contest?
Usually, it has to do with height, intellect, charisma and how well you interact with people.
Now that you’ve been crowned Miss Indigenous Africa, what do you hope to do and what is your pet project?
I’ve always had this zeal to work with little girls, teenage girls who get pregnant knowingly or unknowingly. I also love to nurture and encourage younger ones in my initiative exhibition contest that is coming up soon.
What inspired your interest in young minds?
I have always wanted to promote our culture through the young people so that our culture can be reserved and also help curb the menace of young teenage pregnancy and how to manage it. Even if it cannot be stopped at once, I believe that with sensitisation and organised seminars to teach them to be disciplined and avoid sex, as well as encouraging them to focus on studies and learn to do something beautiful with their hands, the menace can be curbed.
What is fashion and style to you?
I am a fashionable and stylish person. I love to look complimentary and showcase my style. The way they say it, ‘looking good is good business.’ If you don’t look good, you don’t get good business and when you look good, you feel good about yourself. Nigerian fashion is the best; beginning with our Agbada. Then there’s the south-south attires and Ankara fabrics that can be sewn into ant style you can think of. That why we want to sell it out to other countries.
Did you wear Ankara during the pageant?
Yes. In fact, all our dresses were made of Ankara and it was a colourful event.
As Miss Indigenous Africa, what is your favorite tourist location?
My favorite tourist location is Tinapa in Calabar, where you appreciate how beautiful our land is.
What do you do in your spare time?
I use my leisure time to discover new things and go out with friends to share ideas and have fun.
What kind of music do you listen to and why?
I can’t really say I have a type of music but I love good music that can speak to my soul, motivate and inspire me.
What is your favorite meal?
I’m an indigenous queen. I eat and I love moi-moi, amala and ewedu soup, banga soup and pounded yam, they are my favorite.
What is your advice to youths and others coming out for pageants like this?
Believe in God and yourself and pursue your dreams, never give up, you will surely make it.
Tell us about your family
I am from Edo State but I represented FCT, Abuja in the beauty contest. I have four brothers and one sister.
Where do you want to be in the very near future and doing what?
I would like to add value to my country and to achieve that, staying in one place will not help me. So I want to go round the globe and have my own fashion line/house.
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