Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Exclusive: “We Don’t Know The Grand Price” - Mrs Faith Ifeoma Ogaga Representing Nigeria At Mrs Universe Pageant 2017 Reveals

Mrs Nigeria Universe 2017 Queen, Mrs Faith Ifeoma Ogaga arrived Riverside Hotel in Durban, South Africa venue for the Mrs Universe 2017 World pageant. Mrs Universe is a world-renowned married women pageant, it’s a ‘Non-BIkini’ pageant that selects the most beautiful woman who is role models to the marriage institution and has affected lives in their society and the Theme is " ONE VOICE" SAY NO TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN.

This is exclusive interview with Mrs Nigeria Universe Queen, Faith Ogaga who has been married for over 11 years now with two kids of age 10 and 9, is representing Nigeria at the Mrs Universe 2017. Read the full interview below:

LUB: have you always nursed the idea of being a beauty queen?

MNU: It has always been a passion of mine, right from secondary school and university level. I have been modeling, doing the usual catwalk shows, miss UNN and other beauty pageants. After I got married, I did one or two jobs for actor Richard more Damijo, I also tried setting up an event company called Omaricha concept, but marital challenges didn’t really give me enough time space and all that. But now that the kids are grown, 10 and 9 years old I can now really live my dreams. 

LUB: How did you know about the Mrs Universe Beauty pageant?

I was always on the Internet looking for pageants, looking for a platform to showcase myself, but I couldn’t get any because I am now married and all the pageants were for single ladies. So I was just browsing online looking for pageants for married women and Google just took me to one page and from there someone connected me to someone and before I knew it, the national director for universe in Nigeria, Mrs Sarah Anogwi contacted me and I am here today.

LUB: What are the challenges you face so far?

Unfortunately it is financial. Even my coming here I had to pay for my flight ticket and everything I am doing here on my own. The person that have the franchise for Mrs Universe in Nigeria, Mrs Sarah Anogwi, co run by her husband Mr Benedict, paid the participation fees and some other things and have been trying to reach out to people, organizations for help. We have written proposals to different organizations with no support. Even with the cloths, we are still having challenges, because this is a world event, there are particular kinds to costumes we wear, and I don’t have them. I am trying to be creative about it, but we are down financially. However, I am happy that I am just here. 

LUB: Where there challenges in getting the visa to South Africa?

That was the challenge that broke the camel’s back. For me as the beauty queen, traveling was part of the package, and I was supposed to come with 3 people, the national coordinator, makeup artist, and the costumier. After submitting the passport, we were all denied visa, even me that is the queen. However, the South African ambassador to Nigeria helped us to get my visa the day I was traveling. I was at the airport the day I was to travel with no visa, it was that morning that I got the visa to travel and my passport was given to me at the airport. Even with all the documentation and letter from Mrs universe organizers, the South African embassy refused us visa, and we don’t know why. 

LUB: Some beauty queen don’t get what they are promised, how do you intend to handle this, if it happens to you?

Unfortunately, there is no strategy to prevent that, we are only holding on to believing that they will treat us well, even up till now, we don’t really know the grand price. Right from day one, when I was picked to represent Nigeria, I asked the question several times with no answer, but I didn’t want to sound like I am all about the money, but I kept asking because how can you be competing without knowing what the grand price is. Funny enough, I have asked other contestants, here and they don’t know. My room mate told me she doesn’t think there is a particular cash price, and nobody is sure if there will be international modeling agency coming, because you know, we are married women, so the competition is not as prestigious as it should be. But I am only relying on the platform to build my brand. 

LUB: what will be your first project as soon as you win?

I have always thought about women and children, maybe because I am a mother, especially abandoned kids that come from women that were also abandoned. So I am thinking of train a woman, train a child. I know there are other NGOs but we can never do enough, it can never be enough. And remember, when you train a woman you are training a child, you are training a community, and I pray that the Nigerian community and the companies that run corporate social responsibilities will be able to partner with us. The Mrs universe is a very big platform and the aim of this event for this year is “Say No to violence against women and children”. I will also be using this opportunity to help them with entrepreneur skills, because it is not about giving these women money, there are also other things we can do for them, like get people in the industry that are into fashion, carpentry, something to give them handwork because not everybody can go to school to get education, not everybody can end up as a banker, or medical doctor. 

LUB: so having seen other contestants, what do you think gives you an edge over them?

I am a very positive person, I pay close attention to details, and I believe that I can achieve anything. I know what I want and I go for it. There are many challenges, but I will not give up. The more I fall, the more I stand up, and I have confidence in myself, because I know that there is more to come.”

Mrs Nigeria Universe Queen is asking Nigerians to continue to pray for her to be able to win the world crown for Nigeria and equally ask Nigeria community in South Africa especially those in Durban to come out and show her love in the 7 days program of activities in Riverside Hotel, Durban.

The pageant has 88 beautiful women representing different countries and continent lodged at the Riverside Hotel and everyday they are judged by their appearance, attitude and other qualities before the crowning event on the 2nd of September. They will be visiting different places and showing their rich cultural heritage.

Some of the events include tourist site visitation, orphanages, presentation by each contestant on Violence against women and children’s, Country Cultural display, a March for Violene against women and children and other activities lined up.

Support the Queen by liking, sharing and following: Facebook @mrsnigeriauniverse Instagram @mrsnigeriauniverse, twitter @mrsniguniverse

Photo Credit: Geff Ekene Aniagu

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