Queen Hope Onwueyiagba is an undergraduate from Imo State University studying Library and information science. The model cum beauty queen who just won Miss Pearl Pageant, a pageantry responsible for caring for the needy and IDPs , in this interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM says her passion for IDPs led her into contest.
What led you to go into pageantry?
I was motivated into pageantry because I want to help those who are needy, much especially those IDPS. I thought like, if I will be crowned queen, I would use that crown to help many lives as much as possible. That was my main reason of going into it and luckily for me, I won.
Have you ever contested in any pageantry before?
No, this is my first time. But I have been a professional model prior to now. I have modeled on the runway for various designers in high profile shows.
What were the challenges you encountered in the camp?
Everything was fun. The only challenge was waking up in the morning every day to do exercise when you are supposed to be enjoying your sleep.
There is a notion that most of these pageant organisers always want to get something, I mean sleep with contestants before they achieve fame. Did you experience anything like that in the camp?
No! Nothing like that came my way. Initially I heard stories that when you get to camp, most of them will come to you demanding, but I did not experience such. I never even met the CEO throughout my stay in the camp till the very day I was crowned queen. Nobody came to me to tell me that I want to sleep with you before you become queen.
Now that you have won the crown, what are your plans?
It’s a privilege to be a Queen and representing the brand. I have two things in mind, first, to do my best so I can to meet the needs of the IDPS. I therefore, need some dignitaries to help so that their needs are looked into. If you go to Kuchingoro IDP camp, you will see that most of them are suffering there. My second priority is the orphans, because I’m an orphan, I know what it is like growing up without a parent support. I want to help some of those in desperate need to reduce their pains and suffering.
Are there any other programmes you have on ground aside the IDP?
For now, that is the only programme I have in mind. I want to start with the IDPS and the Orphans because I have seen their suffering. The reason I have not start supplying items to them is because the little money I have now is not enough, that’s why I want to meet one on one with some personalities to channel my challenges to see how they can help me resolve issues.
In Nigeria today, especially in Abuja here, we have different pageant shows. What significant effect would yours add to the society?
As the crown Queen, I’m different because this crown is on merit. I was not told I’m going to be crowned or see somebody before giving the crown. For them to have thought of the less privileged, side from other things, thinking of the IDPS, is one of the things that marvels me. They are also realistic, not that kind of pageant that just say things without doing.
Are you saying that the idea of Miss Pearl is to take care of IDPS?
Yes. They are just into helping the IDPS.
Do you have message to young ladies like you who will be willing to contest for such shows?
I urge them to go into it if they love it and try to find out what it is all about. You don’t just go into it and you want to sell yourself. Many at times, it is not the organisers fault but the contestant. Because most of them start trying to meet the coordinators, that is indirectly selling yourself. If you want to do something, you have to be genuine about it. Even though you fail, you still have opportunity to try next time.
If you were not into pageantry, what would you have been doing?
I love modelling. I was a model prior to when I contested for Miss Pearl. I’m still a professional model. It is because of the passion I have for the less privileged , I decided to try my lunch as a pageant. And I promise I won’t miss use it.