Nneke Somto is the face of CandyCity pageant 2016, a beauty contest she won recently. The Microbiology graduate of Madonna University has hit the ground running advocating for victims domestic abuse which are largely women. The beauty spoke to SAMUEL ABULUDE on her experience and aspiration among other issues.
How do you feel winning the beauty contest?
I felt so overwhelmed and excited. I thank God for crowning my efforts. It was not easy being the overall winner. I also want to thank the organisers for giving me the priviledge to be the face of Candy City Pageant.
Have you been involved in any beauty contest before?
Yes I have back in university (Madonna University). I took part in the face of microbiology and I won.
Considering that you were voted for, how did u get the votes required?
I did a lot of tagging, requested my social network friends and my family to like my picture and tag friends too.
At the grand finale did you ever think you will win?
No! To be honest, I never thought of that. So many beautiful contestants but the only thing that kept me going was God’s grace and I was focussed.
How do you intend to project the image?
Well, I intend supporting other girls who have passion in modeling and beauty contest, be at their back and also reach out to the homeless, make awareness for cancer and hunger in Nigeria.
What do you think is unique about the pageant?
The uniqueness of this pageant is the code of conduct which was done with fairness and unprejudiced; everyone had to work to get their votes which gave every contestant an even playing ground. No room for bribery or any scandal.
What do you do presently and how will you combine it with your work?
Well, presently I work in the oil and gas service in accounting and I’m grateful to God for that, I’m in a company that understands that the nature of my career interest and are very accommodating in giving me off time to pursue my dream. Combining both has been possible by virtue of my boss who is very understanding.
Since you won, what were you doing before that you were not able to do?
Traveling… I travel a lot. Appreciated my freedom and privacy but now as the face of Candy City, there are expectations from me and things they don’t expect me to do like any other girl down the street.
So who is Nneke Somto?
I came from a family of five. The important thing in my life is religious beliefs, moral values and respect for my elders. I believe in success through hard work and dedication and my motto in life is “if you want something, work hard, pray and you will achieve it”. I am a very simple person and I love humor.
How often do you get love advances from men daily or weekly?
I will leave this out as it is confidential for me.
Beyond your beauty what can you do?
I presently work in the oil and gas sector in the accounting department which is also other skills I possess.
As the Face of CandyCity Nigeria, is there any project you working on?
Yes I’m working on my pet project tagged Red Bande Signifie, a campaign on domestic violence against women. Domestic violence is an everyday occurrence and a major concern in the society, however, a situation that is mostly overlooked by the perpetrators of this crime, even the victims sometimes overlook it as a result of lack of societal cognizance of this criminal act, but they silently suffer mentally, emotional, physically and psychologically, the majority of the victims being women.
Domestic violence comes in different forms, these include: physical abuse, sexual abuse/exploitation including but not limited to rape; incest and sexual assault; harassment; emotional, verbal and psychological abuse; intimidation; economic abuse and exploitation; damage to property; deprivation and other related abuses.
The consequences of this unjust act tends to have a long time negative effects on the victim, if not quickly addressed from having inferior complex, low energy attitude disposition at work, low self-esteem. These in totality will affect the victim’s human quality in value evaluation, in terms of her work endeavours, education, and motherly roles and as a member of the society. We are targeting different states in Nigeria.
What effect do you think this will have on them?
It will definitely have a positive effect. Public awareness campaigns on domestic violence can educate community members about the prevalence of abuse, it will encourage people to take action to end abuse, and alert survivors to the options and resources that are available to them. November marks world international day for the elimination of violence against women awareness Month. It’s a chance for everyone in the movement – victims, survivors, advocates, law enforcement, supporters and politicians to unite in our work to end abuse. Working to end domestic violence is a daunting task. There are times where it seems like we’re trying to achieve the impossible. How can we successfully empower everyone to have a healthy relationship? While our task can feel overwhelming at times, we keep going. That’s because we recognize the power that each one of us has in making a different for someone. At the hotline, every call is a chance for healing and change. I’ve developed a special challenges inform of a contest. This contest will help create more online awareness. The winner of this online contest will receive a cash price from me as i embark on my journey to end domestic violence.
What are your dreams for the future?
I aspire to be miss world and to have a family of my own. I also want to advocate for victims of domestic abuse.
Give me a brief background of your growing up and family?
My parents are still alive, I’m done with school. I should be in camp for my NYSC in October by God’s grace. My mum is soft but my dad is strict. Curfew time was set for 6pm to be at home. Really, growing up was so lovely and with discipline as my parents are knights in the Catholic Church and didn’t spare the rod when there was need for it.