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Focus On Miss Nigeria And MBGN Pageants’ Dichtomy

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Beauty they say is in the eyes of the beholder, The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines beauty as “the quality of being pleasing to the senses or mind”. It went further to define beauty contest as “a competition to choose the most beautiful from a group of women, while beauty is a competition for young women in which their beauty,personal qualities and skills are judged”.
In Nigeria the two major beauty pageants are the Miss Nigeria and the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN).Both contests claim to represent” the true Nigerian Womanhood”.Yet craft separate models of idealised feminity present different nationalist agenda. These differences stem from two distinct representations of gendered national identities.
The first pageant, Miss Nigeria brands itself as a Nigerian based pageant centred on a cultural nationalist ideal which is focused in vitalising and appreciating Nigerian culture to unify the nation.It is an annual event which showcases positive attributes of Nigerian women and awards university scholarships to winners who portray examplary qualities and serves as role models for young women in the country with its motto:Empowering Women beyond beauty”.The pageant discourages the wearing of swim suites and Bikini which exposes the body of contestants in order to uphold the dignity of the African woman.
In contrast, the second national pageant,the Most Beautiful Girls in Nigeria (MBGN) utilizes ‘International Standard’ to elect and send contestants to miss world and miss universe, the top pageants in the world and promotes a cosmopolitan nationalist ideal which remains concentrated in propelling and integrating Nigeria into the International arena.
The pageant organizers encourages contestants to wear swim suites and Bikinis. The bikini remains a fraught embodied symbol and aesthetic practice. Pageant affiliates, critics and fans alike strongly debate the question of whether to include bikinis in these events,but ethnographic observations of the two Nigerian national beauty contests show how various stakeholders used personal,domestic and international frames about women’s bodies and the bikini in particular to bolster respectability, women’s figurative and literal bodies were used to strategically situated propriety,social acceptance and reputability for the self and the nation.
Historically,the Miss Nigeria Pageant started in 1957 as a photo contest.Contestants posted photograph of themselves to Daily Times headquarters in Lagos where finalists were shortlisted. Those successful were invited to compete in the live final which at the time did not include a swimsuit competition and was held at the Lagos Island club.
United Africa Company (UAC)employee, Grace Oyelude won the maiden edition of Miss Nigeria and the £200(Twohundred pounds)prize money.Contrary to popular believe, Julie Coker was not the first Miss Nigeria, She was actually Miss Western Nigeria,but used the Miss Nigeria title during official engagements abroad.
It is on record that once upon a time Miss Nigeria was the official beauty pageant responsible for sending the Nigerian representatives to the Miss World Beauty Pageant. The sixties saw Miss Nigeria competing at international level, Yemi dowu who had won the contest in 1962 was a semi finalist at Miss United Nations 1963.
Her successor, Miss Edna Park was the first Nigerian at Miss Universe in 1964 and is best remembered for distrupting the show when she collapsed on stage after failing to reach the top fifteen. Park was carried away by policemen and contest officials and spent a night in a Miami hospital under sedation where she was consoled by the wife of Nigerian Ambassador, Nneka Onyegbula who reportedly stated, “All the judges are white and they aren’t really competent to judge a dark girls, beauty”. Since Park,no other Miss Nigeria has contested Miss Universe. Rosaline Balogun became the first official Miss Nigeria at Miss World in 1967. After that the contest was constantly plagued with corruption, low standard and not so smart ladies emerging as winners.critics had described the original Pageant as “ a parade of beauty without brains”.
With the gradual demise of Daily Times and rivalry with Silverbird’s MBGN, Miss Nigeria ceased to be the country’s most prominent pageant and began to lose its way,subsequently they lost their rights to send ladies to Miss World Beauty Pageant and Silverbird which started as Miss Universe Nigeria Pageant took over and rebranded to Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN).
Even though Daily Times lost out from sending pageants abroad, they still had the official name Miss Nigeria which was internationally recognised, MBGN was not recognised abroad, but they were more organised,more glamorous and more public. Ben Murray Bruce leveraging his international exposure and connections was able to deliver a Stellar Pageant contest at about the same time Daily Times was zinking.
In 2001 after Agbani Darego won the Miss World Beauty Pageant in Sun City South Africa,the reigning Miss Nigeria Amina Ekpo attempted to drag her to court,she alleged that Miss Darego “wrongly, falsely and fraudulently presented herself as Miss Nigeria” at the Miss World Pageant. A letter from Ekpo’s lawyers to Darego said, “at no time did she consent to nor authorize the use of that title by you or anyone else in this or any other manner. The case was latter settled out of court.
The current title holder of MBGN is Rivers State born public Health student, Nyekachi Douglas and is currently Africa’s Continental queen of beauty having reached the top five at Miss World .2019 marked the first time since 2001 an MBGN representative places at both Miss World and Miss Universe top 20.
Presently MBGN winner represents Nigeria in Miss World Pageant and MBGN runners up are not left out as the first runner up represents Nigeria at Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, second runner up represent the country in Miss Tourism Beauty contest,while the third runner up represent Nigeria at the Miss ECOWAS Beauty Pageant.
The difference between Miss Nigeria and Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) have been compared with Miss USA and Miss America. While MBGN delegates compete at international level,Miss Nigeria winners no longer have this privilege.
In 2010 Miss Nigeria was relaunched as a scholarship programme and its winners in recent years receive modelling contract as part of their prize. MBGN focuses mainly on physical beauty unlike Miss Nigeria which is expected to to promote inner beauty with a wholesome girl-next-door image as a result its swim suit competition was famously scrapped in 2010,but this feature remains popular at MBGN.
Due to the country’s conservative standards, Very few contestant competed in the early days of MBGN and competitors from Northern Nigeria are still rare as its predominantly Muslim population frown on beauty Pageants.
Today, the two national beauty pageants, Miss Nigeria and MBGN exist side by side with uneasy calm,but it is clear which has an upper hand. Miss Nigeria is at its best, an option for those who are testing the waters or were unsuccessful with their MBGN run. For instance Miss Nigeria 2018, Chidinma Aaron was formerly a contestant at MBGN 2017.

 

By: Jacob Obinna

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Big Brother Naija 2022 Kicks Off, July 23, 24

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On Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, the most watched Nigerian reality TV show, Big Brother Naija will kick off for a seventh edition. The show would get fascinated Nigerians talking again and produce the next coterie of superstars before they are put aside for another set of reality stars, then the cycle continues.
While the reality show has given former contestants the opportunity of a lifetime to see beautiful cities across the globe and travel beyond the shore of Nigeria, more-often-than-not, once the buzz dies, they are left to fend for themselves and rediscover their steps.
Should a prospective reality star go into the house without a proper plan for himself or herself once the show comes to a conclusion, they would be back to square one.
The pampering and fending in Big Brother’s House is only for two-three months, then the media team of the reality show takes care of their image and publicity for the next calendar year before they are allowed to dip their feet into the sea immediately after the reunion show of that season comes to a conclusion.
Once they are back to reality, they have to begin to struggle for endorsement deals, creating a more resourceful career path and becoming a person of value which was their initial aim and objective prior to heading into Big Brother’s House. However, they get lost in the excitement of being talked about for several weeks then fade away into obscurity.
It’s barely a year since WhiteMoney emerged winner of the 2021 Big Brother Naija Shine Ya Eyes edition, albeit, his music career is yet to take off. Life outside the ‘kitchen’ is a different reality, when the fans are no longer watching, it is onerous to carve a career for oneself.
Also, she has continued to remain relevant on social media due to her value. Should she be able to evolve, she would attain her utmost potential.
Meanwhile, housemates such as JayPaul, Arin, Tega Dominic, Beatrice, Adeniyi Lawai, to name a few have been unable to carve a niche for themselves. As a matter of fact, they fizzled out prior to the conclusion of the show. Moreover, they had no storylines during the recently concluded BBNaija Shine Ya Eyes show; collectively, the show was weak.
This is why you do not enter the Big Brother competition with a ‘dream’, most times, it ends up being a ‘pipe dream’. The winner of the 2020 BBNaija Lockdown edition, Laycon showed the world what he was made of with his content and strategy.
Nobody saw him coming, he delivered a gauntlet attack on Nigerians. Gave Nigerians and viewers across the globe a fascinating show on television, then his music projects did the magic outside of the house.
In 2020, you could not escape Laycon. He was everywhere and won the show by a fine margin. The prospective housemates should learn from him, going into the competition means you are building on a foundation you already designed for yourself, your team and most importantly, the brand
Alot of reality stars go into the competition with a ‘vague dream’, abstract to say the least, then they are surprised when nobody buys into their agenda or ploy.
What prospective housemates need to know?
On Saturday, July 23, Nigerians will be introduced to a new set of reality stars. The number of housemates is yet to be confirmed, however, by Sunday night viewers would become more familiar with the direction of the new sea

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Sensational Bamidele, Others Perform At Rivers United FC’s Reception In PH

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It was an exciting moment for players of Rivers United FC, as  the Rivers State Governor  Chief Nyesom Wike  announced $20, 000  largesse  and  two weeks trip to  Madrid to members of the team  at the , Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday.
This follows their(team’s)  victory as they emerged Champions of the 2022 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Champions and winning the Continental ticket for the  Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) competition.
The occasion witnessed  entertainment  by   Sensational   Bamidele and  the  Abara Cultural Group  of Bonny with their colourful performance.
Wike  who rewarded the players  during a grand  reception commended the team for their outstanding performance and commitment to  their chosen career.
According to him,  the trp to Madrid would further prepare the players for the task ahead, saying that winning the league is good but there is a bigger challenge ahead of them which they must double their efforts to achieve.
“ The  government is ready to give its full Support  and the necessary motivation to  enable them achieve  the  desired results when the chips are down,” he added.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Sports, Barr. Christopher Green had said that Rivers United has broken  records by winning the highest goal scorer award and best Coach of the season, saying that the victory is possible due to the support and motivation given to the team by  the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.

By: Nancy Briggs

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Kizz Daniel Makes History On Boomplay

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Nigerian Afrobeats maestro Kizz Daniel has made history on Boomplay by becoming the first artist to reach 300 million streams on the platform.
Kizz Daniel
This feat makes Kizz Daniel the most streamed artist on Africa’s leading music streaming platform. The announcement was made on Wednesday 13th July 2022 on Boomplay’s social media accounts.
This sensational feat is a testament to Kizz Daniel’s fame and acceptance across different demographics. It also captures the impressive increase in streaming culture in Nigeria which is a positive for stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry.
Kizz Daniel is enjoying a stellar 2022 with his collaboration with Tekno ‘Buga’ enjoying huge domestic and international success. The sensational singer is currently on a 10-city tour of the United States and fans have turned out impressively for his shows. And with talks of an album on the way, Kizz Daniel is likely to retain his crown as the king of Boomplay.

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