Exclusive: ‘As I was crowned as Miss Tourism Ogun I actually thought I was crowned as Miss Nigeria’ – Queen Nwankwo Gift
Her eminence queen Nwankwo Chinyere Gift, the new Miss tourism Ogun 2016 in very emotional interview with Judith Hanrankis talked about her growing up, camp experiences and future plans, Enjoy
What can you tell us about you?
I am Nwankwo Chinyere Gift ,22 yrs old . I am a graduate of Botany, Olabisi Onabanjo university in Ogun state.
I am someone who live my life in the most simple and honest ways. I am confident in my ability to produce, and while I prepare for the worst, I do the work necessary to tilt the odds so that the best will happen. I am the type of person who meets challenges head-on rather than sweeping them under the rug and hoping they go away. While I’m an optimistic person, I am someone who loves children and hope one day I will have my charity foundation so I will be able to take cares of needs.
I’m also a lover of tourism and always desired every parts of Nigeria be a site for tourist attractions.
My hobbies are cooking,acting and travelling. As a patriotic Nigerian, I always believe in transparency, equity, fairness and a united Nigeria.
What was your growing up like?
(Sigh) I’m an igbo girl from Anambra state, Nnaka precisely. We are 5 in my family 2 girls and 3 boys . I was born at Kano State, I started my primary education there. To be frank living in Kano is a bit hard due to the weather compare to where I am right now, the sun is hard, you can count the number of times it rain to mention few, trust me Hausa’s are very lively to be with apart from there crisis because things over there are affordable and they are accommodating. All of a sudden my Mum had a terrible dream concerning everyday crisis, is a thing you can just wake up one day and find them fighting, bombing, killing strangers etc… so my mum was scared and she begged my dad for us to relocate and we did by moving to Akure in Ondo State, my dad lives with us for a short period of a time before he moved to Benin City in Edo State for business reasons. I’m kind of girl who devote her time in what she knows how to do best e.g acting, playing football, modelling, I remember the day I came back home late from inter school football competition and my mum didn’t even bother to hear my side story she flogged me without looking back. I also remember the day i stole MEAT (lol) and one of our house maid caught me and she went straight ahead to tell my mum I quickly threw it away when I heard her reporting to her she could have beating me blue and black, should I talk about the day my mum flogged me and my sister thinking we where the one that stole plantain she kept not knowing it was my little brother,my mum is a very discipline woman who doesn’t take trash.
Do you ever see yourself as a beauty queen?
As a young girl growing up, I was always seeing myself as a queen. When I was growing up, I kept on looking up to people like Agbani darego and Regina Askia, even Colette Nwadike everything about her makes me happy and kept me going after hearing her history. I saw how beautiful and elegant they were. I was like, ‘I want to be like these people someday’. This is a dream I’ve had for a long time. And it’s like I’m living my dream now.
How did you become interested in pageants?
Pageants is what I have passion for from day one.
What is the relevance of a beauty pageant in the society?
I think that today, beauty pageants are looked at all over the world. As a little girl, I would look at the pageant girls and wish to be them. Now days, society holds girls’ appearances to such a high standard. When girls look at these pageant queens who have the flawless bodies, they turn to extreme dieting and unhealthy diet pills that are terrible for your bodies. Society can no longer accept girls for what they look like. God made us all unique and the body shaming takes a toll on women in today’s society.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with pageants. There are very few kids I have met through pageantry that do not enjoy them. Many even meet their best friends through it. If doing pageants gives people confidence and makes them happy with themselves, who are others to judge it?
Why did you join this pageant?
Pageant is what I have passion for right from my secondary school days because I derive joy and happiness in it and also I join pageant so as to build my SELF CONFIDENCE because you will never catch me talking in front of large crowds. To LEARN, I never saw a pageantry as a competition, I always looked at it as a learning experience. To make FRIENDSHIPS/FAMILY. For OPPORTUNITIES, its opens door to modelling, acting, performing, and much more. For COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT and finally the CROWN, the title itself, something my successor once told me is that “you define the crown , the crown does not define you” meaning, you make the crown, so do something good, amazing, and make difference.
Who is the most influential people in your life?
The most influential person in my life is my wonderful mother because she has always been there for me come rain come shine. I love my mom.
If you have to change something in your life from the past, what will you change and why?
I won’t change anything because I love my life, am beautiful and am wonderfully made.
If God grant you one wish, what will you wish for?
For my dad to come back to life. May his soul rest in peace.
How was camping like? Do you have any close friend at the camp?
Camp was not easy but was also fun. I learnt a lot from the in-house instructors and organizers on the journey to be a queen. All the ladies were beautiful and fun to be with, so it will be difficult for me to select one person but I will say I talked more with my room-mates because we are always in the room together.
Did any of your room-mates emerged as runner up?
None of them was emerge as any of the runner ups.
What was your edge over the rest contestants?
To be realistic, there were other beautiful, elegance, smart girls. At first I was so scared but I kept my positive mindset and God is also a factor in it. But I return all the glory to him.
What can be your greatest contribution to the tourism part of Ogun state?
My contribution is to revive the tourist centre in Ogun state and also in Nigeria at large.
How will you describe your own personality?
I am a very happy and compassionate person. I enjoy sharing things and talking to people about a variety of things. I have a quick wit and love to laugh about everything under the sun. I can be quiet at first, but once you get to know me, I don’t shut up. I am fun loving, but serious when necessary. I have a logical mind but understand and feel emotions as well.
What is your philosophy of life?
What goes around comes around and it not over until you believe it’s over.
After you emerged as the winner, has anything change about you as a queen?
From the beginning am this fashion person but with my position now have been more conscious about my dressing. This experience has also made me think properly about the decision I make, where I go to and what I do. I think I’m a more responsible person because I have a brand and image to uphold.
How do you convinced the judges and the audience that you deserve the crown?
We asked the judges the touchstone they were looking out for and it became clear that they were looking for not just a beautiful face but also someone who is intelligent, someone who can represent the brand. And I fit into all these.
Who is a beauty queen?
A beauty queen is a beautiful woman or lady who is a winner of a beauty contest and not just beautiful in the outside but also talented and intelligent.
If you did not emerged, will you still try another chance?
If i wasn’t emerged, normally it painful but that is not the end of the world because in any competition there is always a winner and a looser it doesn’t end there I will move forward and work harder to achieve my dreams.
What are the sacrifices you made for this contest?
The sacrifices I have made for this pageant are time, effort and good sleep. However, it is worth it. Colourful experience and unforgettable memories, confidence and self-esteem I have gain and friends that I have met are more that the worth of the sacrifices I have invested.
Do u wish to contest on national level like miss Nigeria/ MBGN?
Oh yes that has been my dream. smile…as I was crowned as Miss Tourism Ogun my mind changed immediately and I actually thought I was crowed as Miss Nigeria/ MBGN,(lol) I will be more happier to contest in any National level if at all I won’t win but I am very sure that I will win because I am pretty, beautiful, Intelligent and talented.
Any words for those young ladies that look up to you?
My word for the young ones that are looking up to me is to have confidence in themselves and put there best in all they do and never to look down on themselves and they should also enjoy what they know how to do best because there is always a pay back time GOOD or BAD. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, trust yourself and you will do better than them.