Participants at this year’s audition
South-East media entrepreneur, Fidelis Anosike organized the event via Daily Times Newspapers owned by his Folio Communications. Prominent sponsors of this historic event were equally well known, ranging from GAC Motors, Wazobia FM (live broadcasters of the proceedings), Heritage Bank, Lasena Waters, Yudala, NAPTIP, Cinitron, Studio 24, FIRS, etc.
No account of any social event in Nigeria can be complete without the usual delays that mar otherwise unassailable world class programming. And so, the red carpet didn’t appear until about 9:00 p.m., with many VIPs still straggling in at 9:30 p.m. for an event scheduled to commence at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Anosike, chairman of Folio Communications blew his tops and didn’t hide his disgust when he spoke later at the event.
Fidelis Anosike, chairman of Folio Communications, owners of Daily Times newspapers
Heritage Bank, one of the major sponsors was staunchly represented by many of its directors, like Jude Monye, the acting MD, Adaeze Udensi an ED, as well as the Chairman.As usual, Nigerian politicians, particularly those who wear public disgrace and indictment as a badge of honor, did not pass up the opportunity to bask in the glitz. The guest list in this category included former Governors Aremo Olusegun Osoba of Ogun State and James Onanefe Ibori of Delta State. Mr. Anosike probably didn’t include in his tongue-lashing Chief Ibori and his gorgeous wife who both actually strolled in very early at 8:00 p.m., having left the Party of the Decade still on-going at Orji Uzor Kali’s Daughter’s white wedding.
Other celebrities that graced the occasion included NFF Chairman Amaju Pinnick, billionaire businessman Musa Danjuma, Erelu Kuti, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, a judge of the pageant.
Who could have missed Terry Wayas, Linda Ikeji, Freda Francis, hugely pregnant Akunna Nwala of Kuku’s Hair who got lots of admiration for her nicely shaped tummy, and former MD of the now defunct Bond Bank, John Darlington. Hilda Dokubo came in all black and showed off her assets with aplomb typical of her in-your-face persona. Prisca Ndu, a much slimmer Destiny Amaka, and Chike Chikeluba were among the prominent South-East glitterati attending, just as Linus Idahosa, former best model of the world, Bunmi Ademokoya, Joan Okorodudu and many others filled the banquet hall.
Mayorkun was fully in charge of entertainment, whipping up delightful excitement with three of his hits, while the roof practically came down with the out-of-this-world performance by Nigeria’s King of Pop, 2baba. Bovi, one the day’s hosts, was again hilarious with his “wicked” jokes that cracked too many ribs for a count, while much sought-after and well-remunerated Ebuka Obi Uchendu, the other host, was resplendent and handsome as he partnered with Lala Akindoju. Of course, the account won’t be complete without mention of the exquisitely beautiful and sexy wardrobe that Olive (Bovi’s host-partner) changed into several times during the pageant that certainly made her the first runner-up for eye-popping dressing after the one and only Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde.
Some of the semi-finalists for 2017 Miss Nigeria beauty show displaying the diversity of Nigerian culture
One of the notable announcements at the pageant was that Miss Nigeria 2013, the dazzling Ezinne Akudo Anyaoha had been appointed the new Creative Director of the Miss Nigeria Organisation for the next 5 years. Ms. Anyaoha will handle all the affairs of the brand, an assignment from which she is widely expected to take the pageant to the next level.
Another highlight was the ₦4.1 million donation shared by the 41 contestants that participated, each going home with at least ₦100,000.
For some of the contestants that did not win, the pageant may have opened new vistas of opportunity for self-empowerment. For example, Miss Ekiti, Damilola Rebecca Bolarinde was the winner of a modelling contract with Isis Model Management Africa. As the “Top Model Miss Nigeria” that came with the contract award, she took home a bag of presents from the agency, a 2 year contract, and a Camera from Canon. Not to be forgotten is the very epitome of “B & B” (brain and beauty), Miss Cross Rivers, Ana Victoria Lawrence who won the competition to be declared “Miss Emerald” at the event.