The Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria Group (MBDGN), in conjunction with Empathy Driven International Initiative (EDWIIN), an NGO that focuses on protecting and defending the physically challenged in Nigeria, has concluded arrangements to hold the first-ever beauty pageant for the deaf in the country.
According to the organisers, 15 beautiful, intelligent, smart and super-courageous deaf ladies from across the country will be on a national stage to showcase “beauty in silence”, as they compete for a crown that has not been donned before in Nigeria.
The event will take place today Friday, November 1 at Dupe Adeyinka Oni’s led Standard Bearers School, Lekki, Lagos and it promises to host over 2,000 guests.
In the build-up to the main event, the contestants have been on road trips, visiting some of the most interesting and historic places in Nigeria. They recently paid a visit to Nike Art Gallery, where they had the opportunity to chat with the ‘Queen of Art in Africa’, Nike Okundaye, who embraced the girls in her loving arms and treated them like real queens. The contestants also paid a visit to the deaf children’s school and shared memorable moments with the students who were also inspired by the strong will of the contestants.
The convener, EDWIIN and principal partner, MBDGN 2019, Mrs. Uri Ngozichukwuka, revealed that beyond the beauty pageant, the public needs to know that “all over the world, we are talking about inclusion. We are talking about an inclusive society; although, they live in a silent world, this pageant is going to throw a lot of things to light.
“The violence that a woman living with disability goes through, the neglect and exclusion that a girl with hearing or speech impairment experiences. All through this pageant, their beauty, their intelligence, and their talents will be showcased.”
On her part, the CEO, MBDGN, Tolulope Oko-Igaire, said, “It has been 19 years since the Miss Deaf World Beauty Pageant began in the Czech Republic and Nigeria poised to be a part of this for the very first time. This has been in the pipeline since 2011, and in 2012, we brought Miss Deaf International to Nigeria. This is a dream come through, as we are partnering with EDWIIN. MBDGN is about making sure that the most neglected set of people in this part of this world are heard.”
Being a beauty queen of the Caribbeans in 1971, veteran actress, Teni Aofiyebi, who is also one of the selected judges and mother of the day, expressed her excitement and urged government and corporate organizations to continue to show love and support to the initiative.
The CEO, Golden Heights Travel and Tours, Mrs. Gbemileke Olaleru, has assured the winner of a travel ticket to Dubai. Contestants will also have the opportunity of receiving vocational trainings, and will equally be empowered to become IT and tech-savvy via a vocational center for the deaf, to be championed by the Queen.
Aside these, the winner of the pageant will represent Nigeria at the 2020 Miss Deaf World Beauty Pageant in the Czech Republic, while the first runner-up will be representing Nigeria at the Miss Deaf International in the USA in 2020. The runner-up will also represent Nigeria at the Miss Deaf Africa in 2020.