By Sam Otti
Miss Ezeh Ifeyinwa Emmanuella shot herself into limelight as she crossed the line to win the Queen of Anambra State recently. But she has set her eyes on a higher throne. In this interview, the 24-year-old Enugu State indigene said she wants to be the first female governor of her state. She also spoke on her future roles as a beauty queen.
Tell us briefly about yourself
I am from Enugu State. I did my secondary school in Mira-Rio, Lisbon, Portugal. I returned to Nigeria in 2009. And I just graduated from University of Nigeria Nsukka, where I studied Microbiology. I hope to be a very successful writer and probably the first female governor of my state.
How did you know about the Queen of Anambra beauty pageant and what motivated you to contest for the crown?
I saw an advert of the pageant online and I decided to give it a try.
What were the step-by-step processes involved in the competition and how were you able to sail through the stages?
It wasn’t an easy competition. We were evaluated based on many criteria, both the ones we were not aware of. The judges assessed our ability to carry out the various tasks assigned to us, our intelligence both academically and otherwise. Your carriage as a young girl, your proposed pet project if one should emerge as queen and many more.
As a new entrant into beauty contest, were you at some point intimidated by the number of contestants?
I never felt intimidated because I knew who I was and what I was there for. A pageant is hardly based on just physical appearance because at the end everyone there is physically beautiful. It takes far more than that. Intelligence matters a lot, how well you comport yourself, how well you carry out the various tasks assigned to you, how you relate with your fellow contestants, and other qualities.
People accuse beauty queens of sleeping with the judges? Did you suffer any sexual harassment during the competition?
If I had encountered any such harassment I would have withdrawn from the pageant because I have my standards. Besides, Jolenzik Events House, the organisers of the pageant are known for their genuineness and transparency. Now, when people go for such competition and they don’t win, they tend to say a lot of things. It is left for you to believe what you wish.
What was your immediate reaction when you were announced the winner of the competition? What prize did you take home as the winner?
I was shocked and excited at the same time. I was given a brand new car, contracts and many other deals.
The crown brings enormous expectations. What has changed in you since you won?
I can say that since I won the competition, I have grown enormously. Knowing that I now stand as a role model to many young girls out there and that great things are expected of me, I can say that I have become a better person.
Did your parents approve your participation in the pageant knowing that some beauty contests involve contestants dressing in bum shorts or cat walking in under wears?
Queen of Anambra pageant did not include indecent dressing or parading in under wears. Rather, it is a pageant that promotes decency in young girls, and my parents were fully aware of that fact. So, my participation was never a problem to them.
With cash and a new car, your status has changed; how would you manage your fame?
Funny, well… I am still my normal self, though I am ready to face any challenge that would come with my current status.
What is your plan for marriage? Are you in any relationship?
First things first, I am focused on building my career for now.
How would you handle advances from men, especially now that you have become a public figure?
As a young girl, whether public figure or not, such incidents are expected, how one responds to them is what matters. There is always a matured way to deal with such issues.