“When I found out I was Miss OUK I screamed till my voice went hoarse. When I saw my pictures on Instagram I was like ‘oh my God! Am I actually Miss OUK?’”
Recently, 18 year-old Abia State indigene and 200 Level student of University of Port Harcourt, Miss Favour Okereke was crowned Miss Uzor Orji Kalu Foundation (OUK) 2018, after emerging one of the Runners up at Pageant Entertainment Television’s Picture Perfect Pageant, an online beauty pageant powered by Smile Communications, Nigeria. In this chat with Entertainer, Okereke opens up on her joy at being crowned Miss OUK. She also spoke on her on growing up and her dreams.
Tell us about growing up and how many kids were you in the family?
We were five kids. I was child number three and second girl. I didn’t actually grow up with my biological parents but with my aunt and her husband. Although I always visited my family, I was closer to my aunt. Also, I stayed with my another aunt and uncle throughout my senior secondary school years and it was quite an eventful experience and it helped me grow into the woman I am today; I learnt a lot. And for those who feel my childhood wouldn’t have been complete, it was the best childhood ever; I had all the support, discipline and parenting any kid growing up could have.
Has it always been your dream to be a queen?
I would say yes but that was when I was much younger. Growing up I thought my life was already planned out so there wasn’t much time for any extras and as I grew older it just became a fading dream. So, when I saw the opportunity to be on Smile Communication’s Picture Pageant, I went for it and gave it my all and I’m glad I did that because it has taken me to a whole new level.
Where you born with a silver spoon?
Nope, far from it, especially when you have four other siblings. However, I had enough while growing up in terms of parenting, love care and whatever I desired and I was more than satisfied.
As Miss OUK 2018, what will be your pet project?
Wow! The OUKF project is mainly based on women empowerment and I think that will be my point
of concentration. I think today, society is dominated by males so I’ll try my best to help women develop their skills and intellect so our gender is not underestimated anymore. This platform has already given me a head start. Women are coworkers with God but they are often underrated so now I am going to use my platform to create awareness. Some people might call it feminism but I am only giving honour to whom it is due. Back in the day, women were suppressed and could not talk but today, the structure of society is changing and women are speaking up. Look at Oprah Winfrey and Angela Merkel, women are taking charge across the world and Nigerian women must be a part of this movement. Also, the OUK often visits IDP camps to support and improve lives, I’m looking forward to serving in that capacity too. Giving hope to the hopeless, and assisting disadvantaged persons is one thing I’m passionate about.
Who are your role models?
My role models are people who are top notch in their careers. I am talking about the likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Agbani Derego and Beyonce. These women have helped me build my carriage and aura and also helped me perceive myself as one who isn’t better than any other yet unique.
Now that you are Queen, any plans to go into Nollywood?
Yes, I’d love to. I’m a very dramatic person naturally. So it would be an amazing experience.
What kind of movies would you love to star in
I would love to act in didactic movies. I am talking about movies that teach and impact society. I have always loved to sing right from childhood and my classmates were always thrilled to hear me sing and encouraged me. They’d say ‘do you know you have a great voice?’ I competed in a couple of talent shows and won some and lost some. I was in The Voice Nigeria but lost out because of phone issues.
What would you say has been the greatest thing that happened to you?
Being Miss OUK of course, I have had other accomplishments in life but being Miss OUK stands out; this is the climax so far and looking forward to greater things. It was dropped on me like a bomb. When I found out I was Miss OUK I screamed till my voice went hoarse. When I saw my pictures on Instagram I was like ‘oh my God! Am I actually Miss OUK?’ I was shocked and doubted but I was really excited I broke down. Knowing that someday I would get to meet Orji Uzor Kalu blew me out of my mind. My family is proud of me and very happy.
What does Orji Uzor Kalu mean to you?
He was a past governor of Abia State and he really tried for the state. He is like a mentor, an icon and he believes in women empowerment and I am proud to identify with this platform and I am looking forward to meeting him.
How are you going to combine academics with your crown?
Nothing is impossible, I won these despite having exams and lectures to deal with. It’s all about time management and prioritising.
What are your dreams?
I would love to be someone younger people will look up to. I want to inspire young people and this platform is a stepping stone to do that. I am not a feminist, I don’t really know what it stands for but I strongly believe in women empowerment. My dream is for people to understand and appreciate the value of women in society. I am studying agriculture and I have noticed that the oil wells are drying so my dream is to go into mechanised farming on an industrial scale and by the grace of God, I will also exploit my acting and singing.