Despite stiff competition, Desire Onwuchekwa emerged the winner of Models on the Island beauty pageant held recently in Lagos.
The former Miss Anambra State is now determined to establish her own modeling agency that will discover and nurture young girls to superstardom.
In this interview, Desire talks about the things she did before she was crowned Models on the Island queen.
How did you get to be part of this pageantry?
I stumbled on the show on Instagram and found it very fascinating. I went for the audition in Lekki, Lagos and was lucky to be one of the contestants. And luckily for me, I became the winner. It was surprising and overwhelming, I didn’t believe it. But I thank God for everything.
Why do you think you’re better than the rest?
I’m unique, very unique. I am beautiful and I’m a fashionista. So, I feel all these criteria including my personality are what gave me an edge over every other person.
How many were you?
We were twenty-four.
What was your experience like during the competition?
During the camping, I faced a lot of challenges. The task, the fun and everything, it was quite challenging, but I’m happy that I scaled through. Sometimes you have to go out of your comfort zone to make things happen. I came there for a purpose and I had to fulfill my purpose. I didn’t have to stay in my comfort zone. It’s something I’m happy to do, and I’m grateful I made it.
Did you ever expect that you would emerge winner?
No, I didn’t expect it. Actually, I didn’t come for the car; neither did I come for the cash prize or anything. I only came for the experience. I wanted to build my profile; I wanted to build myself and know that this is what I’ve passed through in my journey of life. When they called my name, I was so astonished, I slumped because it was not something I expected. The shock brought me a whole lot of happiness, and I feel like my whole life has totally changed, and it’s all thanks to MOTI: Models On The Island.
What next should we expect from you?
I don’t want to give up and stay reluctant. I want to work together with the CEOs of Models On The Island. I want to set up a platform like this that will enhance the communities. So many people want to be a part of shows like this; they want to bring out their best to make the world see them. So, I think I should put in my best with my bosses and make it happen. A lot of children who want the world to see them can’t be heard, so together we will build and see the good in them. Everybody has a talent; it’s only left for the person to be showcased.
Is this your first shot at modeling?
No, I’m currently Miss Anambra State.
What’s your take on modeling? There’s this misconception about sexual harassment from organisers…
What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Some people have the misconception that modeling is all about using what you have to get what you want, but it’s not. If you know what you want, go for it. Anybody who has a goal will set her priorities right and get what she wants. If you have nothing, you get nothing. You have to bring something to the table and sex is not what we need. People who are intelligent, who can offer something to the society, that’s what we want. It’s just all about your intellect; what you have upstairs.
Tell us about your growing up.
I grew up in a family of five but I was always with my dad, so I’m more like a daddy’s girl. I attended boarding school all through. I always like to pursue goals on my own. I’ve always been attached to getting things done, going for things that challenge me. I don’t give up.
What was your childhood dream?
I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, but I ended up studying Mass Communication in Anambra State University. Inasmuch as I wanted to be a lawyer, every discipline is important, and that’s what I know.
What is your most important endowment that attracts attention to you?
At the camp, everyone complimented me, saying I looked beautiful, slim with lovely skin and shape. I feel everything about me is unique. I feel I’m beautiful.
What did it take you to get to this level?
It’s simplicity in everything I do, and also my originality. I don’t want to be like any other person; I want to appear as me. I want to have my own brand.
What sacrifice did you make before getting to this level?
I had so many sleepless nights just to make sure I came out the best. The sleepless nights were for my studies, because we were asked a lot of questions. I don’t want to be a loser; I always want to put in my best.
What other milestone do you intend to conquer?
Right now, I have a modeling project I’m working on. It’s time to fulfill my dreams. I don’t want to contest for anything anymore. I want people to come and contest in my show. I want to be my own CEO.
What has changed being the winner of this competition?
I’ve been elevated. Before I came to the camp, I wasn’t a queen, but right now, I feel like I’ve been elevated. Everybody was telling me, ‘come let’s celebrate’. I was so happy, I feel so special. People just want to hang out with me; they just want to talk to me.
What advice will you give girls who want to contest and emerge winner like you?
Just learn to be who you are. Don’t try to impersonate someone to get things done. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be your own original self. Let people see that this is who you are. If anything is going to be given to you, it will be worth it because you are original. If you are not original, I don’t think you’ll get anything.