The Current BAIP Queen, Precious Obisoso, emerged after a keen contest which involved 37 delegates at the 2019 edition of the Beauty of Africa pageant (BAIP) 2019, which held Oct. 4 in Calabar, the Cross Rivers State capital. In this chat, the fresh graduate of English & Literary Studies opens up on her challenges in camp, her pet project and dreams among other interesting issues.
Congrats on your emergence as BAIP 2019 winner and Miss International Nigeria 2020. How did you get to hear about BAIP?
I was surfing the net looking for pageants and The Beauty of Africa International Pageant came up as the best pageant in Africa. I was very surprised to find out it was being held in Nigeria and a Nigeria owned pageant. I began following them on their social media platforms because I am passionate about anything African. It caught my interest because I have always dreamed of being a beauty queen. The beauty of Africa International pageant celebrates the African woman so I decided to give it a shot.
What can you say about the Beauty of Africa International Pageant
BAIP is an outstanding and unique event. When I went online to know more about BAIP, the pageant was referred to as the most prestigious pageant in Africa. Trust me, it is a proven fact I can testify to. BAIP is one of the most credible pageants in Africa. It is not involved in pageant politics.
Did you believe you could win?
I was positive about it. I said to myself ‘if I put in my best I just might win.’ That was before I came into camp. However, when I came to camp I saw lots of pretty and talented girls. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I was intimidated but it was a stiff competition. I really entered camp bubbling with a lot of confidence but as time went by I asked myself ‘am I sure I will win?’ I lost focus because my fellow contestants were awesome! I mean they were talented, had great confidence and their costumes were out of this world! Simply put, they were unique but I realised I had to look inwards and believe in my own uniqueness because it was what brought me that far and if I was going to make anything of the experience, I would have to hold unto that.
Which of the girls gave you a run for your money?
I can’t pinpoint any particular girl, they were all potential queens. One moment I am engrossed evaluating one person who has it all and the next moment another pops up and I am confused! I had to tell myself ‘just remain focused, that is the only way you will make an impact.’
Now that you are Queen, what happens to your degree?
I am yet to go for my NYSC but my dream course is to study Law. After my reign I intend to pursue my dream course.
How have you been coping with your new status?
It has been exciting and great! Nothing really has changed. It is just about me adapting to my new world because a lot of people are looking up to me as a role model so I have to be on top of my game. I think I will be fine.
You have been Queen for like two months, how would you describe the experience?
It has been like a dream, a roller coaster! I am BAIP 2019 Queen and I am yet to wake up from the dream; could somebody pinch me please (laughter).
Tell us about growing up?
It was very exciting because I had loving and doting parents. They did not have so much but made sure they did everything to make me comfortable. My parents are my biggest fans; always made me feel like magic! They kept on telling me I am destiny’s child. I started my beauty pageantry when I was a tot because mum always made me feel I was magical. Growing up was wonderful! I was born into an average family. I am number four of five kids.
Tell us about your Pet Project?
I want to create awareness about depression and suicide.
I was born into a sad generation. You know what obtains today. Nigeria is the most depressed country in Africa with millions diagnosed with depression and many committing suicide, jumping of bridges, hanging themselves or taking poisonous substances. This is as a result of depression; even drug addiction is a result of depression. My vision is to create awareness about this malaise. I have been doing lots of research and we are coming up with something big soon. It will not just benefit individuals but families and society at large.
Let’s go back to 4th October in Calabar when you were announced winner, what was your first reaction?
Wow! I had mixed feelings. When they called the last 10 standing I was excited and my confidence just blossomed. Then the runners-up were being called and when it came to the point of calling the winner it took forever. You know the suspense that comes with that. I closed my eyes. In fact, I was not on the stage again and then I heard them announce the state I was representing as winner and I was excited, I wanted to scream but I was also confused, And then they played Stand up for the Champion and I broke down in tears. Very emotional moment for me. I dedicate my victory to God and then my parents and all those who supported me. My parents I am very grateful to for all the encouragement; they are the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to thank the organisers for giving me this great platform to show the world what the beauty of Africa is all about.
You said you were going to create awareness about depression. Have you ever had any close relative or friend falling into depression and committing suicide?
I wouldn’t say so but I have had close encounters with people who had suicidal thought; people that were very depressed. I had this friend who was going through a tough time. His finances were in the red and he was having issues at school so he started doing drugs and at a point he opened up to me and I counselled him and today he is doing better.
Now you are a queen, what is the next level for you?
I just want to achieve my dreams and make sure my pet project is a success. I will be representing Nigeria at the Miss International in Japan in 2020. I am hopeful of returning home with the crown; I am honoured to fly Nigeria’s flag in Japan.
Has it always been your dream to be a beauty queen and who were those you looked up to?
Agbani Darego is one woman I have always looked up to. Actually, when I was little, I did not know who she was so I felt it was a name for slim people. I got to know her as a beauty queen (Miss World) when I grew up. I was like wow! She was so successful her name became an adjective for beauty. I was like she must be a legend; I look up to her.
Any plans for music or Nollywood?
I don’t think so. Aside beauty and modelling, I love writing. I want to write inspirational books.
That was the pre judgement. I got top 10 in Best Traditional Outfit, top 10 in Best in Bikini and top 10 in Best Model. A lot of people were fidgeting so when I went back to my room I smiled. I knew I was moving.
What are your dreams?
After my reign I would like to remain a queen in people hearts. I want to touch mankind and I am praying nothing will stop me.