The founder, Obijackson Foundation and organiser, Face of Okija beauty pageant, Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi, has revealed the inspiration behind the project.
According to Obiejesi, the main reason for organising the pageant is the need to protect and preserve Nigerian cultural values. He explained: “For long, beauty pageants have been held to promote different causes, through the exploitation of physical beauty, in passing the message of the organisers. Some of them have received either flakes or praises from the society, depending on their approach, with nothing that the society can benefit from such pageants in the long run.
“Beauty pageants, which have made African cultural values to be abhorred by the youths, are the ones that must be tackled by any society desirous of having a future. This was why the Obijackson Foundation, the CSR arm of the Obijackson Group, resorted to organising Face of Okija pageant where intellect, character, language and cultural affinity, through knowledge of the African and Igbo culture will make you the winner of N1 million, with a car, and automatic employment as brand ambassador for the foundation, including monthly salary for the duration of the reign.”
Explaining further on why he has institutionalised the (Okija) cultural festival, Azudialu-Obiejesi said he’s concerned that Igbo culture, with its very rich values, appears to mean very little to a lot of youths today.
“For us, we could not allow this sorry state of affairs to fester. We felt a sense of duty to contribute our quota to a cultural renaissance of some sort that will ultimately inspire our youths to become worthy ambassadors and raving fans of the Igbo culture.
“This is the vision behind Obijackson Foundation’s Face of Okija Cultural Festival, an annual engagement to engineer social change and cultural reawakening in our youths,” he asserted.