The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant has been going on for the past 26 years, and this year 2014, marked the 27th year of this foremost pageantry, which has produced Nigeria’s finest ladies who have also represented the country in other international pageantries, sometimes coming out tops. The emergence of Agbani Darego MBGN 2001, who went on to win the Miss World in South Africa, gives credence to the fact that indeed the MBGN is a pageantry where excellence is top priority.
But that is not surprising, considering the fact that the MBGN has the privilege of working with renowned professionals such as, Juliette Hagerman (US trained choreographer), Derek Baum (US trained director) and Preere Opoufom (Nigerian based choreographer). All mentioned names have amazing credentials and wealth of experience, which they have brought to the MBGN pageantry thus making it at par with any international pageantry.
The 2014’s which was hosted by Bayelsa State Government on Saturday 19 July, 20014 started with a red carpet reception while the event proper kicked off at exactly 7:30pm, with a line-up of all the contestants in their respective local costumes. It was a feast of cultural fiesta as they all dazzled in their various native costumes, which represented each state. The outfits were also a means of showing creativity as they were allowed to infuse their personal styles and twists in the costumes for an edgier fashion representation. The contestants danced to the music while some background information of the states they represented was shared to the viewing audience. Thus providing an opportunity for people to learn more about the various states in Nigeria.
The 2014 MBGN was hosted by Ik Osakioduwa and Yvonne Vixen Ekwerre, both of whom have been previous hosts of the pageantry. The amiable duo introduced the panel of judges made up of, Dr Ikeora May, Eniye Ambakederemo Ukpeh, Ini-Ibehe Okorie, Sylvia Nduka, Mrs Gbemisola Awoniyi-Foloyan, Garth Deacon and Bryan Okwara. The hosts continued to thrill the audience with jokes and banter, as the judges went about the serious business of judging the pageantry objectively.
The Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), gave a great speech and affirmed that “We are unlocking the beauty of Bayelsa, and this we are doing in an organised way, and as we always say, this is just the beginning. We have much to offer from what we’ve seen so far, from dependence on oil to an economy that can stand on its own. And that is why the government is creating an enabling environment for tourism to flourish”.
He went further to state that “Last year we had two Bayelsan girls, and the government said next year we are going to have our own pageant and we will select them for the state level pageant.” He ended his speech by welcoming everyone to Bayelsa and enjoining them to have a sweet stay in the state.
Then came dancing time, the contestants came out in a red attire and sashayed to Davido’s, (Aye), their choreographic performance was on point. As the crowd clapped to their dance.
Yeka Onka, winner of Nigerian Idol 2011 singing contest, came out and gave a dazzling performance of one of her singles (Somewhere in the world).
This year’s MBGN also incorporated the social media as Chioma Okpala, a presenter with STV read out tweets sent in by viewers, she also revealed all the razzmatazz happening back stage in a segment of the pageantry called “My Corner”.
Sheyi Shay, sensational up and coming music act emerged and performed a skit (Oluwaloseyi) on stage. As usual her performance was fair and energetic, and had the crowd asking for more. Immediately after Sheyi’s performance was the swimsuit segment and the crowd went berserk, especially the male audience as the beautiful contestants emerged in their sexy swim suits. They came in four batches of ten contestants each.
Doctor Lee, gave a great performance of his song (I Go Dance) as soon as the contestants made their exit from the stage. Then came another parade from the intended beauty queens, but this time in their night wears. They all looked beautiful and the audience clapped and clapped. The last set of parade by the contestants was in their evening wears and as the host IK said, the girls indeed looked absolutely stunning.
As the 30 contestants stood in their evening gowns, it was time for the judges to make their first selection of the best 15 and they were…
1. Miss Plateau—Josephine Oghonoghor
2. Miss Bayelsa—Bisola Mohammed
3. Miss Kogi—Erica Nlewedim
4. Miss Ondo—Obafunke Braithwaite
5. Miss Adamawa—Anita Omofonma
6. Miss Delta—Fortune Woko
7. Miss Abuja—Princess Dennar
8. Miss Kano—Violet Okwazu
9. Miss Edo—Queen Celestine
10. Miss Imo—Analoo Ibadin
11. Miss Anambra—Angel Ineh
12. Miss Lagos—Michelle Adepoju
13. Miss Kwara—Chinyere Adogu
14. Miss Osun—Endurance Akpoyibo
15. Miss Akwa-Ibom—Iheoma Nnadi
Amidst claps of encouragement from the audience, the 15 contestants were separated from the rest and after that came the presentation of awards to the topmost outstanding contestants among the best 15, and they are
1. Miss Photogenic: Miss Kogi. (Erica Nlewedim)
2. Miss Charismatic: Miss Kwara (Chinyere Adogu)
3. Best Traditional Costume: Miss Delta. (Fortune Woko)
4. MBGN Model: Miss Gombe. (Precious John) who also wins an authomatic modelling contracts with Isis Modelling agency.
5. Miss Amity: Miss Edo (Queen Celestine)
The judges were then asked to select the best five among the 15 contestant and from which the queen would eventually emerge. The judges had a hard time in making this selection as they argued back and forth, agreeing and disagreeing.
While that was going on, Patoranking and Sheyi Shay came on stage. Patoranking first performed his hit single Alubarika and the crowd danced to the song, afterwards Sheyi Shay joined him on stage and they performed their duet (Murder). He ended his gig with his song (Girlie o).
As the crowd clapped for him, then came the moment to select the best five contestants from the initial 15 beauties and they were—
1. Miss Edo– Queen Celestine
2. Miss Kwara—Chinyere Adogu
3. Miss Osun—Endurance Akpoyibo
4. Miss Akwa Ibom—Iheoma Nnadi
5. Miss Abuja—Princess Dennar
Then came the interview session. The five outstanding beauties were each asked one question and their intelligence was assessed through their answers.
After that, whilst the judges were making their final decision as to whom should be crowned MBGN 2014, the outgoing MBGN, Miss Anna Ibiere Banner, came on stage and walked her final walk, while commenting about how exciting her journey had been for the past one year. She also wished the in-coming queen success.
Then sensational soul singer and Bayelsa born Timi Dakolo was called out to serenade the potential queens. He came to the stage singing John Legend’s (All Of Me). Ending his performance with (Iyawo Mi) his latest single, Timi made his exit for Guy Murray Bruce, the Vice President of Silverbird Group.
Mr Guy made a brief speech and reiterated the importance and duties of a beauty queen, he also named the various benefits attached to each position and then announced the sequence of the final selection from the judges.
Fourth Runner up–Miss Abuja
Third Runner up– Miss Osun
Second Runner up–Miss Kwara
First Runner up–Miss Edo
And the winner is!!!
Miss Akwa-Ibom! Iheoma Nnadi.
By: Sunday Adebayo (Who was in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State)