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Elegant and confident aptly describes Chioma Obiadi, the newly crowned Miss Nigeria. She represented Anambra State at the pageant, which took place recently at Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Out of the 37 beautiful contestants, Chioma, popularly called Princess Tyra by her friends and schoolmates, emerged winner of the 40th Miss Nigeria beauty pageant. In this interview with Sunday Sun, she reflects on her journey to the pageant and lots more. Excerpts:
Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Chioma Precious Obiadi aka Princess Tyra. I’m 21 years old and a student of Geography and Meteorology at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. I’m at present in my 300 level. I’m fun loving, friendly and also very principled. I like to set lofty goals for myself, because I believe when you have drive, when you have something really beautiful, it keeps you motivated, you wake up everyday and you realize that you have to accomplish this, so you work hard for it. There’s this thing that my secondary school teacher used to tell us. It’s more of my driving force. He always told us to “shoot for the moon so that if you miss it, you land among the stars.” He said, “It’s not okay to say you want to be a governor, why not say I want to be the president. If you miss being the president you can be the governor.” Like we should dream big.
How did you feel when you won?
I was really excited that I’m a beauty queen and I’m Miss Nigeria. After a while, I feel so many people will look up to me and as I’m representing my country, I have to deliver, I cannot afford to disappoint. It dawned on me that I have so many more responsibilities.
Were your parents present at the pageant?
Yes, my mum and my brothers were there. My dad was not there because he was ill but it was exciting nevertheless as I had so much support.
How did you enter the competition?
I have always wanted to be Miss Nigeria from very early in my life and I didn’t know what inspired me, though I must say my parents usually called me My Miss World in Igbo language then. I grew up with that in my subconscious and I always like to feel like a queen. That’s why I was nicknamed Princess Tyra in secondary school because I was always so Disney World like. I think being Miss Nigeria was what I always wanted even though I didn’t know what it was. Growing up, I decided that I wanted to do this, I want to make an impact and I wanted to make a difference; I can actually uplift women and make a difference in their lives. A lot of women have so many things to contribute to the country but there are social inhibitions hindering us and I hope on this platform, I will be a voice for young women, I will be a voice for Nigerians generally.
How do your parents feel about your new role?
They’re excited and they screamed that their Miss World is now Miss Nigeria. They gave me so much support. God bless them for their support. I’m the only girl and I’m really close to my mum. She kind of trusts me and knew that I would come to her whenever I have any challenges.
All contestants were in camp before the contest, what was camp life like?
It was amazing. I grew up as an only girl, so I’m not so used to so many girls around me. Having 36 others around me was amazing. I had so much fun; I enjoyed every bit of it. It also taught me there are a lot of things in life when you get to see different people from different backgrounds. You see different cultures and different personalities; all these put together make you a better person.
When you got to camp, you saw other beautiful girls what were your challenges?
At first, I felt threatened but I thought about it and prayed about it also. I advised myself to give it my best shot. The competition was more of bettering myself than just winning.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Lagos State and I attended Our Lady of Fatima Academy for my secondary education after my primary education in Lagos too. Now, I’m a student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
What will you miss now that you are Miss Nigeria?
I’m going to miss going to the mall with my friends regularly and hanging out. I’m going to miss my regular life.
What’s your advice to young ladies out there?
I’ll like to tell them that they should never think that anything is bigger than they are. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Whatsoever you want in life, don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. As a matter of fact, the more people tell you that, the more you should make the effort to prove them wrong. A lot of women are underestimated; a lot of them are not allowed to reach their potential but it’s time for us to stand up and take it by ourselves.
We are strong; we have so many examples and role models already. Oprah Winfrey, for example, was born into a poor family and had a lot of challenges. It’s never smooth nor all rosy. Even roses have thorns. If you want something, you have to be ready for the challenges and keep pushing till you get it.
What’s your idea of style?
Classy, elegant and poise. In one word, I would say classy.
Have you ever been a model?
Yes, I have done a couple of things including billboard commercials.
At the end of your tenure what do you hope to have achieved?
I hope by the end of my tenure, I could stand up and see that I have moved people from level A to level B. That a lot of women would say “if not for Chioma I won’t be here”. I want to hear them say, “Chioma made me this or she provided this.”
What has life taught you?
There’s no such thing as a smooth ride. Life is like a roller coaster but when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how far away the light is, keep pushing. It may take time to get there but keep on pushing. You will get there.