By Davidson Iwuoha
Miss Nigeria Ghana queen Victory Olachi Ekwugha with an appeal of striking elegant and beauty is known for her kind-heartedness and compassion. She aspired to be a queen ever since she stepped into the beauty pageants. And she fulfilled her dream last year by winning the prestigious Miss Nigeria Ghana crown on November 10th at the Accra National Conference Theatre (AICC) Ghana, in a glamorous event anchored by DenreleEdun and Ghana’s most controversial Afia Schwarzenegger. Ghanaian hiplife artiste Mzbel and Nigeria newest sensation Mayorkun thrilled the audience.
Victory, who is now in her second year at Laweh University, Ghanais studying International Business Management at age 20. She enjoys listening to music,watching movies, surfing the web, and doesn’t mind trying her hand at acting someday.She revealed more of herself, her plans for the future and present engagement as Miss Nigeria Ghana in an exclusive interview.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Victory Ekwugha is a student of Laweh University College, a gentle, soft-spoken, easy going young woman, from Eastern Nigeria Abia State. Umuahia is my hometown,though my mum is an indigene of Rivers State, so I share both Igbo and rivers cultural and socio-psychological heritage, born in a family of two.
You recently emerged as Miss Nigeria Ghana, how was the experience?
It feels magical! The past years I always watched beautiful ladies competing in beauty pageants from the sideline, wishing I would be on that stage one day. Now that I’ve won the Miss Nigeria Ghana. It feels great because I enjoyed every moment of my journey towards this crown as I learned so much and still learning a lot from my management . Nevertheless, it wasn’t an easy one, every new phase has its challenges but by God’s grace it went well.
Have you been in other pageants before?
Yes, I have. I participated in Miss Commonwealth in Nigeria when I was in senior high school, but fell sick and withdrew close to the grand finale.
What inspired you to participate in Miss Nigeria Ghana?
Pain and passion motivated me. I wanted to try something out of my comfort zone despite being a model, am actually an indoor person, so the pageant presented to me another opportunity to face my fears and step out of my comfort zone for a while. I have walked the catwalk so many times and always on the runway, so that increased my confidence. I am very grateful for the Miss Nigeria Ghana Beauty Pageant for giving me a chance.
To be honest, I was happy and surprised by winning the pageant. I became very proud of myself, the day after.It is really nice to have some sort of confirmation to know that what I am doing is right.
What qualities of a leader you believe you always had in you?
Personally being someone that is on the quiet side, I do not see too much of a leader in myself, but having an accommodating heart and being someone who loves seeing people happy, I guess treating everyone with respect and kindness as one would love to be treated, is a great quality to have.
Who was or is your role model behind stepping into the world of fashion, modeling and video vixen?
I actually didn’t have any because whenever I watch music videos and see billboards I picture myself in them, but as a young girl, success stories of AgbaniDarego and Oluchi of Nokia Face of Africa, were inspiring. I like few models in the industry like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and Alek Wek.
How are you going to spend your life as Miss Nigeria Ghana?
Well, I am on the journey and doing that already. I was crowned about 3 months ago, and have been quite busy, after my exams,we had a photo session.After that, we embarked on “Max Mart/Miss Nigeria Ghana Goodies call” in which we visited the mentally challenged in Ridge hospital, shared time with them and gave them presents from Max Mart. I and my management in partnership with Society for Social Right and Civic Literacy (SOSORCIL) have designed a wonderful project tagged Nigeria-Ghana Friends and Brethren Project.
Can you explain further on this friends and brethren Project?
We are perfecting plans to launch the Friends and Brethren Project in April 26 at the British Council Auditorium Ghana and it’s all about revealing the depth of ties between Ghanaians and Nigerians as a people.It’s in different phases and aside that we have a national essay competition for children of dual Ghana-Nigeria ancestry who have the blood of the two nations in them.
This is to identify them and create a quarterly mentoring program for them to help in their socio-psychological understanding of their dual heritage. Provide a safe, quality, intellectual stimulation and fermentation of ideals that closes the gap in knowledge from misbalanced tribal and national loyalty inherent in their minds and help connect them to their dual cultural origins.
To be precise, children who are of half parentage whether in Ghana, Nigeria or beyond the shores of Africa are most times in a dilemma of who to become or the nation to pay their allegiance to- leading to a disrupting impact on their inner-identity and values because their ideals of patriotism already breaks the boundaries of sovereignty because of their dual national heritage, and this project is aimed at enabling them find their voice and true selves.
Wow! It’s there more to this?
We are going to initiate the steps that will lead to the realization of Sister City Relationship between certain cities in the two nations that share similarities in economic and social importance, and in collaboration with the relevant bodies that will oversee the process for instance, the Mayors of the cities, Governors, Regional Ministers,Ministries of internal affairs of the nations in partnership with Sister City International, the regulatory body that governs inter city relationship globally.
This Sister city relationship between our cities apart from enhancing general economic development, promoting citizen diplomacy and cultural diversity among our people, will come with many social and economic benefits like Student exchange programs, professorial exchange, medical exchange between the major universities and hospital in the cities. This will help to break down intercultural barriers between our people.
The hope is that engagement between the people of geographically distant communities will promote friendship and understanding among them through cultural exchange programs that will increase tourism and trade among the people leading to city-to-city trade agreement and foster exchange in investment and innovation.
Any project for Nigeria?
I also hope to do something back home in Abia state. I want to champion the cause of behavioral change among the youth in Abia and Rivers state by getting my peers to understand the importance of taking responsible actions and participate in acts that promote nation building like ensuring that those 18 and above gets their voter’s card and participate in choosing the right leaders in our nation.
You’ve been in Ghana for two years what to you is the most amazing thing about Ghana?
Ghanaians are wonderful and accommodating people. I like the fact that it’s a peaceful country and the electricity supply is constant.