10 Mins. With Chioma Obiadi
By Jemi Ekunkunbor
The 40th edition of Miss Nigeria pageant tagged Ruby edition, was a keenly contested one from which 21 year old Chioma Prescious Obiadi, emerged as winner. The fun-loving Geography and Meteorology student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, slugged it out with 35 other girls from every state of the country to emerge winner.
The only girl in a family of four children, fondly called Princess Tyra, talks about her new life as queen and the change her new status has brought upon her.
How did you feel when you realised you had won?
At first, I was really excited about the fact that I am now a beauty queen, I am miss Nigeria. But after a while, I realised that this is more than just being a pretty face and going around. Now, I’ll have so many people looking up to me because I am representing my country and I have to deliver.
How did you get into the pageant?
I’ve always wanted to be Miss Nigeria. It started so early in life that I can’t even begin to remember what inspired it. But, right from an early age, my parents in Igbo language, always called me their Miss World. So, I grew up feeling like a Queen. That was how I got the nickname princess Tyra because, everything about me was like Disney world. So being a Queen was always something I wanted even before I knew what it was. But growing up and realising what it was all about, I decided that I wanted to do this, I wanted to make an impact. I realised that I could use this platform to uplift women and make a difference in their lives. Again a lot of women have ideas on how to contribute their quota but don’t know how to. So I hope to use it to be a voice for women and a voice for I Nigerians generally.
How did your parents react to your win?
They were very excited. They were like, “ finally our Miss World is now everybody’s Miss Nigeria”. They were really excited for me and gave me as much support as I needed. God bless them for their support.
Being a Queen in some cases come with challenges from the home front. How did your parents take it?
They were very supportive. I am the only girl in the family so, I am really close to my mum. She trusts me a lot and believes that I would come to her whenever I have any challenges and that as my mum, she would tell me the right way to go.
What was camp like?
Camp was amazing. Growing up as the only girl in the family, I wasn’t used to having so many girls around me; so to have about 36 sisters just like that, was amazing. I had so much fun and made so many friends. I enjoyed every bit of it and it also taught me that there is more to life when you get to meet people from different backgrounds, cultures and different personalities. All these put together, forms you and makes you different. It makes you a better person. So I believe my camp experience has made me better in a lot of ways.
At home you were already the family queen, but you came into camp to meet other beautiful girls. How challenging was that for you?
When I came into the camp, I met different girls, and I was like, okay, this one is pretty, this one is outspoken, this one is tall, so many features. At first, I felt threatened, but then, I went back and thought about it and prayed about it as well. And I said to myself, you know what, you have to give this your best and if it works out, you know God really want this as well. After my prayers, I was pretty much okay and I focused on making friends and bettering myself instead of just winning.
Which one of them gave you a real run for your money?
All of them actually because they all had something that was really good and exceptional.
What preparations did you make and who helped you?
I had been in a couple of pageants before. So I had some of these things but, I had a stylist who made some of the other things I needed at the pageant. I have somebody who is like a big sister to me in school. When I told her I was coming for Miss Nigeria, she said she would give me make up classes for four days which she did and then, my mum gave me moral support and courage to do it. So it was all a mix of contributions from here and there; family and friends and God especially.
In these few weeks since you won, how much of your life has changed?
It’s unbelievable how many hours of the 24hours in a day I spend on the phone. I am going off one and another is coming in. And I am like, is this what it is? But it’s fantastic. It feels good to know that there are people who want you to succeed, who are following you up, people you can count on; but it also feels tasking, knowing that from now on, whatever you do, is not about you alone anymore. It rubs off on many people. So right now, I have to be careful with everything.
How did your friends on Campus receive news of your win?
I’ve been in touch with them in a group chat. I’ve received many messages from them and they are like, “Tyra, when are you coming back? I look forward to seeing them again.
Would you describe this win as a Christmas gift to you?
It’s more than a Christmas gift to me. It’s a life changing gift and I bless God for it.
What project do you plan to carry out as queen?
There is an ongoing project already which is the Green girls project. But there is a particular aspect of it that really interests me which is that biological waste can be converted to electricity. It’s amazing to know how much waste we produce in Nigeria daily and how we still lack electricity. In Sweden, they convert their waste to electricity and it serves a vast part of the country and Sweden is a small country. So if we are able to do that in Nigeria, we could stop the problem of power failure forever. We deserve electricity and we should have it.
What would you miss doing most?
I would miss going to the mall regularly with my friends, just hanging out. I will miss the normal life.
What advice would you give to young girls out there?
I would say to them never think that anything is bigger than they are. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. As a matter of fact, the more people tell you that you can’t do it, the more you should go out and do it so that you can prove them wrong. A lot of women are under estimated in our abilities. It is time for us to stand up and take it by ourselves. We are strong and there are so many proofs around. Take Oprah for example, she was born into a poor family and she had many challenges. It’s not going to be all rosy even roses have thorns. You have to be ready for the challenges and keep pushing.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I hope that at the end of my reign, I would have been able to push women from point A to point b.