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The story of Nigerian beauty peagent ‘Miss Nigeria’ at 60

In 1957, Miss Nigeria was founded to promote Peace and Unity in the process of Nigeria’s independence in 1960. Mrs Grace Oyelude who is now 86 years old was the first Miss Nigeria. She was highly celebrated and represented Nigeria all over the world. Miss Nigeria has produced many strong women up till date and intends to continue on that path.
As Miss Nigeria celebrates 60 years old, it introduces a more structured pageant and one that will restore the glory of pageantry in Nigeria.  With the new Executive Director, Dr May Ikeora, the current Miss Nigeria, Miss Chioma Obiadi and all the members of the Miss Nigeria team, the pageant this year will wow its audience promoting beauty and brains.
 
THE STORY OF MISS NIGERIA – A BRIEF BACKGROUND
From the very first pageant in 1957, Miss Nigeria has always represented the highest of ideals: a combination of beauty, grace and intelligence. Since then, Miss Nigeria has been a role model to both young and old alike; a spokesperson using her title to educate millions of Nigerians on issues of importance to herself and the society at large. In years past, pageantry was a family affair; which is why we seek to bring back the family-friendly competition, reminiscent of a time when opportunity came with responsibility and womanhood was held in the highest regard.
 
Miss Nigeria 1960, Rosemary Anieze was one of the many Guests of Honour at the Independence Day celebrations. As the nation held its first civilian national elections in 1964, showing the world that we could be governed autonomously. Miss Nigeria 1964- Edna Park also marked a major milestone for the country by being the very first Miss Nigeria to participate in the prestigious Miss Universe Competition; an honour that brought great pride and faith in our nation’s relationship with the rest of the world.
 
MISS NIGERIA TODAY
Miss Nigeria Pageant has evolved to become a more structured organisation to ensure a sustainable and consistent platform that will continue to be of great value to our partners and the participating women at large. We are doing this by enabling long-term projects and engagements that are measurable and impactful. For instance, there would be no short- term pet projects for new queens going forward but rather projects spanning up to 5 years which would allow new queens to adapt, learn and grow in a stable environment. The Miss Nigeria will continue to be a shinning beacon of true Nigerian womanhood by representing her country on international platforms as a goodwill ambassador.
The new structure of Miss Nigeria showcases the pageant from four major elements of:
1.    Fashion and Beauty (Entertainment) – This is a major element of pageantry where women showcase and learn about trends in beauty and style.
2.    Women’s Empowerment – This is a crucial element of Miss Nigeria’s vision … to make the pageant, an empowerment platform for your women.
3.    Culture and Heritage – This is another element where Miss Nigeria promotes the culture and heritage of Nigeria. It does this through its contestants selected from various states in Nigeria and the compulsory element of showcasing the culture and tradition of their state. Each year, we will give significant focus to one state. For instance, Last year, we focused on Edo State, which was spectacular on the Miss Nigeria stage.  
4.    Environmental SustainabilityAs part of structuring theMiss Nigeria Organisation, we want pet projects to be more sustainable. We are doingthis through the Green-Girl Project. This is a five-year project thataims to increase the voices of women and young people in environmental sustainability. We continue to receive support from Daily Times, Shell SPDC and Ecobank to keep this project alive
 
5.    Grande Finale – The many events of Miss Nigeria especially the Pageant Grand Finale often sums up the year for Miss Nigeria. It involves a reality show if the contestants from auditions, selections phase to the camping period leading up to the finale night.
 
MISS NIGERIA 60TH ANNIVERSARY
The call for entries to become Miss Nigeria is now open. Applicant can visit our website www.missnigeria.ng to fill and submit their forms after paying for their forms at the nearest Heritage Bank. Form is 5,000 naira only. Before the Grande Finale which would be held at the end of the year, there will be a number of activities to mark this major milestone. We are looking for a Nigeria girl who truly represents true beauty and brains to apply for this year’s pageant. We will announce our sponsors and partner as we get along.
We are working with a well know production expert Mr Edi Lawani for the production of Miss Nigeria and he promises that this year’s Miss Nigeria would be world class. Miss Nigeria is a family event and we look forward to engaging the Nigerian people as we celebrate 60 years old.

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