By Ingram Osigwe
Unassuming, beauty, Ugochi Mitchell Ihezue will in the next 12 months reign as Nigeria’s beauty queen. The night of Friday, September 15, 2017 came and with it was Ugochi’s selection as the 2017 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN).pomp, glamour and splendour were on parade as panel of judges comprising First Lady of Ogun state, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, Nollywood actress, Stephanie Okereke-Linus, Senator Lanre Tejuosho among others meticulously sift through the 36 MBGN contestants to crown Ugochi as winner and Nigeria’s new and foremost beauty queen.
The ambience of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, venue of the MBGN contest was electrifying and the night classy. The hall was brimming with the La de crème of Nigeria fashion, beauty, tourism and entertainment industry stakeholders that thronged there to witness history made. A touch of elegance was further added to the enchanting evening with the red carpet beautifully embossed with colours of Meditol Medicated Antiseptic soap, the sponsoring brand.
The 2017 edition of Nigeria and Africa’s biggest beauty pageantry, the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria MBGN was co-sponsored by the Silverbird group and Evans Industries Nigeria Limited, a member of one of Nigeria’s foremost manufacturing, trading and distribution conglomerate, the Ekulo group. Meditol Medicated Antiseptic range of soap is manufactured by Evans industries limited.
Though from Akokwa, Imo state, Ugochi, a Fine and Applied Arts graduate of University of Benin, represented Kebbi state in the MBGN pageant. Closely following Ugochi in the keen contest was the first runner up, Miss Sokoto, Stephanie Agbasi. Miss Oyo,Emmanuella Yaboh was the second runner up and Miss Plateau, Winfrey Okolo the third runner up.
Some of the MBGN finalists also won consolatory crowns. These are Miss Amity won by Miss Yobe,Ndali Eno, Miss Photogenic/Congeniality went to Miss Anambra, Maristella Okpala. It was a double crown for Ugochi as she was also bestowed with Model of the year.
Double portion also was the lot of Miss Sokoto, Stephanie Agbasi as she grabbed Best Costume and MBGN universe while Miss Bayelsa, Rebecca Hampson got Best Evening Wear. Miss Oyo, Emmanuella Yaboh went home with MBGN ECOWAS while his Plateau counterpart, Winfrey Okolo got MBGN Tourism. Over 350 gift packs branded in Meditol colours and 400 Meditol Umbrellas were shared at the event with all the contestants getting special packs.
Before the final selection of the new MBGN Queen and winners of other categories of the pageant, the girls dazzled the gathering with breathe-taking night and beach wears. Selection process for the winner of the exalted MBGN crown saw the panel of judges trim the finalists from 36 to 15 through a very transparent elimination mechanism.From 15, the list was pruned down to 5. It was from the 5 that Ugochi came tops and the runner ups emerged.
Moments after she was pronounced winner, Ugochi was crowned by the outgoing queen, Unoaku Anyadike.
Among dignitaries that graced the 2017 MBGN contest included fashion enthusiast and socialite, Senator Florence Ita Giwa, Publisher of Daily Times newspaper, Fidelis Anosike, Marketing Manager Ekulo Group, Emeka Oramadike, General Manager of Evans Industries, Engineer Daniel Nwaiwu, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Chibuzor Nnaebue, Joseph Agada, Tochukwu Aralu, Media Adviser to Ekulo group, Ingram Osigwe.
Others were Vice President of the Silverbird group, Guy Ben Bruce and Registrar/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria, APCON, Alhaji Bello Garuba Kankarofi, Popular comedian and actor, Okey Bakassi , Nollywood personalities, Ejike Asiegbu and Caroline Ekanem Danjuma,Major Ekulo distributor, Amaco Investment Limited was also represented.
Quality musical entertainment was provided by Olamide, Harry Song, Ara among others. Colourful cultural displays also spiced up the night amidst visible excitement on the faces of the attendees.
Elated at the success of the 2017 MBGN pageant, Guy Bruce was full of effusive praises for MEDITOL for co-sponsoring the event. He also thanked individuals and organizations that had stood with Silverbird in the last 30 years of MBGN beauty pageant.