The road to success is certainly strewn with all degrees of bumps, upon which only the focused and determined go the whole hog resolutely to become bastions of courage and inspiration. Newly crowned Miss Unity Nigeria, Queen Silver Ezenezi is cast in the mould of that description. With a passion for fashion and modelling, the dazzling queen with a zest for impacting her society in shining light, had prior to her latest feat, carted away the Miss UniZik and Miss Nigeria International crowns, defying the odds in her paths, with prospects of blazing the trail globally in what she loves to do best. In this interview with editor, MANNY ITA, Ezenezi bared her mind on her sojourn into fashion and modelling, as well as the courage to successfully navigate the labyrinths of pageantry and other sundry issues.
Give a brief introduction of your background.
I am Silver Ezenezi, I’m from Anambra state and a graduate of Political science from the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe university.
How did the journey into beauty pageantry begin?
I’ve always had a love for fashion and modelling since I was in primary school, I used to watch runway shows on TV and thought that I wanted to be like them someday. When I was in secondary school, I applied at a popular agency, but I wasn’t accepted because I was underage, so when I got to the university immediately went into pageantry starting from Miss Political science to Miss UniZik and beyond, and that was it.
What and who were some of the influencing factors towards that dream or desire?
Like I said the models I used to see on TV inspired me, then in school, I heard about some past beauty queens who had achieved a lot and I wanted to be like them.
What do you seek to achieve with pageantry?
Through pageantry, I aim to be a representative of children, youths and adults who have experienced any form of bullying, I need them to know that being bullied should not define what they can or cannot do.
Were your parents supportive of your sojourn into pageantry?
Yes they were. I’m so blessed to have parents and family members who are enlightened and always try to support my journey through advice, finance and even embarking on long trips just to watch me live on stage.
Nigeria is a trailblazer for the African continent when it comes to pageantry; how do you hope to sustain that as a queen and beyond your years as one?
Unfortunately in Nigeria, beauty queens and models are seen as sex workers, so I would like to change the narrative and to keep proving to the ignorant ones that we are great role models and advocates for a better society and world.
Emerging winner of a beauty pageant from among a lot of prospective winners must come with some emotions, can you speak on that?
It is indeed overwhelming, it’s just a rollercoaster of feelings, I can’t even explain it.
Tell us one unforgettable moment in the business of beauty pageantry?
I once registered for a pageant some years back, most people around me discouraged me saying I was trying too hard and that I can’t succeed in that particular contest. My mum advised me to ignore and push through with it and I did. And guess what, I won. I can never forget that experience.
What have been some of the challenges?
As I said earlier, beauty queens are perceived to be unserious, people do not realize the amount of work we put in physically, mentally and financially. Getting sponsorship can be difficult even after presenting a very achievable project.
What further plans do you have?
Beauty queens have a life outside pageantry. For me, I’m working on owning my cosmetic brand and other businesses yet to be disclosed, so you guys should watch out.
Has pageantry affected your education adversely?
No, it hasn’t. But it has helped to broaden my knowledge further about life in general.
Are you in a relationship?
Lol that is a private question. Moving on…..
What is your definition of beauty?
I believe beauty is personal to every individual. For me, beauty should emanate from inside and out.
How do you think pageantry can be used as an economic development pivot?
Pageantry is used to create platforms for young people to discover and develop their skills, this in return reduces the rate of unemployment in the society and boosts the economy.
Is the pageantry a suitable platform to address or tackle issues of female discrimination, oppression or abuse? If so, are you thinking in that direction?
There is no better platform to handle these issues if not pageantry. Being a beauty queen, gender inequality is one of the problems I lend my voice to.
How do you get inspired?
Prayers and words of advice from my mother.
Have you had any ugly encounter of any kind in the course of your pageantry?
I have been pressured into exchanging sex for money but as an uprightly moral lady, I turned down the offer and it cost me the sponsorship and support I was seeking.
Many girls aspire to become prominent in pageantry; what advice would you proffer?
Lots of challenges will arise, lots of discouragement will surface, but if you truly want to be a beauty queen for the work and not just for the glamour, keep pushing and you will get there.