Uzoma Miracle Ezinne is a Computer Science student of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo and the current Most Beautiful Girl in Imo State, MBGI 2020. Mira, as she is fondly called, is 20 years old and hails from Nkwerre Council area in Imo state. She is an accomplished makeup artist and a business woman. In this interview with Steve UzoechI, she speaks on some of the emerging realities facing the women folk in Nigeria and other
So how did you find yourself in beauty pageant competition?
Well, I have always had a liking for the showbiz and entertainment industry.
As a matter of fact, I have been modelling since I was five and it has always been my dream to be on this path. So when I turned 19, my mom and I decided that I go into beauty pageantry and God being faithful, here I am.
The journey to the crown, what was it like?
Every girl that enters the competition has one goal in mind, winning. No matter how beautiful or talented each contestant is, there will always be one winner.
Beauty, they say, lies in the eyes of the beholder, but in this case it is a little different. In beauty contests, dozens of women are judged according to their physical, emotional, mental, social and analytical skills.
For someone to be crowned a beauty queen, she has to be intelligent and beautiful. A balanced combination of beauty and brain, while the other indices are factored in alongside.
On the road to the crown, I enjoyed every moment from start to finish. It was a big and competitive task and of course, I put in my best at every stage. It was a tension-soaked process and it got to everyone us competing for the crown but we kept our wits about us.
I kept on pushing and believing in myself, thanks to God and my mom who did not stop praying, encouraging and rooting for me till the very end.
What career would you have loved to pursue if not what you’re doing now?
I would love to go back to acting because it’s something I have always loved to do. During my younger days, it was a passionate pastime for me. If the opportunity presented itself again, I will fervently pursue it without fears.
What is your perception of the lot of the girl-child in present day Nigeria?
Millions of girls aren’t at school today. They are shut out of education because of discrimination, poverty, emergencies and culture. These girls have the same hopes and dreams as boys. They want to learn, fulfil their potential, work and help their families and communities. But too often they are treated as second-class.
They are exploited, abused and simply disregarded in many countries. Some of the reasons why girls continue to be denied an education today will ordinarily include natural disasters, disabilities, war, lack of funding, violence at school, child/domestic labour, pregnancy and early marriage, among several others.
It is on record that in Nigeria, we have more than 16 million out-of-school children and these are children of school age. And of course, no one needs further consultations to know that the girl-children constitute the majority of the out-ofschool children.
What is your take on the rampant cases of rape of minors across the country?
It is sad to note that the sudden upsurge in rape cases across the country particularly as it affects minors, is almost assuming an epid e m i c proportion. Six out of ten children in Nigeria experience emotional, physical or sexual abuse before the age of 18, with half experiencing physical violence.
They are either vilified for their dressing, being at the wrong place at the wrong time or accused of making up claims of rape; they shouldn’t be scared to speak up.
This rubbish has to stop, w e , a s a society must end victim-shaming and blaming, and put a decisive end to this pervasive rape of innocent girls, we are losing lives, we are damaging futures careers and derailing and destroying dreams of young girl. It is no crime to be a woman!
A new law in Kaduna State recommends castration for rapists. Would you support that?
Yes definitely I will. It is a welcome development. Reason being that, the laws on rape has been there but I don’t think it’s really being enforced or dissuading perpetrators. One of the ways to curb rape is to enforce such drastic measures such as that recommended by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
The number of rape incidents keeps increasing because the rape victims are often shamed and blamed in the long run. Most times, they keep their pain and shame to themselves and refuse to speak about their ordeal. Often times also, the rapists escape the wrath of the law even after being reported for no fault of the victim.
Drastic measures have to be taken to ensure that rapists do not go free and this will help to bring down the menace of rape.
Could this possibly be rationalized in any way?
There is no justification for rape. Rape should be decisively combated; nobody enjoys any exclusive right to rape anyone therefore, it is my impassioned opinion that every case of rape should be dutifully investigated and severely punished.
You feel strongly about this, have you been sexually assaulted before?
I feel strongly about this because I am human and particularly because I am a woman whose gender is largely on the receiving end of this denigrating scourge. That said, I have never been sexually assaulted because my mom literally polices my environment and to a very great extent, is vigilant and meticulous about my environment at any given time.
My mom actively regulated activities in my sphere of operation, tactfully but firmly and that was actually where I drew my courage to contest for the Most Beautiful Girl in Imo State pageant, because, I was certain nobody was going to take advantage of me.
At MBGI no one will molest or cajole you into any untoward activity as there are strict rules of engagement.
So what’s your opinion about the Big Brother Naija Reality TV Show?
For a reality TV show that is not a regular talent hunt, it is easy to question the value BBNaija has for young people. For a majority of the viewers of the show, the value is obvious, as more than 70% agree the show holds great benefits for the youth by providing opportunities for success.
I believe the show provides young people with an opportunity to discover themselves, interact with others, and showcase their talent to the world. In addition, there seems to be a consensus among respondents that the show provides a great platform for contestants to succeed in their individual pursuits as evidenced by the great strides they are making after they left the Big Brother house. It’s a great opportunity.
A movie star said that for N85m, she could act nude. Is that cheap or high?
Considering the moral nature of our culture (the African culture), I don’t think I would want to act nude for any amount of money. Besides, everyone is entitled to their opinion and thoughts, given the fact that there’s freedom of speech.
The movie star said her mind. For me, I won’t get into such ventures no matter the amount of money involved. I am way too expensive to expose my nude for N85 million.
As the reigning beauty queen in Imo, do you have any pet project in mind?
I will be carrying out a ‘Save A Life Outreach’ (SALO) as my pet project in order to give back to the society. This project will be free of cost for patients. They will be free to come for any medical records or medication they are prescribed to.
The following medical services will be available for free: Internal Medicine (Diabetics etc.); Cardiology (Heart problems); Infectious Disease (Infections); Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Pregnancy related); Paediatrics (Children); Ophthalmology (Eye problems & Defects); Eye Care (Vision testing for Glasses); Ear, Nose and Throat; Acupuncture (Pain, Pinch Nerve).
There will also be lectures on dietary (Food) standard, personal hygiene and mental health. I do know that we cannot help everybody but with these medical outreach, we can at least help save a life.