Princess Joy Osusu is the CEO Glo May Specialities, an event firm that organises the annual Mr and Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria. A pageant platform that discovers, grooms and unveils talented/brilliant youths. She is also the founder of Nigeria Achievers Awards and Nigeria Women Achievers Awards. Against all odds that coronavirus has posed for event planners, Osusu still found a way to celebrate women who have achieved a lot recently. Her tactics in handling the award ceremony is a practical example of the expression that states ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. In this interview with Ifeoma Ononye, she explains that the plight of entertainment business women like her is like that of private schools teachers who have been out of jobs for months now with the bills growing by seconds
You are the founder and organiser of Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria and Mr Elegant Nigeria, it can be quite challenging hosting these contests, how did you start? Is it a passion or you love the business?
I would say events are is my passion right from a tender age. I love cooking and gathering people together. My younger sister was my muse and inspiration given that she was tall and very beautiful. It all started with her. I opened a modeling agency to manage her and others girls.
From there, we evolved into pageant and then into awards. Unfortunately, she isn’t in the modelling business again.
Why is she not part of the modelling business again?
She went into the financial sector when modelling wasn’t paying the bills. Organising these events hasn’t always been easy with little or no support at all, what kept me going is passion for it. Have done events severally with my money with no returns at all. Most times after events, I will ask my parents and a few friends for money.
Some did laugh at me telling me to quit events,dust my CV and return to white collar job even my parents were angry with me.
That was how bad the situation was but passion kept me going. Its important one goes into business that he or she is passionate about because some challenges can break you. Again, getting sponsorship in Nigeria has always been tough.
Every brand wants to be associated with very big and known brand.
You just have to pay your dues with consistency, integrity and quality delivery to lure sponsors in.
You are also behind the Nigerian Women Achievers Award, which has celebrated notable women of worth like Toyin Lawani, women commissioners, what is the idea behind this award?
I would say that am committed to service to humankind and a strong advocate for the empowerment and advancement of the young women. The whole idea is all about inspiring, encouraging and promoting women through the celebration of great women and their great achievements, impact and positive/productive energy. Its women supporting women. Encouraging them that nothing can stop their hard work.
Against all odds that COVID-19 presented, you still celebrated women through the NWAA awards. We saw Maryam Elisha founder of Rikaoto By Me celebrating her award on social media, how did you reach the awardees considering that no crowd is allowed at a venue?
This year’s Nigeria Women Achievers Awards was long due because of the pandemic and its effects. Given the fact that publicity has began for Nigeria Achievers Awards, fans were concerned if the event has been cancelled or not. Integrity and consistency are our watch word, so myself and my team had to brain storm on how to go about with the new era we found ourselves in. It was not easy because no event centers are opened for business. Prior to the COVID-19 era, we had made part payment with Sheraton, our proposed venue for this year’s edition and other preparations.
Given our current situation and changes, we decided to do an online event alongside a campaign against women trafficking in collaboration with Make Mee Elegant Foundation that was streamed live on our Instagram page with a few awardees in the studio with us.
We sent the award plaque to majority of the awardees via dispatch delivery at their different locations. We just had to be proactive with the current changes going on in the world now.
Some of the girls that have won your pageant competition have gone abroad to contest on international stage, what is the biggest challenge when your winner has to compete abroad?
What worries you more?
Basically it is sponsorship for them to travel. These trips and international pageant are all about money! Money! Money!! We have lost many chances because of funds but we keep pressing for better days.
COVID-19 has hit many businesses and entertainment industry is said to be worse hit, tell us how hard this has made your business struggle?
I am practically out of job. COVID-19 has affected everybody I must say because even the rich and wealthy are crying. It has affected my business a great deal. Everyone into the kind of event I do which is all about gathering people (social gathering) is being affected badly. Sponsorship was hard before, it has become worse now with event centers been closed. We can’t even approach sponsors now, all you will hear is let’s wait for all these to die down.
All the money invested in planning this year’s event wasted. Its not just funny because I am out of job or business for now but we keep trusting in God that all these will end in praise. Our plight as entertainment people is like the private schools teachers who has been out of jobs for months now with the bills growing by seconds. However, our health and safety first. God will keep protecting and upholding us all.
Tell us a little about yourself. Did you dream of being an event organiser?
It has always been my passion to organise events. Never h a d p a g – eants i n mind but the w h o l e t h i n g evolved into our current artillery. I am from Delta State. From a family of five and I am the eldest daughter. I graduated from the University of Ilorin, Political Science, with marketing, branding and media experience gained from several white collar jobs before settling for my passion. Presently I am the CEO Glo May Specialities, an event firm and we are the organisers of Mr & Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria, a pageant platform that discovers, groom and unveils talented/brilliant youths with Nigeria Achievers Awards & Nigeria Women Achievers Awards.
Over the years, I and my team have organised several events. I started out with Face of Links and models at Ajao Estate, Lagos. Then, Links Fashion Invasion in Ilorin Kwara State. Miss Tourism Delta, in Warri Delta State. Most Beautiful Face in Delta, Warri Delta State and finally Mr and Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria, Nigeria Achievers Awards and Nigeria Women Achiever Awards which is still on till date.
Most young girls wanted to be a banker or lawyer before life happens and they change career or follow the job available, Back in your school days, what career interested you?
I have always loved news casters and banking back then in school. I thought I could either be a banker or becoming a broadcast journalist, reading news on television. The thought of it excited me a lot back then but another passion took over and I am where I am now.
Your event has pulled a lot of young girls off the street, how fulfilled are you when you see the impact in these girls lives?
It gives me great joy seeing these young ladies doing well and projecting a good image.
As we speak right now, virtually all our queens are self employed or entrepreneurs ,they are into one business or the other. We have make up artists, designers, skin therapist etc. Last year one of them graduated from a scholarship the won under our platform from Gmyt Fashion academy. She is now a certified fashion designer, that’s our joy, discovering, grooming and promoting them
Do they appreciate what you do for them?
Like I know Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria pageant has made some of them land owners. Some do, others don’t! They still accuse us of not doing enough. And I laugh to that. Like you know, you can’t please everyone. We will do our bit and leave the rest to God.