Modelling in the culture of Excellence: A Tale of Miss Akwa Ibom, 2017


Dr. Ekemini Umoren, Ndoko Akwa Ibom

The idea of Pageantry has been a very beautiful one and it did not just begin with the 21st or the 20th century. Besides the obvious admiration and glorification of beauty and aesthetics as it has to do with the female and presently, the male gender, the concept of pageantry has been used by the advanced countries and the international communities as a means of giving attention to the thoughts and contributions of the youths to very vital issues and bring attention to these issues by identifying beauty and brains with it.

Before the advent of the Modern Period, when modelling became a profession, admiration and glorification of the female gender, on account of her extraordinary beauty had been an active custom from Classical times. In fact, some even gave birth to wars and destruction like the mythic tales of Troy.
Helen Of Troy

More so, the European festivals dating to the medieval era provided the most direct lineage for beauty pageants today. For example, English May Day celebrations always involved the selection of a May Queen. In the United States, the May Day tradition of selecting a woman to serve as a symbol of beauty and community ideals continued, as young beautiful women participated in the public celebrations.

Concretely, it is worth mentioning that beauty pageantry was held during the Eglinton Tournament of 1839, organized by Archibald Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton, as part of a re-enactment of a medieval joust that was held in Scotland. The pageant was won by Georgiana Seymour, Duchess of Somerset and the wife of Edward Seymour. She was proclaimed as the Queen of Beauty.
Georgiana Seymour, Beauty Queen of 1839

Today, we can count the international queens and pageantry that have been organised and sponsored to project good ideals. While the pageantry, Miss World, is geared towards identifying ‘beauty with a purpose’, Miss International was put together in 1960 to draw attention to the concept of beauty as it relates to love and peace.

Manushi Chhillar, Miss World

Furthermore, when the reality of the 21th Century brought climate change and serious ecological issues to the door steps of all, Carousel Productions organized and launched the first Miss Earth beauty pageantry in 2001 as an international environmental event, with the mission of using the Beauty Queen as an effective tool to actively promote the preservation of the environment.
Karen Ibesco, Miss Earth 

While National Beauty Queens are concrete representation of national pride, like Miss Nigeria, the original psychology of the pageantry was to identify beauty with a cause.

Mildred Peace, Miss Nigeria

The memory of the 2017 Orange September is still fresh in the minds of Akwa Ibomites, as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism marshalled out plans to celebrate the thirty years of official pronouncement of Akwa Ibom State as a political and an administrative entity of its own. That celebration saw, among other events, the crowning of Dr. Ekemini Umoren, as a Beauty Queen for the state, in her case, identifying beauty with the rich cultural pride of the State, hence the name Ndoko.
Miss Akwa Ibom, 2017

Since then, Dr. Ekemini Umoren drew out plans to bring her wealth of experience to positively affect the society that she was crowned to serve.  It was with a great sense of fulfilment that the Publishing crew of Penroll Corporation learnt of the strides the Queen has been able to put across since her coronation.

It was however, heart-breaking for Penroll Corporation to also learn that the office of the Queen has not been financed, at all, to ensure the realization of its objectives. It begs the question, why was the office created at all, only to be abandoned?

Nonetheless, it was inspirational to learn that Miss Akwa Ibom has been able to bankroll her objectives and she is still doing more irrespective of the enormous challenges that lie before her.  The real beauty of Dr. Umoren’s pageantry is seen, not only in her traditional title, Ndoko, but in her intelligence and the spirit of resilience in the face of dying Faith.

Barely three months into her Crown, Dr. Umoren paid an official visit to Presbyterian Senior Science School, Edidep. The students swarmed out to greet the Queen with boundless admiration and pride. 
Gifts to Students during the Queen's Visit

They Shared their stories with her and got motivated by the spirited words of encouragement that came from the Queen. It was with tears that the Queen learnt that the school does not have a bathroom for the students.

Dilapidated Bathrooms for Students 

Besides the Queen’s charity, which saw the distribution of health product to the students, from pant liners, menstrual pads, rolls of deodorant, tubes of toothpaste, ball pens and containers of hand creams, the Queen took pity on the students and promised to build for them a state-of-the-art bathroom for both boys and girls. The Queen’s gesture was like a drum of clean, drinkable, ice water in the middle of a frying desert.

Besides charity, the Queen’s passion for health and medical awareness is not just that she is a medical doctor but is reminiscent of someone who has a burning appetite to save lives. On the 11th day of December 2017, the Queen floated a medical outreach, courtesy of Planet FM and Rubies Sickle Cell Foundation, in Uruan Local Government Area. The outreach saw free malaria test, genotype test, BP Check and free drugs to positive victims of what she had tested for.

The Queen in one of her Medical Outreach

Furthermore, in partnership with Aids Care Management, an NGO which caters for the less privileged, orphans and people living with AIDS, the Queen conducted a free HIV test, medical safety and motivation talks and distribution of menstrual Pads to teenagers.

What principally won the eyes of Penroll Corporation was the Queen’s cancer awareness programme in secondary schools. The Queen, literally, goes around to teach young girls on the type of food, creams and lifestyles to avoid, in order to ward off cancer in the future. Besides this, she physically demonstrated how to self-examine the breast, every day during bath, to search for any kind of lump.

Teaching students Breast Examination

While the State Government and other relevant agencies are yet to see the need to properly finance this office as the culture always is, other agencies have deemed it fit, at least, to tell the Queen ‘thank you’ and ‘keep up’.

Teaching students Breast Examination

Penroll Corporation learnt that on the 8th day of December 2017, the Nigerian Medical Students Fashion Show and Awards, held at Nnewi, Anambra State awarded the Queen as the Most  Fashionable health Personnel for the year 2017. This was followed by the Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), who, on the 9tht day of December 2017 glorified the Queen with an Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her humanitarian services. This, however, did not end, as the Niger Delta Peace and Unity Movement took their turn on the 15th of December in recognizing the magnificent efforts of the Queen in revitalizing humanity as the Most Outstanding Beauty Queen of the Year.

Nnewi, Anambra State

In a very recent development, the South-South Beauty Pageant, in an event held at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, honoured Miss Akwa Ibom as the most productive Beauty Queen of the year 2018.
Transcorp Hotel, Calabar

In a one-on-one conversation with the Queen, Penroll Corporation understood that the Queen is determined to, within her stay with the Crown, build a more dynamic, productive, sickness-free world, where the dreams and the aspirations of many will be achieved; where the life expectancy of women and men could be reached at eighty not forty; were poverty can be reduced, not through reliefs but through productive and enterprising hard work of healthy men and women and vision-driven children. All of these, even as there is no finances and no hope of getting one.
The Queen on Inspection Tour

Penroll Corporation, convinced of the convictions and dedications of the office of the Queen, has called on public spirited individuals and corporations, like Longrich Mall  who has given great support to the dreams of the Queen, to give impetus to the visions of this young, dynamic woman who is modelling excellence.

A Vision of a Better World

Supports can reach the royal office from 0067546560, of Sterling Bank, Idea Universe. Make that transfer now, so this amazing Queen can build a world that will be sufficient to us and hundreds of generations to come.

Idiongo Ebong

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