By Yemis Suleiman
What appears to be a deviation from the norm in beauty pageantry in the country is about to be unveiled with the introduction of the Okin Oge (ceremonial queen of Lagos) beauty pageant.
The innovative pageant whichÂ is an initiative ofÂ Queen Lott Onu, Managing Director of Queenikky International, a Beauty and Events Creation Agency isÂ anchored on the premise of promoting Lagos cultural uniqueness and Tourism.
For Queen, the pageant is aimed at further enhancing the image of Lagos as the centre of excellence and cultural renaissance and to present the qualities of African beauty and rich cultural heritage. She revealed that â€œthe event will have cultural dance and rhythm competition, visits to traditional rulers, orphanages and social centreâ€™s as part of activities lined up for the queens.â€
She stressed that the emerging Okin Oge of Lagos (Ceremonial Queen of Lagos) will be unique in that it will provide a wide range of opportunities for the contestants especially the overall winner of the prestigious Okin Oge of Lagos cultural beauty pageant.
â€œI really want to make the queen well known, and also try to promote the culture in Lagos and Nigeria generallyâ€ she says â€œ the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Intergovernmental Affairs has given its nod to the pageant.
Equally too, the event has gotten the royal blessings of the Oba of Lagos.â€Â Buttressing her point,Â Prince Kenny Mobolaji Bakare Project Coordinator of the Okin Oge pageant said that â€œthe event will be the best of its kind because it will enhance long standing support for Lagos State culture, tourism and youth development drive by empowering our young beautiful ladies who shall showcase beauty with brain during and after the event for a life time opportunityâ€.
Furthermore, Bakare stressed that the pageant is going to set a new standard and â€œthis is a heart warming experience for me and my partners as we conceive a package that will entertain, educate and form a social platform for our young and intelligent young ladies to fully express themselves.â€
Asked the main objective of the Okin Oge pageant? Onu responds â€œWhen beauty pageants first started, they were viewed as â€œtrivial events whose interpretation required no scholarly effort. Miss America, the first pageant of its kind, has made an effort to ensure that it does not appear as a â€œstereotypicalâ€ pageant.
To this end the Okin Oge competition will emphasize the different aspects of women and highlights their personal successes. WeÂ will strive to give the young ladies the opportunity to rise to the top, return to their hometowns and promote community involvement.â€
Another goal of the pageantÂ is promoting self-esteem of the contestants.â€œThe skills learned in pageants, especially those that will be learnt at the Okin Oge pageant will last for a lifetime. Contestants will gain the ability to speak in public, and a sense of confidence in themselves. Winners of this pageant will feel they have a sense of accomplishment.â€ she informs.
The cultural beauty pageant which is scheduled to hold on the 29th of May, 2010 at Lagos oriental hotel Victoria Island, will haveÂ qualified contestants camped at vantage beach hotel and resort by ocean side Lekki Phase 1.
â€œAt the grand finale of the pageant, 21 young ladies from all the local government areas in Lagos State will showcase their beauty, intellect and social acculturation to the whole world asÂ the event would be beamed live on local Television and satellite to a global audienceâ€ she informs.
According to the organizers, the winner of the pageant would walk home with a cash reward, trip to Ghana and a brand new car. Accordingly, the event will be witnessed by personalities from all walks of life including Lagos State Government officials and other stakeholders and corporate organisations who are already indicating their interest in this project.
The firstÂ Okin Oge queen will be crowned by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu and she would be a cultural ambassador that will be the new face of Lagos carrying out social and humanitarian acts thatÂ is supposed to benefit the society.