By Jemi EKUNKUNBOR
Nineteen year old Damilola Agbajor was a few hours to her 19th birthday when she was crowned Miss Nigeria 2010. The 200 level Mass Communication student of the University of Lagos, is an only child and cuts a picture of calmness and innocence. Barely one month into the world of glamour, the pleasant queen shares her experience in this new world as queen ambassador as she is fondly called.
What was the feeling like when you were announced the winner?
For the first few seconds, I was in shock until somebody had to tell me, that I had won. I was like, is this really happening or am I going to wake up sometimes soon and find out it’s a dream? It was all so overwhelming with cameras flashing at me, I had to take pictures and give a speech. When I woke up the next morning, that was when it dawned on me that it was real.
For how long have you been dreaming of becoming a queen?
It’s not as if I have been dreaming about becoming a queen because there was no Miss Nigeria before now. But when I heard about this pageant, it was very different from the rest especially when I heard that the winner will be a queen ambassador. I wanted to be part of it.
Did you think you would win?
Well, I was prepared to a point. But I was open to what ever the outcome would be.
How have you changed since you became queen?
I was just a simple, easy going school girl before I became queen. But now, I know people are looking at me and expecting me to do some things. So, I’m very careful now and very conscious of what I do and try to see that I make adult decisions.
How have you been handling fame that has come your way?
It feels odd. I walk into a place and people start debating “its her, no, it’s not her”. Some come to you and say, “can I take your picture”? Being an ordinary girl, that won’t happen. As queen, I got to go for the Independence parade something I only heard on TV. This time, I actually participated and people recognised me and shouted that is Miss Nigeria. That was very beautiful. I’ve never felt that way in my entire life. I felt so honoured. I was there with the president and governors, I felt so humbled. So far, I’ve been handling it well.
And the world of glamour?
I am loving every bit of it.
Is being in the spotlight something you think you could manage?
I’ve always thought I’ll handle it, it won’t get into my head but its different when you are actually there.
How much of your life has changed in fashion?
Momo has been doing my clothes. I’ve been following all the tips I got during the camp. Normally when it comes to fashion, for me, it’s comfort first, then simplicity but now it doesn’t have to be so. It has to be presentable first before comfort. Now I wear more of Nigerian prints promoting what is ours. My wardrobe is talking for me.
What was your wardobe like before now?
It’s been mainly jeans and tops, things I can be comfortable in. But now, I’m loving the print outfits.
What are your dream items?
I won’t call them dream items but I’ve always loved black dresses.
You earned yourself a beautiful car. Did you ever dream of owning a car?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to have a car at 18. I thank God I got it on the last day of 18 just before I turned 19.
Is it your dream car?
Funny enough, I didn’t have a dream car. I just wanted to have a car at 18. It’s not too big, it’s not too small, just perfect.
As part of your winnings, you were offered the opportunity of education in any university anywhere in the world but you turned it down, why?
I love this country. I usually travel for holidays and come back. The truth is, this is who I am. I love it here. I’ve come to realise that when you go out of this country, it can’t be like when you are here. Everything I like and want to achieve is in Nigeria. The people I want to meet are all here. I am Miss Nigeria now for example, I can’t go to the UK and be Miss Nigeria. So, I chose to go to University of Lagos instead and finish up what I’ve started. So, let people see me here first and then I’d go show myself to other people of other lands.