Damiete Granville, 23, who won the crown as First runner-up and Miss Universe stands 5.9th feet tall with a slim frame of a gazelle. She hails from Calabari in Rivers state and also represented her state in the pageant. She is in her final year at the University of Benin, studying Mass Communications. She loves dancing, hanging out with friends and reading. She bares her mind to Showtime too on her experience and what she hopes to do. Execerpts:
Is this your first pageant?
not exactly. I came for the audition of the last pageant in 2010 but I did not make it. I pushed to come again this year and here I am.
So what did you do differently this time?
This time around I was bold and a bit more outspoken. Most of all I believed in myself and I just kept on giving myself a little peep talk, like don’t worry it’s going to be alright.
What did you learn from participating in the pageant?
The camp was beautiful I met 32 beautiful ladies, they were all friendly. I learn how to behave more like a lady and also talk and walk like a lady. I also learned some nice dance moves, it was really fun but generally I learned how to be a lady
You gave an impression like you were a tomboy, are you?
I am not a tomboy. Before the experience I was merely a girl but now I am a lady. You know being a girl is natural but being a lady is something that has to be imbibed and I guess I learned a whole lot about being a lady.
What would you want to do as Miss Universe?
I will like to use my crown for a pet project. That is to encourage environmental control and protection in view of the fact that our environment has been abused, reduced and neglected. So I would like to enlighten the public how to keep it safe from abuse and degradation. Like telling them about recycling, reusing and reducing.
But all this you are saying doesn’t come naturally to a young girl. Where did you learn all about this?
I have been a follower of environmental catastrophes in the world and I believe I know to a certain extent what it takes to bring about public enlightenment on environmental protection. What I don’t know I wish to learn. I think I am even lucky to be the Miss Universe because Universe is about the air, about the environment. I have learnt a bit about the environmental problems of the world like water pollution, air pollution, desertification, afforestation and global warming. So my major mission is to help make our environment safe for future generation.
What were the challenges you had to cope with in the camp?
The only challenges I can remember is having to wake in the morning very early, like 5-6am for exercise. Everybody was like, you are so slim, so fit but believe me when I started the exercises I realised I wasn’t fit at all. It really helped me and I got to learn some exercising skills I know will help me to stay in shape.
Did you ever think you would come this far?
No, I never thought I would come this far, I was just hoping that I would make it even though I had my dream to go all the way. When I made the top five my heart was really pounding that yes I could make it and when the top three was announced and I made it still I said to myself, yes, this is it at least I hadn’t come for nothing.
Apart from this pageant what else do you wish to do?
I have always loved modeling. After this I think I am going to be a model. After that, with my degree I will consider a career in broadcasting. Be a presenter and have my own talk-show like ‘Moment with Mo’.
Who are your role models?
The number one person is my mother. She has always been my backbone and given me every support I need. The next person is Agbani Darego. She has been an inspiration. The feat she achieved with being the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and going ahead to win Miss World and the fact that we are from the same place has given me the push I need. She taught me that with hardwork and determination one can achieve ant set goal.