Afrocritik walks you through essential information about the Miss Universe Nigeria 2023 pageantry, including eligibility requirements for the selected contestants, prizes, and the date slated.
By Emmanuel Okoro
In Nigeria, diversity is a source of pride and this is evidently showcased through congeniality events such as the maiden edition of Miss Universe Nigeria (MUN) beauty contest, organised by the Silverbird Group.
The newly established Miss Universe Nigeria is an offshoot of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) beauty contest that has spanned almost four decades. This evolution in the Nigerian pageantry scene brings a few changes and innovations that promise to redefine the concept of beauty and influence for a new generation. While they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with women’s pageantries, it is more than meets the eye. It is about grace, charisma, poise, intelligence, the power to inspire others, and social advocacy. It is also about offering compelling answers to the world’s pressing questions such as poverty, insecurity, and women’s rights.
Previously, the winner of the MBGN contest was named “MBGN World” and had the honour of representing the country at the Miss World pageant. The first runner-up of the MBGN typically clinched the “MBGN Universe” crown but never competed at the global Miss Universe contests.
However, the winner of the Miss Universe Nigeria contest will have the chance to represent Nigeria at the Miss Universe pageant this year, slated to happen in El Salvador in December. The decision of the Silverbird Group to establish a standalone Miss Universe Nigeria pageant speaks to the growing recognition of the global Miss Universe brand and underscores Nigeria’s commitment to the platform. This edition will see the current MBGN Universe titleholder, Hannah Iribhogbe, turn in her crown for the new winner that will be unveiled.
In addition to reshaping the titles and opportunities associated with these contests, the eligibility criteria for the MUN have cast a wider net for the selected contestants across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Notably, the pageant welcomed contestants aged 18 to 28 and also encouraged women of different marital statuses, whether single, married, divorced, or single parents to participate. The organisers also opened their doors to contestants of any body size, which is a departure from the typical standards of beauty pageants that focus on and prioritise slender body archetypes.
The panel of judges for this year’s selection includes international journalist and TV host, Keturah King, public speaker and entrepreneur, Kiki Chiori, and award-winning media strategist and host, Bridget Chigbufue.
The shortlisted contestants across the country are: Aisha Taalia Ali, Roseline Okenwa, Favour John, Freda-Ann Eko, Paula Ezendu, Oluchi Ugwu, Boma Dokubo, Chinaza Miracle, Louisa Jacob-Duke, Joy Agiagiah, Chiamaka Immaculate Ali, Doris Eyisi, Princess Agunbiade, Cassandra Avan, Chibuzor Chijioke, Ugochi Ihezue, Chidinma Chijioke, Perpetual Ukadike, Silvia Ifebueme, Cynthia Okoro, Violet Ejiata, Anu Toluhi, Rachel Ojeba, Aminat Bello, Tofe Olagoke, Nana Aisha Abubakar, Princess Harnet Eweka, Olashubomi Balogun, Inem Shina, Funmilola Oluwatovin, Stephanie Okonkwo, Sharon Chinaka, Nyekachi Douglas, Joy Oranezi, Precious Marcus Chinah, Doris Okafor, and Sectra Okundaye.
The contest is set to take place at the iconic Eko Hotels and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos, on the 10th of September. This year’s edition promises numerous opportunities for the winner. Besides the prestigious title, she will be walking – nay, driving – away in a brand-new car, a cash prize, and endorsement deals to set her up for her tenure.
Tickets for the event are available at various price points. You can choose from VIP tickets at ₦10,000, Silver table at ₦1 million, Gold table at ₦2 million, or Platinum table at ₦3 million. The tickets can be conveniently purchased at Silverbird Cinemas at Ikeja City Mall and Victoria Island, Eko Hotels and Suites, and Festac Hotel Conference Centre and Spa in Lagos.
You can vote for your favourite contestant by clicking this link. It costs ₦100 per vote.