In the recently concluded 2021 beauty pageant of Nigeria’s most stylish girl, Jessica Ochuko Obeziri was crowned the winner. Delta State Polytechnic Science Lab Technology graduate Ozoro was not only thrilled with her victory, she was optimistic it would be her first step in achieving greater things for young Nigerians. In this interview with IFEOMA ONONYE, the beauty queen, who said she fell in love with modeling and acting a long time ago, talks about the disturbing rate at which many young Nigerians are leaving the country and why she will love to make a difference where girls’ education and adolescent hygiene
Tell us a bit about yourself …
I am Jessica Ochuko Obeziri. I was born and raised in Delta State. I studied and graduated with a National Science Laboratory Technology degree at the Ozoro Delta State Polytechnic, which is now recognized as the Delta State University of Science and Technology.
I finished my national diploma in 2019. I am a big fan of acts related to the theater like dancing, role playing and especially modeling. And I like to do whatever is fun.
What were your dreams growing up as a young girl?
Growing up, I always had this dream of walking in the middle of a crowd with cheers from all over. That’s why I chased my dreams of achieving a big foothold in the modeling scene, as well as having a huge impact on society as a whole. I have always dreamed of being a great leader in my company and also well recognized for my good work and my impact in people’s lives. I dreamed of being at the top like most celebrities.
Among those dreams, was being a beauty queen one of them?
The dream of being a beauty queen has always been there because I started my first modeling at the age of 12 in high school. I loved participating in the modeling scene from a young age. I loved the podium and the costumes.
Before competing in Most Elegant Girl in Nigeria, what other beauty pageants have you won or participated in?
MEGN was my 6th beauty pageant. In a way Nigeria’s most stylish girl pageant should be or I can say it’s my first national pageant contest. I have participated in other beauty pageants such as “Delta Face Pageant Pageant” which I won before entering Nigeria’s Most Stylish Girl Pageant Pageant.
You must feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. Tell us what that feeling looks like …
Well i think every girl is beautiful in her own way. So, I really don’t feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. I feel like every girl is special and beautiful in her own way. It’s just where we are at any given time that determines how beautiful we are.
Since most parents dislike their children, especially girls who display their bodies, did your parents support your participation in the contest?
At the mere mention of modeling as a career by their child’s mouth, most parents would be very nervous for their child, especially their daughters.
The pronunciation of the word “modeling” might even trigger a tone of anger. This was how my parents felt, but the passion in me, of never giving up on what I loved, made them admit to letting me move on with what I feel best for me. It took a long time, but over time they realized that life is a tree with many branches and with different fruits attached to each seed.
So they let me grow my own seed which is my modeling career.
They realized that it was a career that excited me and they had no choice but to support me.
There is so much to do in Nigerian society. What animal project are you considering?
Yes, there is so much to do in Nigerian society, but I am all for girls’ education and adolescent hygiene. I carry out an animal project which aims to give the little girl a good education as well as a good hygiene when it comes to teenagers. But even if my animal project is focused on little girls and teenage girls, I have the impression that my animal project can go so far as to touch the whole of society as a whole.
I believe so because a good education should not only be associated with the female gender alone, and hygiene should not only be associated with adolescents alone. It extends to everyone.
The whole society must also be well educated and hygienic. We live in a society where hygiene is also a major issue for many people and communities. So, I think we need to put more effort into educating society on good hygiene practices.
Now that you are a beauty queen, how often do men want your attention?
Does your phone ring like every minute?
This makes me laugh. Not really. It’s a funny question, but to be fair, I don’t see my status as a beauty queen as a magnet for the opposite sex. I stay focused on achieving my dreams and goals.
After handing over the crown, what career do you envision?
Actor in films, fashion design, etc. After handing over my crown, I would look at any opportunities I might have in the entertainment industry. Like I said earlier, I love to play and dance. I was hoping for the best opportunities.
Since winning the crown, have you encountered any challenges?
The truth remains that in everything we do in life there is always happiness and misery in everything we do. So, since reaching the crown, I would say that the only major challenge I have encountered is trying to juggle my daily activities and my important pageantry activities. For example, attending important events, meeting important dignitaries that cannot be left waiting, but in everything, I always find my happiness in everything.
Most young Nigerians travel to other countries due to the current state of the Nigerian economy. What are your thoughts?
I think there is no need to run to other countries because running would not make our country better either. I believe it is better that we all stay and find a way to make it a better country. Leaving Nigeria is not the best option to take to correct its flaws. For example, take a child who has difficulty learning.
Abandoning this child will not make him stick to his studies. This would only push them back further in studies. So to me Nigeria is like a child who needs the help of its citizens as well as its government to stand tall and perform better.
Although we know that some people go abroad and come back with extravagant ideas that really help brighten up the face of the country. This means that there are more people leaving for experience and development ideas. It’s much better than leaving and never coming back.
If we all go, I mean run to other countries, who will fix this place? Who will do the work that we are all supposed to do. And one thing Nigerians should never forget is that another man’s house cannot be ours. No matter how far we run, we would need to find our way home someday.