Miss Nigeria UK 2016, Hannah Agboola, and Mr Nigeria UK 2016, Teedum Nke-ee, discuss their inspiration for applying for the pageant, lessons learnt, and what they hope to achieve during their reign.
Why did you apply for Mr and Miss Nigeria UK (MMNUK) 2016?
HA – Mr & Miss Nigeria UK has in the past, allowed young winners and participants, the opportunities to showcase their dreams and ambitions whilst some have managed to see it through, creating a difference in their community. Therefore I believe that this platform will allow me to succeed in creating a performing arts programme, which will allow youths to express themselves through the arts such as, dance, drama and music. It will also help my self-development, as I am aspiring to be an actress.
TN – Growing up, I have always wanted to be a family name, positively influencing the youths through entertainment and the media. So I applied to achieve that, and also to expose myself to the Nigerian community in and out of the UK, and I believe the pageant will give me the platform to achieve this goal.
What lessons did you learn during the preparation of the pageant?
HA – To maintain my hard work ethic and to be consistent in all I do, to only get better. Humbleness and perseverance has been embedded in my life through this journey, as I am able to give my big personality in small doses, for people to understand me as a person not only holding the crown of Miss Nigeria UK.
TN – Actually it increased my faith level in the sense that I left everything to the Holy Spirit and I was not let down. I made new friends and learnt the full potential that I could get to.
What influence do you think the pageant has on the young Nigerian community in the UK?
HA – The pageant has a great influence on the young Nigerian community in the UK as it educates and allows young people to understand the different societies in Nigeria and their identity, which is a privilege to hold up high. As Fela Kuti said, ‘You have to find identity within yourself to find identity within Africa’. Also, I believe it builds confidence for some that don’t have it, to showcase their talents and ambitions. The whole training process aids you to build up yourself to be comfortable in what you love, and to channel your energy in the right direction.
TN – I think it goes beyond the UK, because it also went viral in Nigeria. Based on our activities, we wish for it to influence young people positively and make them believe in their dreams and goals as a young Nigerian, in or out of the UK.
How do you think MMNUK can promote a positive image of Nigeria in the UK?
HA – MMNUK is already doing a great job, the UK just needs to take greater interest.
TN – Based on our activities in and out of the country, I believe that giving back to our society will give us the respect we deserve.
What do you hope to achieve during your reign?
HA – I hope to do a theatre show to showcase young people’s talents in the UK, which will incorporate dance, drama and music. Performing arts is as of great interest to me and I believe youth of today are able to express themselves without any limits through this channel. I’d also love to be apart of fundraising campaigns to raise money for orphans to provide pathways to achieve their dreams. Lastly, as I’m an aspiring actress, I will like to also branch out to work in the entertainment industry but also doing hosting/presenting. I currently have a YouTube page called ‘Hanging with Hannah’.
TN: Currently, I am speaking with a team member from the displaced people’s camp in Borno State, as I plan to promote the idea of oneness, as I from the south; also, I will be spare heading a campaign to raise learning materials and assisting kids with books and school materials, and I hope for this to be successful so I would love to get sponsors and support from the UK community as well as in Nigeria.
What advice would you offer those planning to contest for MMNUK next year?
HA – I would say, make sure you have a plan to see it through in order to reach your end goal. Participate for yourself and nobody else; in other words ‘Be in competition with yourself and nobody else’. Believe in yourself and be yourself. Be open to nurturing, to shape you to be better. Great communication and maturity is key. Enjoy the journey.
TA – Have a vision, see what they want to achieve with or without the crown, and this will give them the zeal and passion to do excellently.
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