Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ezinne Akudo, Miss Nigeria : My saddest moment

For Miss Nigeria, Ezinne Akudo, life as a beauty queen is all about
working closely with the victims of sexual violence. In an exclusive
chat with The Entertainer, the newly crowned damsel and graduate of
law from Abia State University disclosed that her decision to work
with rape victims stemmed from her experience last year after her
close friend fell victim.
"It was a very touching experience for me. My very good friend was
raped last year and you can only imagine the trauma she went through.
That made me realise how close it could get, how vulnerable we all
are. It could happen to anybody including me; rape is the trending
evil right now. I was there by her side all through and I watched her
pass through it all. I am happy she is okay now and has gotten over
the traumatic experience.
"It's going to be a total campaign against sexual violence in Nigeria
and right now, we are at the drawing board. We are looking at talking
to victims and creating awareness about sexual violence. We will be
talking to parents, their kids and all stakeholders. Because of the
stigma attached to rape, we are also working on an emergency help
line, which will provide counseling for victims. We'll be talking
about rape and how to avoid it," she said.
Are you a teenaged girl out there on campus or in any part of the
country? Then you are a potential rape victim. Akudo has a word of
advice for you as far as avoiding rape is concerned: "If you're in
school, don't ever move alone. I wasn't walking alone in school; I
always moved in groups. Or you could ask a guy to accompany you
especially when going out at night on campus. So, the first thing you
do is don't move around alone but move in groups."
However, she admonishes: "It's even those you trust most that can
surprise you with rape so the most important thing is don't put
yourself in compromising situations."
Born to a family of four, 22-year-old Akudo is the second child of her
parents. She says she is from an average family and was not born with
a silver spoon. However, her parents made sure she and her siblings
got all they desired while growing up.
"I grew up in Owerri. Our parents were there for us. We had everything
we wanted though my parents were not moneybags. They were very
dedicated to giving me and my siblings the best in life," she
Once upon a dream
Akudo disclosed that until a few years ago, she never dreamed of being
a beauty queen, but after watching her friend contest at the 2011
edition of Miss Nigeria, she decided to give it a shot. However, she
never believed she had what it took to win.
Recounting the experience of the last three months, Akudo, who was
crowned on Saturday, July 6, 2013 said: "It's been wonderful. People
treat me like a queen. My new schedule has taken me away from most of
my friends and most friends don't understand that. I feel like I have
a lot of work to do. Apart from the joy that came with the victory, I
feel I have a lot of work to do.
"I wouldn't say I knew that I was going to win because there were a
lot of pretty girls in there with me that night and it could have gone
any way. However, I was just positive because everybody in there
wanted to win."
"When my name was announced I didn't believe it! I was still staring
into space when I heard my name and then the other contestants rushed
towards me and started hugging me. It took a while for it to dawn on
me that I had won. At that point, I had many things going through my
mind. I shed tears of joy. I was happy I made my mum and family
proud," Akudo said.
Months after, how has Miss Nigeria impacted her world?
Her response: "I think it has made me to be a more organized person.
When you have a particular schedule you have to stick to it in terms
of movement. I have met so many important people. The title has opened
a lot of doors for me."
How has she been coping with her new schedule?
"I have been trying. My movement has been restricted. You know as a
queen you can't live the way you used to live and do a lot of things
you used to do. I am still adjusting to my new life as a queen. With
time I will get used to this. There are just so many things involved.
I am still trying to get used to being a queen. Before I could do
anything but now it's different. I am missing my family and friends.
In fact, I am missing my freedom."
Akudo says one thing she would not forget soon is her mum's advice
after she won the crown. Hear her: "Mum has always been very
supportive of me. She was right there in the audience when I won the
crown. She said I shouldn't forget where I am coming from. I should
always remember to pray because she raised me very well."
Aside a Toyota corolla, the queen also got a whopping N3 million as
grand prize. Has she paid her tithes? "Yes, I have paid my tithes,"
she says laughing.
So, what has she done for her parents who have been standing behind
her and giving her all the support? She laughs even more as she
responds: "What I gave my mum for her support is between the both of
us. That goes for my dad too but I can assure you that they are very
Now that she is Miss Nigeria, what are her fears?
"I don't really have fears because I have a very good team so I
believe the sky is the limit for me."
Saddest moment
According to Akudo, her saddest moment since she became queen was
losing her close friend who died a few weeks after she was crowned. "I
lost a friend of mine a while ago. He was my campus pastor. His name
was Emmanuel Akibi. It affected me a great deal because we were very
close. We were friends throughout my days at Abia State University
(ABSU). His death was a big shock for me," she lamented.
Akudo has a word of advice for youngsters who want to go into beauty
pageantry. She says they should be focused and determined: "Be
yourself. You can be whatever you want to be. Don't let anyone
discourage you by telling you that you're not good enough or you're
too short or whatever. Discover your passion and let it be your
"I have always wanted to be a TV presenter and have my own talk show
but I studied law so, I also want to be an international humanitarian
lawyer working with a platform like the Red Cross."
Love life
Beauty queens are not expected to talk about their love lives on the
pages of newspapers. However, Akudo painted a picture of her ideal
man. "I have not lost any of my friends because of my new crown, but I
want to keep issues about my love life private. I love a guy that's
passionate about serving God. Any guy that doesn't really love God
can't love a lady. I am impressed about guys who are God fearing. I am
not a fan of very fair guys. I'm down with chocolate skinned guys,"
she concludes with a soft laugh.

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