Miss Tourism Nigeria is one pageant that celebrates Nigeria cultural heritage. Last year's pageant had lot of beauty Queens emerge. One of such Beauty Queens is Miss Alice Ebika, who represented Zamfara state in the pageant. Alice Ebika has used her office to set up Foundation for Sickle Soldiers, a foundation set to enlighten people on the need to remove the death sentence labelled on every one with sickle cell anaemia. Alice Ebika was last year named among the 15 African models to expect in 2016 by Xpress Africa blog. In this exclusive interview, Alice narrates her experience in the Miss Tourism Nigeria 2015 pageant and then opens up on her foundation. I am sure you will to read this...
What is Miss Tourism Nigeria pageant about? : Miss Tourism Nigeria is a national pageant aimed at portraying the rich diversity of Nigeria and its' culture through Nigerian beauties from all part of the country yearly.
How did you feel winning Miss Tourism Zamfara state? : *smiles* Well, I have always been asked this question. Just as I said earlier I represent Zamfara state for Miss Tourism Nigeria 2015/2016 after much stages and screening of the Miss Tourism Nigeria pageant where I made it as a finalist. So, practically I am the reigning Miss Tourism Zamfara state till the next national pageant begins. One beautiful factor about Miss Tourism Nigeria pageant is the very unique challenges it gives to contestants to represent a whole new culture which in turn helps portray ONE NIGERIA. So, I didn't choose to be a Zamfara state representative. I was chosen to and I loved the whole idea because I am always addressed as a Fulani in school because of my body features so I grabbed the opportunity to explore.
What inspired your contesting for Miss Tourism Zamfara state and then Miss Tourism Nigeria? : I have always loved pageants because of the numerous opportunities it gives to young Nigerian girls to help as ambassadors of youth development. So, I challenged myself into Miss Tourism Nigeria pageant to learn as a young achieving model.
What have you achieved as Miss Tourism Zamfara state? : Wow. I have actually achieved more than I thought I could as a state representative. I mean young Nigerian girls should learn to always make their platforms or positions known no matter how little they think it is. I am reigning because I chose to use a position I currently occupy to make my dreams come alive. I really don't need to be crowned before I unleash who I am and my motives. The greatest achievement is the actualization of a charity cause I have always wanted to work on even as a kid, "The foundation for Sickle Soldiers" with which I have been able to create a niche for myself. Like I am being watched out for. *laughing* Yeah, I mean that beauty Queen that always talks and works on the cause for the Nigerian child living with sickle cell and it's absolutely the best because it has attached a title anyone can easily know it has to be Miss Alice Ebika.
What inspired your sickle cell foundation? : Hmmmm. Most significantly why I chose sickle cell is due to the alarming mortality rate of "The Nigerian child living with sickle cell anaemia". Almost everyone is neglecting what sickle cell soldiers actually need but rather prefer seeing it as a death sentence as if anyone living with sickle cell dies sooner than later which is very wrong. So, I am on this charity cause to prove that "myth" wrong and let everyone know that sickle cell soldiers are actually strong because they are not patients they are soldiers that fight silently daily.
How did you feel not winning Miss Tourism Nigeria? : I didn't really feel good but losing never means failure for a real human. It was a competition and a winner has to be crowned.
How fair do you consider the Miss Tourism Nigeria contest? : The pageant was as fair as the organizers could have it because every pageant has its rules and facts to crowning a winner.
What other things do you want to achieve as Miss Tourism Zamfara state before handing over? : (Laughs) I guess you should watch the throne for more.
What about being a beauty Queen do you think people don't understand and should understand? : Hmmmmmm. A lot, but most of it all is the fact that everyone thinks being a beauty Queen is only when you are publicly crowned. Hell no! Some pageants even still crown after its' grand finale which is very wrong. There are pageants that only come with title as a finalist and runner up. Such pageants crown only one which everyone will know as the winner. It is now up to you to live as a true Queen whether you emerged a finalist or runner up. Because at the very end it is what you do after the pageant that the world acknowledges.
How have your life been affected as a Beauty Queen? : The experience makes me strive to be the best always.
What does it take to be a Beauty Queen or to participate in a pageant and win? : It takes confidence and grace I would say, because, most times your best might just be too intimidating and most importantly hard work.
What should be expected from you after your reign as Queen? : An adage says a Queen is always a Queen... So I should say I am far from being over...
How do you keep up considering the expectations people make of you as a Beauty Queen? : I really don't have to go astray just to keep up with the world expectations. I won't force myself to be what they think it should be. I am always me.
Role model(s) : I love Yvonne Nelson because of her originality. I admire Queen Collete Nwadike because she is a goal-getter.
Most treasured fashion piece(s) : I love hair bands so much, shoes. Though I won't say I am a fashion person. My mood describes my look so if I ever wake up feeling chic, prepare to see me chic. If I ever wake up not feeling chic prepare to see me on jeans and a Tee.
Words to aspiring Beauty Queens? : Hmmmm. Always stay true to yourself, stand for what you believe in always.