Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN)
"Not to be confused with
The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant began in
1986,and was created by Silverbird Entertainment.
Winners represent Nigeria in
Miss Worldand , until recently, Miss Universe- currently, only the first-runner up participates in Miss Universe. After winners of rival contest Miss Nigeriastopped representing the country at international level - the last Miss Nigeria to compete in Miss World was Rosemary Okeke in 1985 - it was left to the reigning MBGN title holders to continue from where Miss Nigeria had stopped. Since then, MBGN representatives have fared much better at international level, unlike delegates from Miss Nigeria. Although no contest was held in 1989, 1988 MBGN first runner-up Regina Askiatook over from winner Bianca Onohafter the latter decided to step down, automatically making Askia MBGN 1989.
2001 Agbani Daregowon the 2001 Miss World pageant, making her the first and only black African to accomplish this feat. MBGN first runner-up Ann Suinnerwas asked to step in as the new MBGN for the remaining five months.
MBGN has also produced four Miss World
Continental Queens of Beauty, including Darego, Chinenye Ochubaand Anita Uwagbale. After Lynda Chuba Ikpeazuwon Miss Africa, Mary Bienoseh was sent to represent Nigeria at Miss World, and while she did not officially replace Chuba Ikpeazu as MBGN, she placed ninth in Miss World, making her the very first Nigerian to reach the finals. In 1990, Sabina Umehwon Miss World's Miss Personality prize. Toyin Rajialso won it in 1995, despite having to withdraw from the pageant at the last minute.
No MBGN contest was held in 1997. A Nigerian delegate to Miss World 1997, Adanma Evoh had to withdraw drew to sponsorship issues.
A number of contestants who paticipated in MBGN but failed to win have tried their luck in rival contest
Miss Nigeria. Successful contestants include Janet Fateye (Miss Nigeria 1993), and Sylvia Edem (Miss Nigeria 2002).
In the pageant's early days, contestants were allowed to wear
maillot swimsuits of their choice. These days, they all have to wear similar bikinis. The contestants do not always represent the states they hail from. Nearly all the contestants who have represented northern states come from the South, as the predominantly Islamicnorth frown upon beauty pageants.
Recently, Silverbird Entertainment announced that the pageant will now produce five representatives, as opposed to one winner. The representatives will take part in beauty contests around the world. This year,
Adaeze Igwewill represent Nigeria at Miss World to be held in Ukraine, while first runner-up Stephanie Oforka was the delegate to Miss Universe 2008 in Vietnam.
Several past winners and participants of MBGN have managed to carve out successful careers in modelling, acting, business and politics. A few others, like
Rhihole Gbinigieand Emma Komlousy, have sank into obscurity.
* [http://www.silverbirdgroup.com/mbgn/ MBGN website]
* [http://www.pageantopolis.com/international/world_1987.htm Mary Bienoseh, Miss World 1987]
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