On October 5th 2013, one of the 30 girls from 17 African countries will be crowned Queen during the third edition of the Miss Black Africa pageant and charity awards. The red carpet ceremony will take place at the Royal Regency Hall in London. On the night, there will be live music, a fashion show, cultural dances and some African comedians will tickle the sides of guests and invitees.
UK born Nigerian PR consultant Dele Onabowu is the founder of the Miss Black Africa pageant.
Francis Ngwa caught up with his for a brief chat.
Q Can you introduce the Miss Black Africa pageant
The Miss Black Africa Beauty Pageant is a pageant open to ladies of Sub-saharan origin, living in the UK. I often get asked why it is called Miss Black Africa so I shall utilise this opportunity to clear that up as well. The term Black Africa is the geographical term for the part of Africa that lies south of the Sahara and encompasses the East, West, South and central regions of Africa.
Q Why do you think it was necessary to create yet another beauty pageant when dozens of African countries have country specific beauty pageants in the UK?
I decided to do this for a couple of reasons. The first being that, it was a way to get directly involved in charity work which is why we have made it mandatory that our queens are required to design and implement a charity program. We have in place, a robust post pageant plan designed to keep our winners busy throughout their reign. Our motto is “Queen’s for a Reason”. The second reason was to use the allure of a beauty queen to inspire young girls to look up to the queens as role models and as a result, aspire to be just like them. A beauty pageant shouldn’t be just about beauty, it should be about beauty with a purpose.
Q I understand you will also be giving out awards to individuals and organizations that support good causes Africa?
Miss Black Africa is more than just a pageant. It was founded for the sole purpose of creating awareness to the plight of the less fortunate in Africa. The winner becomes a goodwill ambassador for Miss Black Africa, charged with designing and implementing a charity program based on their pageant platform. The grand finale is part of the Miss Black Africa pageant and Charity Awards. We work with exemplary people, charities and charitable organisations every year and the support our girls get from them is overwhelming. Our charity Awards is a way of thanking them for the great work they do in their local communities and in Africa.
Q Why did you also create a miss popularity category for the pageant?
We believe that every single girl that reaches the finals of Miss Black Africa is a winner. This year we had 1,255 applicants’s which were weeded down to 30 based on a clear cut criteria. The organisation takes charity very seriously hence it is important that our finalists are not just models but women with a big heart, a strong mandate and conviction. We created other categories so that at least 7 girls will be crowned on the night. Besides the Queen and two runners up, we also have Miss Popularity, Miss Congeniality, Miss Proactive and the Best Catwalk Model. Miss Popularity is decided through a public vote online and live scores can be seen here
Q How are the winners selected?
The Miss Black Africa title is decided by our panel of judges in 4 rounds. The rounds are evening dress, fitness/swimsuit, cultural round and a crucial Interview round. They are scored on poise, elegance, confidence, mission and intelligence.
Q What has Dele Onabowu done before that uniquely qualifies you to organize a pan African beauty pageant in the UK?
I have been actively involved in PR Consultancy, event promotion and management for a while bagging a few awards along the way. I have been a PR consultant to a few pageants and modelling agencies in the UK.
Nollywooduncut.com which I co-founded, received the Best Nollywood Website Award in 2011 at the best of Nollywood Awards in Lagos.
Miss Black Africa UK is currently the holder of the Best Beauty Pageant in the UK Award received at the BEFFTA Awards 2012 in London.
I also received 2 awards this year at the Nigerian Event Awards UK. They were for Nigerian Event Planner of the year & for Best Nigerian Event Marketer.
My expertise in Event Management and PR, having a large African following my deep love for charitable giving and having a formidable team of experts working with me, qualifies me to organise a pageant of this scale and magnitude.
You can buy tickets for the event here
6 things you didn’t know about Dele Onabowu
He is a Software Developer specialising in Database Driven Web Applications and Search Engine Optimisation
Born in the UK, he returned to Nigeria at an early age where he spent much of his childhood.
He has two University degrees.
He is an Oracle Certified Database Developer
He is married to Elizabeth and is the proud father of two Kids.
He loves writing and poetry
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