Nancy I. Aisagbongi, 18 year old indigene of Edo State and student of Niger Delta University, was crowned on December 23, 2013, at the prestigious Vietian Arena as the seventh Carnival Calabar Queen.
The beauty queen, who featured in the pageant as Miss Mary Slessor, was pronounced the winner of after performing series of impeccable acts. The newly- crowned queen has been declared the face of MACA (an initiative of the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke) and also will serve as an Ambassador for tourism for Cross River State. The event was attended by distinguished guests from all over the country.
In this interview, the new Queen opened up on her life and the responsibilities that come with the crown…
What was the feeling when you were announced the winner of Carnival Calabar Queen 2014?
It was overwhelming. It still feels like I’m dreaming.
Who encouraged you to be a part of this contest?
My friend did. He spoke to me about the pageant and what it was about. As a matter of fact, he bought the form and convinced me to fill it.
Did you believe you would emerge the winner?
No. All the contestants were beautiful and talented young women. It was indeed a very tough pageant.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am Nancy Olive Itohan Aisagbongi. I am 18, from Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State. I am also a 200 level Pure and Applied Chemistry student of Niger Delta University.
Tell us how growing up was for you?
Growing up was fun. Even as an only child, I had my cousins all around me so there was no dull moment.
What would you say is your biggest strength?
That would be my height
What were the gifts that came with winning the car?
A brand new car, N2 million, a trip to Jamaica and one year accommodation at the Presidential Lodge, Calabar.
What are those things you will miss now that you have assumed a bigger office?
I would no longer have time for my peers because I have more responsibilities. I have to think and act older now.
What do you hope to do differently this year? Any unique idea?
I would love to make a very great positive impact on the lives of the children and teenagers in Cross River State and in Nigeria as well.
How do you hope to work with the initiators of the contest so as to deliver on the goals of being a queen?
I’m willing to do all it takes to build an intimate and cordial relationship with them to enable us work as a team to achieve our goals
How supportive were your parents towards this contest?
My parents were in full support from the beginning. They kept encouraging me.
What has changed about you after winning the crown?
I don’t think anything has changed. Just the fact that I have grown into a confident young woman.
What are the challenges that you think lie ahead in your new office?
I would say combining my academics with my official duties.
Do you aspire to participate in more beauty pageants later in future?
Yes, I do.
What do you intend to achieve with this platform?
As the ambassador of Mothers Against Child Abandonment (MACA) I hope to express my passion by uplifting the lives of the less privileged.
What is your personal style statement?
I wouldn’t say I have a statement. Being comfortable is what style is all about to me. So anything that is comfortable and suits the occasion is my style.
What’s one fashion accessory you can’t leave home without?
Looking back, who has been your greatest influence?
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as the queen who left a mark in the hearts of the children of Cross River State.
– TADE ASIFAT