24 year old Benedicta Akpana emerged Miss Heritage Nigeria 2014/2015 on December 1, 2014, in Abuja. According to Benedicta, she emerged winner through hard work and determination. In a brief chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, she revealed her success secret and much more…
How do you feel being Miss Heritage Nigeria?
Words cannot describe how I feel about my winning. All I can say is, I feel awesome and privileged because it is a dream come true and I look forward to bigger winnings.
What was your winning strategy?
My winning strategy was determination and hard work.
What would you say stood you out?
What stood me out was the fact that I did it before and I didn’t succeed, so I was determined and focused because I knew what I wanted to achieve.
Which contestant posed a threat to you?
I was a threat to myself because at some point, I began to doubt my abilities to succeed in the race. I felt I was not skinny enough or not tall enough or not confident enough and that was how little doubts kept creeping into my mind. But I remember that verse of the Bible that says, “Speak it till you achieve it” so I believed in myself.
Did you ever envisage you would win?
I didn’t think so because the other contestants were all beautiful. If only beauty was the criteria for winning, I would not have the crown but thank God I won.
Being Miss Heritage Nigeria, what are the things expected of you?
I am expected to promote Nigeria’s cultural heritage through my dressing, hairstyles, the kind of foods I eat, learning different cultures and knowing their heritage, and most important, being an example of Nigerian Cultural Heritage.
What do you intend to achieve during your reign?
During and after my reign as Miss Heritage Nigeria, I should have been able to make an impact in the minds of younger people the importance of our heritage. Though the western ways have come to stay, as the saying goes, “Even if you don’t know where you’re headed, never forget where you come from” and that is our heritage.
What was the prize attached to your winning and have you been given?
The only prize that came with my crown was a car which I was given at the grand finale. I feel proud of myself anytime I’m in my car. I couldn’t be more grateful to God.
How much fame and fortune has this crown fetched you?
Right now, I really cannot say how much fame it has fetched me because I am still walking down the road to fame and fortune. But I am grateful for where I am right now.
What do you think are the challenges of being a beauty queen?
People have expectations and wrong opinion of you, like you get paid by the government. So you have so much money and whenever they ask you for it, never say no to their request.
How do your parents feel right now?
They’re proud of me because it’s a dream come true. I have been on this lane for a while. Entertainment is my career.
Tell us about your background?
My name is Benedicta Akpana, from Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State. I am 24 and a graduate of Microbiology from the University of Abuja. My hobbies are cooking, dancing and acting. I am an extrovert and love every aspect of entertainment. Growing up was fun but very strict. Becoming a responsible woman today is thanks to my family and church. As a child from primary to secondary and university education, I didn’t love anything like social activities, from dancing to drama, etc. Coming into the pageant world was as a result of trying to test my abilities which I did at the Face of Sofa contest in 2013, where I emerged a runner up. When I heard about Miss Heritage Nigeria contest, I decided to go for it because the crown is unique and outstanding. Yes, I made it and today I am Miss Heritage Nigeria 2014 /2015. I have the 2015 calendars which I am still giving out and we are preparing to launch my pet project by God’s grace after the general elections.