All the drama, impressive displays, tackles and goals of beauty queens and media ladies football match! In truth, it has come and gone but the memories of the evening at Soho Sports Centre where celebrated beauties slogged it out with veteran media ladies still linger. The novelty football match with a concept designed to kick against rape started at about 5:00 pm. The beauty queens were in yellow jerseys, while the opponent in all red colour in full anticipation for a historical victory. The match kicked off as both teams dabbled into action to out-shine and dominate one another. As the match progressed, the tempo and tension increased though with a corresponding fatigue showing on some of the players. Blessing of MyTV Africa kept the media supporters on their feet in excitement as she scored the first goal. The second half started in high spirit as the beauty queens who were not new to competitions, especially in pageant settings, stepped up their game which paid off with a beautiful solo effort from the captain, Queen Ogenna (Queen of Aso International). With the score line at one goal apiece, both teams closed up their defence. Not even the introduction of veteran Wazobia presenter Willy Willy could change the score line until the referee ended the match with a penalty shootout. It was a dramatic and interesting match which gave Nigerian female football hope as some of the ladies would rub shoulders perfectly with the Super Falcons players on a good day. The CEO, Mr. Desmond Agboola presented certificates to the players and praised them for the team spirit and sportsmanship.
In a chat with the CEO, Mr. Desmond Agboola, he opened up on why the 10th anniversary was kicked off with a novelty match, to Kick Against Rape in Nigeria…
Tell us about the novelty match?
The novelty football match was designed to celebrate Queen of Aso Nigeria 10th anniversary and also to Kick Against Rape in Nigeria. Rape is very rampant these days and there should be a lot of awareness to reduce the rate in the country. That’s why we brought together top beauty queens playing against some select ladies in the media to kick against rape through a novelty match.
Who are the organisers?
The organiser of the event is the office of the Queen of Aso Nigeria, the prestigious brand designed to promote the cultural heritage and tourism value of Nigeria.
What was the score line?
The 30 minute novelty match was not enough for both teams to prove themselves. At the end of first half, the media ladies scored a goal and the beauty queens followed in the second half. However, the media ladies won the match after a penalty shootout, Media Ladies 2-Beauty Queens 1.
Is this project going to end in Abuja?
No, we plan to take this campaign against rape to some other states like Lagos, Abia, Benue and Akwa Ibom because I found out that rape is not only rampant in Abuja but all over the world. So, the office of the Queen of Aso are ready to spread their tentacles to be able to put an end to rape in Nigeria.
Are you saying the government is not doing enough to fight rape?
The government is doing a lot but at the same time, they cannot do it all. The private sector also has to step in to complement what the government is doing as well and that was why we organized this novelty match against rape in Nigeria.
Aside the novelty match, what other ways do you think rape can be curbed?
This can be achieved through sensitization. That is, by letting people know about it. For me, I believe through this method this notorious act will be curbed gradually.
What message do you have for rape victims?
All I can tell them is, “This is not the end of the world.” Although it might appear to be a stigma, they should try as much as possible to move on and achieve whatever they want to achieve.
It’s been 10 years of Queen of Aso Nigeria, what has kept it going?
So much has gone down the line, most especially the passion for the job. It has always been the mindset of doing more and that has kept us going.
What gave birth to this idea?
My zeal has always been to promote the cultural heritage and tourism in Nigeria, so I thought about having an ambassador who would help promote this core value and heritage in Nigeria. That was how we came up with the Queen of Aso Nigeria.
What has been the challenge?
In the beginning, it was the issue of finances, but has time went on, we were able to get over that. Although, we are not there yet, I believe we would get there very soon.
How would you rate the success of each beauty queen thus far?
They have done very well in their respective capabilities because they all get to represent Nigeria at Miss Africa beauty pageant every year and my queen of 2011 also won the crown for Miss Africa that same year and that made us proud. I would say, we have recorded a lot of success.
Aside the cash and car prize, what other side attractions do they benefit from?
They have pet projects which they work on and is always funded by the office of the Queen of Aso Nigeria. They also enjoy free one year hair care services, modeling contracts, representing Nigeria at international competitions and much more.
How do you intend to make the next event better?
The next event would be coming up in September and it is going to be the biggest so far as it would be held at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja. We would be having so many activities. We would be bringing in some of our music artistes as well as some foreign artistes as well, lots of awards and some other exciting activities.