EMMANUEL Ikubese, the current Mr. Nigeria is sure enjoying a smooth reign. He would wear the crown until the next edition of Mr. World where he would drop his title as the first runner up of Mr. World.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him about his reign, Mr. World experience and sundry issues.
How will you describe your reign as Mr. Nigeria so far?
I think it has been a good one so far. I have represented Nigeria at Mr. World. I am the first African to emerge the first runner up. Being Mr. Nigeria has given me a lot of exposure. It has really been great.
What has been your greatest challenge as Mr. Nigeria?
There is so much attention on the female pageant. They have forgotten that it is not only about being beautiful. It is about representing the youth. I am a role model for the youth. Someone who can speak for the youth when necessary. I am trying to represent the brand well. That was why I was able to go far at the world level. We really need to let people understand that pageantry is not only about physical attribute but what you are meant to achieve at the end of the day.
What is the best thing about being Mr. Nigeria?
It opens doors. I have been able to talk to people I wouldn’t meet ordinarily. People see me as a role model. During the political period, I was able to achieve one or two things. We were able to address the youths.
Tell us about your pet project and how far you have gone with it.
My pet project is entitled, RAW. It means Respect A Woman. It is a campaign against domestic violence. The issue of domestic violence should not be fought alone by women. Men are the perpetrators of the act. I believe men are to protect women and not harm them. We will have a tour to different institutions of learning. I have finished the first stage of the campaign. It is a celebrity photo shoot to promote our campaign against domestic violence.
I also want to do a film about domestic violence too. During our tours, we will take counselors with us to address people on domestic violence.
What were the prizes you were given when you won?
I was given an amount of money and a brand new Hyundai car, 2015 model. I used the money to set up myself, took care of my siblings, setting up a project and investment. We are building the brand. I am also saving. I am not getting any younger.
The fact that I have things I cannot do again. They were things I was doing but had to stop.
How will you describe your Mr. World experience?
It was an amazing experience. It opened my eyes to a lot of things, experience, culture, living with people from different races. It taught me a whole lot of things. I was able to stand out at the competition. I got support from different designers who clothed me. I was awarded the Best Stylish Man at Mr. World competition.
How does it feel emerging first African runner up?
It feels good to represent my country. It feels good to be celebrated as an African. It has made me realize that if you put your mind to anything, you can actually achieve it. I came close to Agbani Darego.
What went wrong, you were close to the title but didn’t win it?
I wouldn’t say anything went wrong. God has a reason for everything. It is also an achievement to emerge the first African to come second. Although I was a bit disappointed but I have to keep on holding on, believing something great will come out for me.
Aside pageantry, acting and modeling, what else do you have interest in?
Business, I like to produce my own movie.
How did your journey into acting begin?
I love acting right from childhood. I was in a drama group when I was growing up. I like presenting for the group. I was doing my modeling but decided to go for an auditioning for Suga in Kenya. That was how I took off professionally.
Can you tell us the movies you have featured in?
Malijama in Kenya. I have done a lot of movies with Africa Magic. I featured in Series of Love, True Love and some others.
Is Emmanuel in a relationship?
I am not in a relationship at this moment. I am just focusing on my career. I am trying to make use of the opportunity I have now.
Were you in a relationship before Mr. Nigeria?
No. I was in a relationship a couple of years back. It lasted five years and we parted. That was before I came back to Nigeria.
What prize were you given as the first runner up at Mr. World?
I got some money and a trip round the world.
What is your relationship with other former Mr. Nigeria?
We have an amazing relationship. Bryan is my friend. He was part of my campaign. Deji is also my friend. We are all cool.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN