COLLETTE NWADIKE: Exquisite Face of the universe!
- Post By Uju Kenneth 1:54pm on Friday 18th December 2015
COLLETTE NWADIKE: Exquisite Face of the universe!
"As the first Black to win this crown, I am so proud of myself." Those were the words of Collete Nwadike Face of the universe.
Yes, The lady who has joined the list of young people who have forced the world to say positive things about Nigeria is back to her motherland.
The winner of 2015 exquisite Face of the universe, Collete Nwadike is not only the first black to win this crown, just like Agbani Darego brought the Miss world crown to Africa, she is also the first Nigerian to bring the Face of Universe title back to Africa.
The Anambra state born queen on arrival at Murtala Mohammed airport, Lagos shared the story of how persistence, hard word and support from family brought her where she is now.
What were your expectations when you went for the Face of the Universe Pageant?
At first I was looking forward to make friends. Because we had 50 girls coming from all over the world. The competition was on my mind, but primarily, I wanted to make friends. I wanted to be able to go to any country and have somebody to calI but when the competition started proper, and I met the girls, all were very pretty. It was a stiff competition but I was ready. Knowing where I was coming from and those counting on me, I had my A game and glory be to God, I am face of the Universe.
What do you intend to achieve with this title?
I am a world queen now, so I cannot say everything will be focused on Nigeria. I have been able to achieve a lot with my crown as Miss Tourism Nigeria. With this present title as the world queen, I am meant to touch the world, selecting Africa as my focal point. I already have invitation to Russia, Germany, Spain but I want to start with Africa. That is one of the reasons I am home now.
What is the major project your title will be focusing on?
The theme of my project is women empowerment and youth development.
You are the first black person to win this crown how does that make you feel?
I couldn't be more proud of myself. I am so proud of myself. And I am very thankful to God because it was a tough one.
What qualities do you think gave you an edge over others?
When the judges were asked what was their criteria, they said they were looking for not just the face, but someone who is intelligent; then someone who can represent the brand. I believe I fit into those categories and that was why the decision was made.
What was the most difficult part for you at the competition?
It was a completely different environment for me. So, It was not easy adopting to the food and the environment. Doing all the stressful activities, and then coming back to the environment you’re trying to get used to. It took three to four days before I was able to fit in to the environment.
Coming back to the pageant. When the top 10 were called, and you made it, was it when you started to think that you may have a chance of winning the crown?
No, At the top 10 I did not. It was after I made it to the top 5. I was actually the first person to be called into the top 5. At the top 5, the first runner up was called, the second runner up was called. So, it was remaining me and Aruba. Then, they were saying ‘it seems like you’re going to win’. But I was saying, ‘why is it not you?’ but they said, ‘No, you did so well!’ Actually I won ‘Best Evening Gown’. So, they were like, ‘Sure, you’re going to win!’ I think I saw it coming at that point.
As a young girl growing up, did you ever see yourself becoming a queen?
As a young girl growing up, I was always seeing myself as a queen when I was three. I kept on looking up to people like Bianca Ojukwu, Regina Askia, I saw how beautiful they are and how glamorous they looked. I was like, ‘I want to be like these people someday’! This is a dream I’ve had for a long time. And it’s like I’m living my dreams now.
What is the most important virtue a beauty queen requires?
I know that being a beauty queen requires a lot of discipline. People don’t get it from outside. To succeed in the pageant industry, you must be very, very disciplined. My question at the Face of the Universe was, ‘What are the responsibilities of a beauty queen?’ A beauty queen is an ambassador of beauty and good will.Not just the beauty on the outside but also on the inside. She is supposed to be a role model. So, put all these in one, then you’ll know how to package yourself into a person who qualifies to be beauty queen.
You are the Special Adviser to Anambra State Governor. Now you are the face of the Universe. Now, considering the enormous tasks on your hand, do you think you could combine being an SA with your current office as the Face of the Universe?
I’m going to have to decide on that! At this stage, I’m just coming in to Nigeria, I’ll have to go back to the State… And… I might have to resign!
Your State will be very proud of you on this achievement. And they may not want you to resign…
Yes they may not but I have one year this do this. It’s like once in a lifetime. I’ve once in a lifetime to a beauty queen, but I have the rest of my life to serve my State. This one year, if I give it to the rest of the world, to the children, women, it will be worth it.
You went in for about seven beauty pageants before you started winning to get where you are right now. What was the motivation that kept you on through those years?
I’ve always been this person that, one I’m a perfectionist. Two, I work hard. And I’m persistent. I need something from you, (laughs) if you don’t give it to me today, you will give it to me tomorrow, next tomorrow! I will keep on coming, just like the persistent widow in the Bible whose consistent approach wearied the unjust lawyer until he gave her request. I believe in that theory.
How would you respond to the support you have so far on this journey?
Though in the beginning I didn’t get the support I needed from my family. But now all that has changed. My mum, she has been my greatest support and backbone. I have a lot of friends that supported me. So many people who believe in me. They have been with me every step of the way.
While you had support, what were the challenges?
Charting my way to where I am now, so many people did not believe in me. I was in school. I had to leave school sometime to go for beauty pageants. And I come back and there is nothing, and people where telling me if I wasn’t tired and that I should focus and study. But I knew I wanted to study, the same way I wanted to queen. It was so discouraging to hear people say negative things about you because you didn’t one time or two or three times. It was so discouraging. As it went on, I some negative comments written on papers about me in the department when I was in school. They wrote many wrong stuff about me. But I knew where I was going to. I never allowed the little obstructions stop me.
So, looking back from where you are now, what would say?
People that know me know my story. It’s been persistence. It’s been, it’s been God. Looking back, I owe all to God. I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met on my way to this place. I’m so grateful to everyone.
On a final note: apart from God and your mother, who will you be dedicating this crown to?
I’m dedicating this crown to every struggling girl, to every struggling woman who believes in her dreams; who sees herself in the spotlight. I will say: Don’t give up! Go after what you want until you get it.