The Publisher of Freedom International magazine, Mrs Esther Esevohare, has launched a Christian beauty pageant titled Esther Beauty Contest, organised strictly for Christian girls in Nigeria. According to Mrs. Esevohare, it is the first national Christian beauty pageant in Nigeria, and coming up with the idea required a lot of a lot of care and thoroughness. She also revealed that the initiative is non-denominational.
This I believe is a step in the right direction because now, many beautiful Christian girls who have been denied the opportunity of displaying their beauty and intelligence as a result of the kind of clothing required to be worn in most of the secular beauty pageants organised in the country, will now have a chance to show off their elegance.
During the final audition for the South West zone which was held in Lagos, Mrs. Esther told Daily Sun that the reason for which she introduced the Esther Beauty Contest was to change the face of and impression about beauty competitions in Nigeria. The audition which sought to have a glimpse of the mental powers behind the beautiful faces featured a Bible quiz, assessment of charisma and confidence and a session of answering other questions, cutting across every area of life.
According to Mrs. Esther, to be a part of the contest you must be a Christian girl irrespective of the your church, you must not only be attractive but also intellectually gifted, the contestants must be single, between 18 and 29, slim or plus size and five feet tall and above.
At the end of the exercise, four of the girls who performed best were chosen for the next stage out of the 13 contestants. These four include: Chidinma Ogeui, Bukola Oke, Joy Reginald and Precious Gift who will represent the South West at the main contest, which is scheduled to come up later in the year.
The initiator of Esther Beauty Contest who disclosed that the auditioning process starts right from the information that participants filled on their application forms also said that once any contradictory information is discovered about any of them, it results to an automatic disqualification because “We need a queen with integrity who will go round the country as an ambassador for other Christian and non-Christian ladies”, adding that the auditions will be held next in Abuja and Asaba.
The publisher disclosed that the physical beauty of the contestants is of little importance to the panel of judges, rather, they examined the beauty from inside. She ascribed many problems in the society today to indiscipline and moral decline, especially among the youths saying:
“We are using this medium to tell the youths that they can be beautiful, disciplined and responsible. We want a queen that will come up with a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which will further preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Most people, especially the youths, are already bored or tired of the gospel being preached in the church. The eventual queen will fill this gap. Beauty pageantry started from the Bible. Queen Esther in the Good Book was able to stand up for her people and promoted different virtues of womanhood.
“We want a queen in our generation that will be able to say no to cultism and other societal ills. We are moulding youths with moral consciousness. This queen should be able to tell her fellow youths that they can be beautiful and be responsible to themselves and the society.
“The beauty display is entirely without nudity. Our final screening for them today was for them to wash off their make-up and reappear before the panel of judges, just as natural as God had created them. This is an uncommon pageant. You must be a Christian to qualify as a contestant.”
Most of the entries for the Esther Beauty Contest came from the Northerners, said Esevohare expressing surprise. According to her, the government can only make everything right in the country with active collaboration by different stakeholders, hence, the birth of Queen Esther Pageant.
The winner, it was revealed, will dance home with N2.5 million, a trip to Israel, a year’s worth of wardrobe allowance and a car to run around in while preaching the gospel, reawaken and promote moral values.
Speaking with Daily Sun at the end of the screening, one of the contestants, Bukola Oke, a graduate from the University of Ibadan (UI), who was among the lucky 4, could not hold back her excitement as she attributed her success to God, saying it is a rare privilege. She also said she applied for the contest when she noticed that there was no room for nudity in the competition. Bukola said:
“I didn’t like pageantry because of the emphasis on nudity. If l discover later that the organisers are introducing anything that will makes me to reveal my body, I will quit the race.”
One of the judges, a filmmaker, Ego Aghedo, said the judges looked out for confidence, composure and charisma in selecting the eventual four. She said any of the ladies was capable of emerging the overall winner at the grand finale.