Miss Ogechukwu Ibemesi has emerged winner of the maiden edition of Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant. Organised as part of the Ogbunike Cave Carnival (OCC), the contest, which was staged on New Year Day, at the Ogbunike Town Hall, Ogbunike, Aambra State, saw the 300-level Accounting Student of the National Open University of Nigeria beat other four finalists to the crown.
Chaired by Chief Levi Elobisi, the event, which attracted dignitaries from within and outside the community, was spiced with comedy by the likes of MC Okwadike and musical performances headlined by rapper Slow Dog. Meanwhile, popular dance crew, Omega Inspired set the stage on fire with their electrifying dance moves.
After their group dance, the five finalists made their first outing in sports outfits, then returned with dinner wears before making their final appearance in native attires. A three-man jury made up of broadcaster cum show host, Lorenzo Menakaya; CEO of Uyo Model Search, Ubong Ekanem; and current Queen of Anambra Heritage, Chioma uzofo, judged their performance.
At the end of the contest that lasted into the night, the judges declared Ogechukwu Ibemesi winner, while Belinda Udeogwu and Mary Agulue emerged first and second runners up respectively.
Receiving her crown, Ada Ogbunike winner Ogechukwu, who is also a model, said, “I want to use this opportunity to thank the organisers for giving me the opportunity to achieve this; I’m really excited. With this crown, I intend to reach out to Ogbunike youths in particular and Nigerian youths in general on the need to shun violence and embrace peace. I plan to organise together sensitisation programme where we will encourage them to work towards actualising their dreams,” she said.
According to the project manager for Ogbunike Cave Carnival and Executive Producer for Ada Ogbunike Adaeze Uzodoh, the pageant is a platform for grooming young ladies on what it takes to be an ideal Ogbunike woman.
“We created this platform to groom our young ladies and let them understand our culture. This is the first edition and we are impressed with the outcome; it has really encouraged us to do more. We sincerely appreciate all the people that supported us on this project and we ask them to also join in 2017.”
Uzodoh, who is the CEO of LIBDEZ Solution Services noted that, “aside from the gift items, we will sponsor the winner to contest for Miss Anambra 2016, as well as attend other major events across the country.”
In his remark, Senior Special Assistant to Anambra State Governor on Social Media, Chief Ifeanyi Aniagoh, commended the organisers for initiating carnival, which he said has the capacity of promoting the tourism potential of Anambra State.
“This is a good idea and I commend the organisers for coming up with such a brilliant project. Let me also use this opportunity to thank our governor Chief Willie Obiano for providing a conducive and peaceful atmosphere in the state that has attracted all these social events in Anambra. You all know that Obiano is seriously working towards developing the Ogbunike Cave to international standard and we solicit for your support to achieve that,” he said.
To the Ada Ogbunike, Aniagoh said, “I’m personally going to support her to contest for Miss Anambra this year. Aside from a cash prize from me, through our media channels, we will help to provide publicity for her all through her reign.”
Produced by 90 Degrees Entertainment and LIBDEZ Solution Service, in collaboration with Ogbunike Progressive Volunteers (OPV), the 2015 Ogbunike Cave Carnival commenced on December 30, with a Five-Aside Football Tournament won by Lazio FC. The day two (December 31) featured Ogbunikewalk4life, which saw participants walk from the Town Hall to Ogbunike Cave, with a DJ providing music. The celebration wrapped on New Year Day with the Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant.