Shanu Obadiya, a microfinance banker, has been crowned the beauty queen at the just concluded Miss Epe Division pageant.
Ms. Obadiya was crowned at an event organised by Our Days Media at Magville Hotels, Epe, Lagos State, at the weekend.
The event, tagged “Making Heritage/Cultural Tourism Work for Sustainable development in Lagos,” featured fashion, cultural display, creativity, music, dance, intellectual prowess, comedy, and other forms of entertainment.
It also witnessed other winners.
The Daily Crucible gathered that the new Miss Epe Division went home with N200,000, while Miss Tourism, Boluwatife Kayode, and Miss Culture, Omotunde Omotolani, received N150,000 and N100,000, respectively, while other contestants received consolation prizes of N40,000 each.
In an interview with journalists, one of the judges, Chief Mrs. Iyabo Osifeso, adjudged the event as a wonderful platform to unwind, stressing that it was important for people to take time off work to recreate.
“Let’s have more of it. Without money, the organisers can not do much. So, they need more sponsors, from the little I can see, so that we have a more robust and bigger program. If there’s no money, they would be limited in what they want to do, so, they would need more sponsors so that many more people can be invited to participate,” she said.
Also, another judge on the panel, Dr. Vivian Adeyemi, a professional Counsellor and staff of the Lagos State University of Education, LASUED, Michael Otedola Campus, Epe, told newsmen that the atmosphere of the contest was the best gathering anyone could find for leisure and relaxation.
She commended the organisers for their resilience and dedication even though getting people or corporate organisations to sponsors the event posed challenges to the successful hosting of it.
She also revealed her hopes of seeing more support for the programme in the nearest future to unite all strata of the Epe community.
“It’s been an interesting event and it goes a long way to show that people are genuinely concerned about what is happening in their environment and they want to see that social life in Epe, tourism, and the culture of the community is showcased and not just wherever they are but even among the young ladies who are the present contestants and possibly something that these young ones can take along in their future endeavours,” Dr. Adeyemi said.
“As for the contestants, it’s an eye-opener for them. It shows them that the sky is just their starting point, that there are lots of opportunities – not just in their academics but in their social life and they themselves are also becoming a representation of who a young lady of Epe is.
“They are also going to be an ambassador, win or no win, every eye is on them. They already have that status of an ambassador of this community and we expect that they would be able to caution themselves and their behaviors so they would not represent the community in a bad way.”
On his part, Mr. Yomi Agbaje, the organiser of the event and CEO of Our Days Media, said he was optimistic that the beauty pageant would be bigger and better with adequate sponsorship.
He averred that irrespective of political affiliations, programmes of such magnitude that are capable of furthering the placement of Epe on a global pedestal should be supported by well-meaning and public-spirited individuals, organisations, and the government.
Agbaje added that, through the pageant, the contestants were making contributions toward creating awareness and resolving issues affecting society.
“We will keep creating opportunities for our girls to thrive. We are particular about ensuring that we register them for international pageant contests. Many of our audience traveled from far and wide to network and have fun which is the hallmark of tourism and that is the more reason why the pageant is tagged promoting tourism, creating opportunities,” he said.
“Our judges are educationist with beauty pageant experience. They tested the intelligence of the contestants who paraded their beauty and exquisite outfits with tricky questions and this made some of them lose out. In the end, the most qualified queen emerged.
“As a result of sponsorship issues, the winner would have got a car while the 1st and 2nd runners-up would have gotten 1-million-naira worth of empowerment grant and 50 thousand naira respectively.
“Special thanks to Hon. Noheem Balogun who supported this project with one Million Naira, the CEO of BASAM Food Store USA, Prince Saheed Salam, and Hon. Alebiosu. MC Max, Police Boys, Impact Performance Alliance (IPA) troupe, Magville Hotels, Dr. Olart Photography and other media houses and several others that I can’t remember to mention have been exceptionally supportive.”
Earlier, Mrs. Iyalabake addressed the gathering on the theme of the event tagged “Making Heritage/Cultural Tourism Work for Sustainable development in Lagos.”
It was also gathered that honorary awards were also presented to some notable guests at the event.