She needs no introduction; the name has already been registered in the Guinness Book of world records as the first ever Black African to emerge as Miss World, having won the 51st Miss World pageant, held 10 years ago in Sun City, South Africa. She clinched the coveted crown after beating 92 other contestants drawn from all over the world in a keenly contested pageantry. Recall that the memorable show then was hosted by renowned talk show personality, Jerry Springer and beamed to a projected global television audience of 1.2 billion people. Today, the success of the 29 year-old Abonema, Bayelsa state born model has refused to fade out, as she scored another first recently, when she was appointed the first ever brand ambassador of one of the national air carriers in Nigeria, Arik Airline. Dotun Olanibi played host to the ever-smiling Psychology undergraduate of New York University on Monday, July 4, 2011 and she took her time to explain how it has been with her ten years down the line, her new appointment as Arik Brand Ambassador, her love life, her beauty routine, the issue of some scandalous pictures of hers that were circulated on the internet recently and many more. Enjoy the chat. Let’s start this way, how does it feel being the 1st Black African to have won Miss world? It is not by my own making. What will I say? I will just say I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time and having God on my side to be able to do that at such a young age. Everyday I am thankful for that and I do agree that the industry has grown just like other industries. I don’t want to take the entire honor and all the glory because of what I have become but I am happy that I am part of that growth. You have just been pronounced as the 1st ever Arik Airline brand ambassador, that deal will definitely make you smile to the bank, can we know the monetary value of the deal? First of all, I want to say I am very happy to be Arik Airline’s ambassador. I don’t see the ambassadorship as a way of giving back to the society what the society has given me because I can always do that through other means but I see this as an honour for me to represent a Nigerian brand. Besides, Arik is an international brand just like any other brand so, I am very happy. What are the specific things you will be doing for Arik My first major assignment is a photo shoot for Arik which I will go for soon. From there other things will follow. 10 years down the line, what has, winning Miss World done to you? Before now, I wasn’t a model but Miss World has brought me into it. That is what I do now and I am happy with it. You are such a busy person, traveling across the globe all the time. How do you juggle your job as a model and other chores of yours? Remember I am a woman. We women can do everything at the same time. You just mentioned now that you are a woman that takes me to the next question, are you proud of the woman that you are? I am very proud of the woman that I am. A friend of mine said something the other day, she said she is growing to love the woman she is everyday. I am proud of who I am. What do you cherish most about your person? Something needs to be known that I am such a shy person. It’s something that keeps me down there. I am glad I have been able to achieve that What has been your greatest moment? Everyday I am grateful. I am grateful that despite all what I have been able to achieve, I could still go back to school, still studying and still working hard and the journey continues for me. I can’t say a particular thing has been the greatest so far because I know that there are still much more to come. Have you ever experienced low moments? Who hasn’t? We all have. What makes us better person is that we learn from those low moments. Have you ever been heart-broken? I am not going to talk about that. When is Agbani getting married? When I will get married? {Thinks for a while}I guess I will find out sometime when someone asks for my hand in marriage. Are you dating anyone at the moment? I think my private life should be my private life. Can you describe your kind of man? I will say this. I don’t care what he looks like. If he can make me happy, then he is my kind of man. Can you tell me what can really make you happy? I don’t know how to answer that question {laughs} What kind of entertainment do you enjoy? I love to read a lot. I am a book worm and I listen to music as well. I love listening to the songs of Dr Sid, Tu Face and D’banj. I am proud of what these Nigerians have achieved. Have you ever thought of giving acting a shot? I don’t know. I think artistes in general are very talented people. I admire what they do but I don’t know if I have the courage to do what they do. But what I can say is never say no, one day I can find myself doing it. I have been watching you with keen interest throughout the duration of this interview and I discovered that you have been fiddling with a ring on your fourth finger in a way that shows you cherish it so much, how do you explain this? No, it doesn’t, it’s just fashion jewelry. Will you like to say who gave it to you? I got it for myself. That brings me to this question, what is the most cherished gift you have ever gotten from someone? (Laughs), I don’t know. But I will say it’s my life. That is miss world answer for you {general laughter} You have not really changed from the 19-year old Miss World of 2001, what has kept you this way? Let me put it this way; I have come to realize that one has to be healthy and we have to work out. Daily, I make sure that my nutrition is fine, also I work out. Do you have health instructors? I work with a trainer back in New York and I am a big fan of Yoga. What is your beauty routine? Like anybody else, I wake up and cleanse my face, moisturize it and then protect, that’s it. What is style to you? Style to me is what you feel comfortable in. In my opinion, there is no wrong sense of style. You are who you are. What will you not be caught wearing? I don’t know because I don’t think I have put on something I don’t want to wear. What are you comfortable in? Everything sits well on me. As a professional model, what amount will you pose nude for? That’s a funny question. Well my body is not up for sale. But some close to nude pictures of yours were circulated on the internet recently? A lot of people have asked this same question several times and I have always given the same answer, but let me just address it now. It wasn’t on purpose. It was a dressing malfunction. I will never put myself in that position. A lot of young girls will like to be like you, what advise do you have for them? Believe in yourself and keep trying.
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