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I started modelling by chance - Talatu

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Miss Talatu Yawe is Benue Carnival Queen 2015. A 400 level student in the Psychology department of Benue State University, she speaks with Miriam Humbe on her activities during her reign including her pet project; the cancer awareness campaign for women and girls. Excerpts: 

How did you emerge as Benue Carnival Queen?

The Benue Carnival Queen beauty pageant is organised by Geelo events management. It is a Benue state sponsored event; and every year, they organise the beauty pageant as well as the carnival, Benue Youth cultural carnival. They have a lot of events and the pageant is also organised during one month of activities starting from the first of December till the last day of December when you have the procession. Within that one month, the pageant is organised. I bought the form and went to camp and God willing; I came out as Benue Carnival Queen.

So what triggered your interest in beauty contests in the first place?

I entered into pageantry when I didn’t really plan it. I was through with secondary school and was trying to get admission but I had difficulty so to keep myself busy, I just started modelling and I found myself doing pageantry and it is more like a passion now. It is not just something that I do to keep myself busy. It is a passion for me so I keep doing it from time to time and its rewarding and now I am a Carnival Queen.

 

When did you begin your reign as Carnival Queen?

My reign started on December 23, 2014. It is a one year contract and I am six months into it now and I have a couple of pet projects that I am supposed to execute. My main project is on creating cancer awareness. It is supposed to start in October with the World Nobral Day. It is a cancer awareness programme so I am going to take it up from there. I am going to start with Makurdi. I am going to start creating awareness from Benue state starting on the World Nobral Day. I am going to have a procession and also offer free cancer tests for the participants; those who will take part in the programme. We are going to offer free cancer tests for them and also enlighten young girls, for those that will participate in the programme. What of those who are not? It is going to run on radio and television as well. I am also going to take the awareness to the three senatorial zones of Benue state; that is zones A, B and C. It is just to create awareness to help women who are ignorant of what cancer is all about to gain more knowledge and also help to take precautionary measures to ensure that they are not affected by it.

Talking about cancer awareness procession, how do you intend to sponsor the event?

I am going to be doing it hand-in-hand with the cancer awareness programme in Makurdi. It is also going to be from the office of Women Affairs Ministry and Women Development Centre in Makurdi. Like I said, it is a government-sponsored event; the Benue Carnival so the government is also going to assist and other well meaning organisations in Benue state.

What other projects have you embarked on?

I started my reign y celebrating my birthday at an orphanage. That was on February 7, 2015. I celebrated my birthday with orphans at the Christ for All Children’s Home in Makurdi. On Children’s Day, I celebrated with sick children on admission at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi. I spent time with them, talked with them and donated items comprising of their basic needs in the hospital. On May 25, I also went to a secondary school; Our Lady of Perpetual Help College, it is a girls’ collage in Makurdi. I spoke with the SSS3 students on gender issues concerning the girl-child. That was to encourage them to help them gain knowledge of the world they are coming into as fresh graduands.  As growing girls, they are not really aware of certain societal issues they may be facing such as rape, sexually transmitted diseases, child trafficking and the dangers of pre-marital sex. They are still in a shell so I went there to enlighten them on the challenges they are going to be facing as youngsters.

How did the young school girls you visited receive your message?

They took it really well. They asked a lot of personal questions. On normal days you will not imagine that they are going through things like that. I was happy because they responded well. For them to ask questions on things that were bothering them, it meant that I really impacted in their lives. I helped them understand a lot of things and they were also able to gain something from me so I think it was a good thing I went there after all.

Looking ahead, do you have eyes for the Miss Nigeria crown or any plans to go beyond our shores?

After I graduate, I intend to further my studies and get a Masters degree in psychology. I plan to become a counseling psychologist. Modelling won’t stop but my education is more important so I am going to focus on my education. I will still be doing both, hand-in-hand but my education is my priority.

Do you see yourself taking the world as Miss World sometime in the future?

Yes of course! I imagine myself being Miss World a lot of times so I will keep trying. I love modeling and pageantry this is just a starting point for me so I intend to take it to another level. 

How will you advice those intending to embrace pageantry?

I want to encourage young girls who have interest in modelling or pageantry to follow their dreams because some people have a negative perception of what modelling or pageantry is all about. It is a lot about intelligence and not just beauty. It has to do with your talent, your beauty and your mindset; what you are able to do as a role model. For me, I am trying my best to impact positively into people’s lives. That is why I am trying to touch mostly young children and girls because they are the ones that need the most attention. That is not to say the elderly people are left out but young children and girls are the vulnerable part of society that need to be handled with care so I am concentrating on them. I want to tell all young girls who are interested in modelling to follow their dreams but do it the right way because the right way is what keeps you going. Once you go into modelling, do it wisely and most importantly, keep a good name and put God first and make your education top priority because these two are what you need to move your life forward.

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