Growing from what started as a photo contest in 1957, established by the Daily Times newspaper, Nigeria’s oldest and most reputable beauty pageant; Miss Nigeria is not slowing down in its quest to empower women beyond beauty. After canceling the 2020 edition of the beauty pageant due to the global pandemic, the organizer, (Folio Group) is back with the 44th edition of what is now recognized as Nigeria’s oldest and prestigious beauty pageant. In this article, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the beauty industry and how the organizers are leveraging technology for its 44th edition.
This year’s edition displays a growing connection between fashion and new technologies hailing the future of application, voting, social media ranking, and even live streaming events. Asides from the Miss Nigeria Pageant, several fashion shows, and beauty pageants heavily relied on the use of technology to organize the 2021 edition of their shows.
An example is the London Fashion Week (LFW), which relied on virtual showrooms, interactive videos, and podcasts in its new digital format to organize the 2021 edition of the fashion week. A show that would have witnessed well over 5,000 international press, buyers and VIPs, moved online where anyone could grab a front seat right from their device in the comfort of their homes. Noting the impact of technology in the beauty and fashion industry, Clara Mercer; spokesperson of the British Fashion Council, during a press briefing for the June edition of the LFW said, “we’re very much looking at this as a reset for not just fashion week but the whole industry and how we do business”.
Technology has stripped away the exclusivity that defines beauty pageants, but it’s interesting to see how the Miss Nigeria organization is taking advantage of the digital revolution. For them, the use of tech has created room for wider participation. Speaking about the ease of participation for the 2021 edition of Miss Nigeria, the organizers noted that this year, they worked very hard to eliminate the barriers to contesting, including the continued suspension of the registration fee and elimination of regional auditions. “While this is partly in response to the global public health crisis, it is also to ensure that contestants from all 36 states within the country are well represented,” said Ezinne Akudo, Creative Director for Miss Nigeria and 2013 queen. “And there is no better way to achieve this than leveraging the benefits that digital technology provides” she added
From the application process in October where more than 1000 applications were received, women within the ages of 18 – 25 were called to apply free at missnigeria.org by filling a form and uploading 2 pictures plus a 60 seconds video.
This virtual application process saw some people applying from outside Nigeria, a process that would have been impossible without the new model. The next stage was an elimination process where over 120 ladies were invited for a physical screening in Lagos, with applicants outside the country being screened virtually.
Right after the elimination stage was the selection of the top 37 contestants and 3 wild cards. The audition videos of the selected contestants were uploaded on the official Miss Nigeria Instagram page and the public was invited to vote for their favorite contestants by engaging their posts. The 37 Semi-finalists and 3 wild cards needed to get as many people as possible to repost, like, and comment on their posted videos. The video with the most engagement got the higher rank and boosted their chances of making it to the Bootcamp and grand finale. “The popular votes accounted for 20% of the total scores that got the contestants to qualify for the final round,” Akudo revealed.
Now, in the final stage with 18 finalists currently in the Miss Nigeria Bootcamp, the organizers have uploaded individual portraits of the contestants on its Instagram page inviting users to once again vote for their preferred contestant. This time, however, the votes will contribute to the total Bootcamp score of each participant. The Bootcamp scores will account for 60% of the overall pageant scores that will decide who becomes the 44th Miss Nigeria.
With statistics from Event Manager showing that 72% of live events fail to profitably pivot to virtual formats, it is commendable to see the Miss Nigeria organization leveraging new technologies amid the disruption and uncertainty that has plagued the last 20 months.
The grand finale of the 44th Miss Nigeria pageant will be held on December 17, 2021, at the Landmark Event Centre Lagos, with the winner walking away with N10 million, a brand new car, 1-year residency in a luxury apartment, and lucrative brand ambassadorship opportunities.
Ochor Ochor Mourns The Death of Senator Osakwe
ASABA/Nigeria: The Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, and Member representing Ukwuani State Constituency, Rt. Hon Ochor C. Ochor has condoled with the family of Chief Patrick Enebeli Osakwe, and the people of Ndokwa on the death of the former Senator who represented the Delta North Senator District, between 1999-2007 as a three-time Senator in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
The Deputy Speaker, in a statement by the Press Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Enebeli, stated that the late Senator as a successful businessman, who entered politics and blazed the trail of success, was his Father, Boss and Leader.
He stated that as a Personal Assistant, and Legislative Aide to the Late Senator between 1999 and 2003, he learnt so much from him such as hard work, selflessness, long patience, thoughtfulness at all times and circumstances.
“I learnt many virtues of hard work, selflessness, long patience, thoughtfulness at all times and circumstances.”
“He was a father, Boss and Leader.” He said.
He pointed out that his family and the people of Ndokwa, and the entire Delta North had lost a pillar of knowledge and achievements in business and politics, most especially in his Ndokwa solidarity, which he held till his death.
“Senator Patrick Enebeli Osakwe was a man who loved the people of Ndokwa, and Delta North, and this he held on to, till he passed on.”
“He was a successful businessman who entered politics and also became successful, and became a leader not only to his family but also to different persons in the state.”
“We have lost one of our best in Ndokwa, and the entire state, who was an encyclopaedia of business, leadership, and political knowledge.”
“On behalf of my family, aides, and political families, I condole with us all on this painful passage. “ He said
Mobility fintech Moove secures $105m to scale its vehicle financing business globally
Moove, a Nigerian automobile financing startup and Uber’s exclusive vehicle supply partner in Africa, on Monday, said it has raised $105 million in equity and debt to power a global expansion.
Existing investors Speedinvest, Left Lane Capital, and the latest.ventures led the Series A2 round*, which Moove says was oversubscribed, with participation from new investors including AfricInvest, MUFG Innovation Partners, Latitude, and Kreos Capital.
Launched in 2020 by Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi, Moove provides mobility entrepreneurs with access to revenue-based financing in markets where there’s low access to credit. Its customers, who are typically ride-hailing drivers, can purchase brand new vehicles using a percentage of their weekly revenue.
The mobility space in emerging markets is often highly fragmented and informal. Also, insufficient purchasing power among middle-class citizens coupled with limited or no access to vehicle financing often put cars out of reach for the majority of populations in these countries.
With its revenue-based financing model, Moove is addressing this problem albeit for a segment of the population: mobility entrepreneurs.
In addition to scaling globally, the startup plans to expand its partnerships and vehicle classes to include cars, trucks, bikes, three-wheelers, and buses.
Russia seeking military aid from China, says US official
Beijing rejects the US assertions as ‘disinformation’, as senior US and Chinese officials set to meet in Rome.
A United States official says Russia has asked China for military equipment to use in its invasion of Ukraine, a request that heightened tensions about the ongoing war before a meeting between senior US and Chinese officials in Rome.
In advance of the talks on Monday, White House NSA Jake Sullivan bluntly warned China to avoid helping Russia evade punishment from global sanctions that have hammered the Russian economy.
“We will not allow that to go forward,” he said.
The White House said the talks in Rome will focus on the direct effect of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in recent days, Russia had requested support from China – including military equipment – to press forward in its ongoing war with Ukraine. The official did not provide details on the scope of the request. The request was first reported by the Financial Times and The Washington Post newspapers.
The Biden administration is also accusing China of spreading Russian disinformation that could be a pretext for President Vladimir Putin’s forces to attack Ukraine with chemical or biological weapons.
Beijing on Monday accused Washington of spreading “disinformation” over China’s role in the Ukraine war, ahead of talks between the two countries’ envoys in Rome.
Without directly addressing US media reports of a Russian request for help from Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “The US has been spreading disinformation targeting China on the Ukraine issue, with malicious intentions.”
Lifeline against Russia sanctions not ‘allowed’
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put China in a delicate spot with two of its biggest trading partners: the US and the European Union. China needs access to those markets, yet it has also shown support for Moscow, joining with Russia in declaring a friendship with “no limits”.
In his talks with senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Yang Jiechi, Sullivan will indeed be looking for limits in what Beijing will do for Moscow.
“I’m not going to sit here publicly and brandish threats,” he told CNN on Sunday. “But what I will tell you is we are communicating directly and privately to Beijing that there absolutely will be consequences” if China helps Russia “backfill” its losses from the sanctions.
“We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country anywhere in the world,” Sullivan said.
In brief comments on the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian did not mention Ukraine, saying the “key issue of this meeting is to implement the important consensus reached by the Chinese and US heads of state in their virtual summit in November last year”.
“They will exchange views on China-US relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” Zhao said in comments posted on the ministry’s website late on Sunday.
China-Russa cosy relations
China has been one of the few countries to avoid criticising the Russians for their invasion of Ukraine. China’s leader Xi Jinping hosted Putin for the opening of the Winter Olympics in Beijing just three weeks before Russia invaded on February 24.
During Putin’s visit, the two leaders issued a 5,000-word statement declaring limitless friendship.
China abstained on the United Nations votes censuring Russia and criticised economic sanctions against Moscow. It has expressed its support for peace talks and offered its services as a mediator, despite questions about its neutrality and scant experience mediating international conflict.
But questions remain over how far Beijing will go to alienate the West and put its own economy at risk. Sullivan said China and all countries are on notice that they cannot “basically bail Russia out … give Russia a workaround to the sanctions” with impunity.
Chinese officials have said Washington should not be able to complain about Russia’s actions because the US invaded Iraq under false pretences. The US claimed to have evidence Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction though none was ever found.
On CNN, Sullivan said the administration believes China knew that Putin “was planning something” before the invasion of Ukraine. But he said the Chinese government “may not have understood the full extent of it because it’s very possible that Putin lied to them the same way that he lied to Europeans and others.”