FACE OF GBARAMATU INTERNATIONAL IS A UNIQUE CONCEPT – TONGHAN

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    Ms Lizzy Tonghan, Creative Director, FOGI

    By Isaac Olamikan

    Elizabeth Peremobo-ere Tonghan, the Creative Director of the Face of Gbaramatu International (FOGI) 2019 beauty pageant. Here she tells readers most things they need to know about the epoch event. Excerpts:

    How far have you people gone with preparation for the Face of Gbaramatu International (FOGI)?

    So far we are already getting set for the event. We have our contestants ready and I have other team members that are working with me and the anticipation of the event is a successful one.

    How good are the managers of the team professionally?

    Like I said, I have a team of people working with me so far. So we are having our catwalk instructor; people that would take the girls on exercise in the morning. Our camping is for ten (10) days and the 10th day is actually the final day of the event. So we are really working very hard. Like the catwalk instructor on ground that day for the 10 days that we would be in camp so they could do the catwalk rehearsal and all that and also we have our Chaperon to take care of their needs and all that. We have our statistics manager who would be taking on information concerning the pageant at large.

    What about the panelists?

    Of course we have auditors, panel of judges aside the auditor that have been working with us right from the day of the audition. We had auditions for two days, where we had several girls for the two days that participated in the audition. We have our auditor there and apart from him we are also expecting some external judges that would be on ground that day for the event.

    How many girls took part in the audition?

    We had over hundred girls that came but then of course it is an audition and we can’t really take everybody. So we had to disqualify some persons due to their performance. Their performance was poor. Finally, we were able to retain 25 girls and so we are taking 25 girls to camp.

    Where are you camping?

    We are camping them for ten days somewhere in Gbaramatu kingdom, though the grand event is in Warri, Delta State.

    So which venue are you using for the pageant?

    It is taking place at the highbrow KFT Place in Warri.

    We have seen different pageants, what differentiate Face of Gbaramatu International from the others?

    That’s a very good question, but our pageant, Face of Gbaramatu International is actually a different one. I will use the word unique. It’s an event with two objectives; marketing the Niger Delta coastal communities and it’s a competition. FOGI is all about beauty, brains and culture. It’s about empowering girls and giving them a platform to give back to society. For us FOGI is based on three things; Beauty, Brains and Culture (BBC). It’s all about girls empowerment and cultural tourism. It is actually a unique pageant. I mean I am also a one time Beauty Queen and also presently occupying a particular seat as a Beauty Queen, but then when I say the Face of Gbaramatu Beauty Pageant is a unique one trust me it truly is because it is one pageant where we are inviting people to talk to the girls concerning entrepreneurship, career, teaching them some skills. So it is not a boring pageant. It is not a pageant you just come and leave empty handed. It is a pageant you come and then you go back home even if you do not win the crown, you go back home not ordinary or the same way you came. So it is actually a very unique pageant.

    What’s that thing that the Face of Gbaramatu International will contribute to the lives of the girls in the Niger Delta?

    Talking about the beauty pageant, the contribution, I think for the Face of Gbaramatu Beauty Pageant, I will talk about mine. Beauty pageant actually contributes to the benefit of society. I will say so because when you set up a beauty pageant and then a Queen emerges, you see her doing humanitarian services like: community services and all that., Meeting less privileged, raising  funds to make sure she meets up to the needs of the less privileged. So beauty pageant is a good advantage for the society at large.

    Then what is it about the theme?

    When I say this thing about girl child education though some people would be like why girl child why not boys and all that. But the pageant is actually focusing on the Niger Delta. The girls in the Creeks. The Niger Delta girl child. Of course anybody listening to me now would agree with me that the girls in the Niger Delta especially in the Creeks, the riverine area or the rural community are facing more challenges compared to the boys.