Nancy Aisagbongi, 18, from Edo State and a student of Niger Delta University is the new Carnival Calabar Queen. She was crowned recently at the prestigious Vietian Arena as the seventh queen. Nancy, who featured in the pageant as Miss Mary Slessor, was pronounced the winner after performing a series of impeccable acts before the judges and the audience. The newly- crowned queen will be the face of Mothers Against Child Abandonment (MACA), an initiative of the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, and will also serve as an Ambassador for Tourism in Cross River State. In a chat with Showbiz and More, the new queen opened up on her life and the responsibilities that come with the crown…
Who is Nancy?
I am Nancy Olive Itohan Aisagbongi. I am 18 years old and hail from Esan South East Local Government Area of Edo State. I am also a 200 level Pure and Applied Chemistry student of Niger Delta University.
How was your growing up?
Growing up was fun. Even as an only child, I had my cousins all around me, so there was no dull moment.
What was the feeling like when you were announced the winner of Carnival Calabar Queen 2014?
It was overwhelming. It still feels like I’m dreaming.
Who inspired you to be a part of this contest?
My friend did. He spoke to me about the pageant and what it was about. As a matter of fact, he bought the form and convinced me to fill it.
Did you believe you would emerge the winner?
No; all the contestants were beautiful and talented young women. It was indeed a very tough pageant.
What would you say is your biggest strength?
That would be my height.
What were the incentives you got as the winner?
A brand new car, 2 million naira, a trip to Jamaica and one year accommodation at the Presidential Lodge, Calabar.
What are those things you will miss now that your status has changed?
I would no longer have time for my peers because I have more responsibilities. I have to think and act older now.
What do you hope to do differently this year?
I would love to make a very great positive impact on the lives of the children and teenagers in Cross River State and in Nigeria as well.
How do you hope to work with the initiators of the contest so as to deliver on the goals of being a queen?
I’m willing to do all it takes to build an intimate and cordial relationship with them to enable us work as a team to achieve our goals.
How supportive were your parents towards this contest?
My parents were in full support from the beginning. They kept encouraging me.
What has changed about you after winning the crown?
I don’t think anything has changed. Just the fact that I have grown into a confident young woman.
What are the challenges ahead in your new office?
I would say combining my academics with my official duties.
Do you aspire to participate in more beauty pageants in the future?
Yes, I do.
What do you intend to achieve with this platform?
As the Ambassador of Mothers Against Child Abandonment (MACA), I hope to express my passion by uplifting the lives of the less privileged.
What is your fashion statement?
I wouldn’t say I have a statement. Being comfortable is what style is all about to me. So, anything that is comfortable and suits the occasion is my style.
What’s that fashion accessory you can’t do without?
Looking back, who has been your greatest influence?
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as the queen who left a mark in the hearts of the children of Cross River State.