Beautiful Sharon Ifeoma isn’t just the regular pretty faced and elegant figured lady, she’s got the
brains; little wonder she earned herself the Miss Tourism crown. Sharon, of course, isn’t just a beauty queen, but an intelligent one with a big heart who is so passionate about helping the poor. She speaks to the Assistant Editor of Fashion, Cosmic Ray Magazine, Tina Aganyi, on the journey so far and her projects.
Can we meet you?
My name is Ifeoma Sharon Anyia, the current Miss Tourism Nigeria, 2015.
How did you feel when you were declared winner out of so many contestants?
Well, I felt good. I was surprised though; I wasn’t expecting it, but then I felt really good. I give God the glory. It was an amazing event, and an amazing feeling.
How has been, being Miss Tourism?
(Laughs) As you can see, I’m laughing. It’s an epic feeling. Having a title like that (Miss Tourism) is not something little or like a university title. This has to do with your country, and you are representing your country. It feels really good and I feel like a role model right now.
Has it changed your usual lifestyle?
No, because I’ve always been like this right from day one. Though this is not my first pageant, it’s my third. Right from day one, I’ve seen myself as a leader. I see myself out there leading people. I’ve been like this from day one. It hasn’t changed anything.
Did you ever dream of being a beauty queen?
Yeah. It’s so funny because while growing up, I dreamt I’ll been in an avenue to, but I said it’s of the Lord, and I thought it won’t happen. But when I had my first pageant, Miss Ebony and I was first runner up, I was like, okay, fine, you know, further pageant I’ll be able to get better. So yeah, I’ve always dreamed about this position, or rather this title.
What attracted you into contesting for a beauty crown?
I will say, first of all, I like showcasing my talent. I love showcasing my skills, and that’s about beauty pageant generally. I want the whole world to say this is what I have to offer. I’m not an idle person; I’m full of activities. I actually thought it that I should go into pageantry, it’s a very good platform for me to showcase my talent, share ideals with the upcoming models, that’s why I got into this pageant.
What was your parent’s reaction to that?
My parents are very sweet because whatever I put my hands into, they support me. Whatever I put my hand become really successful. When I told them I was going into this pageant, they said, fine, we are behind you, whatever you want to do, you have our support.
What was your relationship with other girls in the camp like?
I will say it’s mutual because it’s a completion; you have people hating on you, but at the end of the day, you say to yourself, whatever they do right now, it is in the camp and it’s a competition. It doesn’t mean you have to judge them when you get into the real world. So, it’s been a mutual feeling; mutual understanding and mutual friendship.
Are you still in touch with them?
Yeah, right now, I have five of them in my room, because I feel you are setting up in life, if you’re trying to make it in life, you should bring people along. Just because you are there doesn’t mean you have to pull every down. Right now, because of the project I’m working on, I need to work with all the queens. Though they are still schooling, but I try my best to bring them to what I have to do.
What qualities would you say you have that made you a winner?
I see myself as a charismatic leader; a leader that doesn’t need to impose power for people to follow her or support her, because of my personality and who I am. I think that’s why I attract people along side, and because of that I prove myself worthy in the camp and also how I compose myself, and that made me stand out.
What were you doing before the context?
I was working. I’m still working. I’m a shipping operator, at the same time I still have my BP thing going on. As I said earlier on, I’m not an idle person. I actually go to work; the normal 9 to 5 girl.
Were you ever involved in modeling or other pageant before this?
Yes I was. That was around 2006 to 2008. In 2008 I went for my second pageantry, that’s Miss Igbenedion University.
Right now, I have so many projects because I’m representing Nigeria as a whole, not just a state. I have one for education. I have to go to public schools and share educational materials to children, especially people that don’t have anything. When you go out there to public schools, you see children holding nylon bags, they put their bags in there; I really don’t like it. So I’m trying my possible best and with the help of the government to provide a lot of things for public school children. I also want to work in my state, Anambra. I want to have something like a talent show, so people from my state can come out and showcase their talents. Presently, I’m about setting up NGO foundation. I have a lot of things on my table, basically about tourism; anything tourism and to involve schools most especially.
How would you describe your experience so far?
That statement they say, life is not a bed of roses; it’s not easy. Right now I’m looking for sponsorship. It’s not easy to get across to people and tell them that you need their money for this or that, you need to convince them, and before you even get to them is another issue entirely. I’m still kicking it. I’m a good Christian. God won’t put you in a position which you can’t handle. Right now, I know that even if I’m going through a lot trying to get sponsorship, I know it’ll still happen at the end of the day; aside that, my friends have been awesome. It’s an okay experience, that’s what I’ll say for now.
Do you have any role model in the pageantry world?
I’ll say yes, and that’s Agbani Darego. That’s because she is the first black woman that won Miss World. It’s not easy. Trust me, it’s not easy. Since then, she’s been keeping it real and doing all that, trying to make everything okay around her. In pageantry generally, I’ll say it’s Agbani Darego. But in normal platforms, I’ll say it’s Opera Wilfery.
What is your next plan after this?
Obviously I want to get married and have children, keep on living my life and doing my thing. I’m an entrepreneur; I involve myself in different things. After this, my name won’t die down because of my foundation. I have a lot of things to do, a lot of people to help. So, after this, you’ll still hear my name.