By Joshua Olomu
Abuja – Miss Ogheneruona Okpakpa, the reigning ‘Face of Urhobo’ beauty queen, on Thursday, said she has initiated an empowerment scheme for young females as part of her pet project.
The Delta-born queen disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to her, the scheme includes free training toward making young females in Delta, especially graduates, to be self dependent in the midst of growing unemployment rate.
She said “I am using my office to provide free intensive training on professional catering skills for 24 young females across Urhobo Nation.
“We already had a historical problem with youth unemployment, even before the current economic recession.
“The importance of skill acquisition in this 21st century cannot be overrated, because everybody needs to contribute something to the economy.
“Every woman, therefore, needs training and empowerment in certain fields to be self-reliant.”
The beauty queen explained that free registration process for the training commenced on Dec. 28 and would last until Jan. 15, 2017 to allow time for adequate participation by interested young women.
She added that 24 females would be selected to undergo the training after due registration.
“I am throwing this opportunity open to every young female across the 24 kingdom in Urhobo Land for fair participation.
“At the end, one person each will be selected, making it 24 beneficiaries across Urhobo.”
She added that the empowerment programme was for females between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Okpakpa, however, urged interested participants not to see the empowerment programme as alternative to education.
She emphasised that “interested women can make this a profession, but they will need education to do it well, hence they should not ditch education because it is the bedrock of every venture.”
NAN reports that Queen Okpakpa is the 2015/2016 ‘Face of Urhobo’ beauty queen,
an annual Urhobo traditional beauty pageant organised by ‘Urhobowood’,
an organisation that promotes Urhobo culture, music and movies.