By Prudence Arobani
New York – The 2017 edition of Miss Nigeria USA beauty pageant would hold on Saturday in New York, the organizers of the annual beauty contest has said.
The Director of the Miss Nigeria USA pageant, Ms Joy Fakhoury, told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in New York that 17 contestants would participate in the beauty contest.
The 16 finalists are Miss Abia, Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers.
The winner of the fourth Miss Nigeria USA beauty pageant would cart away 10,000 dollars in prizes, Fakhoury said.
Fakhoury said the mission of the pageant, which holds annually since 2014, was to display the richness and cultural values of Nigeria to the U.S. and the global community.
“The prize for the winner of the 2017 Miss Nigeria USA pageant is 10,000 dollars,” Fakhoury said.
“Miss Nigeria USA title is earned through hard work and dedication, demonstration of self-confidence, beauty, intelligence and elegance.
“The mission is to find, appreciate and promote women with strong goals and interest in promoting the Nigerian culture and supporting causes related to education and women empowerment.
“The pageant is raising the profile of the Nigerian young women to expand their opportunities while illuminating their outer beauty and also to empower women by creating a forum and opportunity for competition among the most brilliant and beautiful women of Nigeria.”
According to her, the contest aims to empower young Nigerian women and support them towards achieving their individual goals as they promote their culture.
She said the pageant provided young Nigerian women the forum to share not only their platform and their talent, but the opportunity to express their views on local, regional, national and global issues pertaining to Nigeria.
It also provides opportunities to young women to represent Nigeria and its culture abroad, she added.
“We support the Nigerian culture by using this model of competition. This experience prepares them to accept life’s challenges and to produce role models who exemplify and promote positive values amongst Nigerians.”
NAN reports that the reigning Miss Nigeria USA is Lola Abeni Adeoye, a 2014 alumnus of the School of Communications at Howard University.
The 2015-2016 Miss Nigeria USA was Olutosin Itohan Araromi, a first generation Nigerian-American graduate of Montclair State University.
Miss Frances Udukwu, a first generation African-American with Nigerian parentage, was the maiden Miss Nigeria USA in 2014-2015.
Fakhoury said that the pageant provided young Nigerian women with opportunity for personal growth, fitness and self-expression, while emphasizing the importance of doing one’s best while championing career goals.
“The Miss Nigeria USA is committed and passionate about giving back to non-profits in Nigeria, as part of our unique attributes, including scholarship to 30 indigent students in Abuja,” she said.
She said the pageant planned to work closely with non-profit organisations that have exhibited continuous dedication towards women empowerment and also enhancing the education sector, especially in relation to making sure that the girl child has an opportunity to receive basic education.