Queen Isabella Ayuk
By Mary Ekah
The winner of the 2012 MBGN pageant, Queen Isabella Ayuk, was crowned in Benin in May was the 25th queen to be produced by the competition, which kicked off 25 years ago.
A little over three months of ascending the throne as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) Beauty pageant, the 26-year-old Queen has started touching lives and rendering service to humanity across Nigeria.
Having participated in the contest for some years since 2009 and being crowned the Ex Beauty Queen of South-South Nigeria (2007/2008), Miss Global Nigeria (2009/2010), and delegate Miss Global international (World) in Jamaica (2010), Ayuk’s vast experience in reigning as a Queen is evident in her immediate quest to touch the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
The MBGN 2012 project is said to be in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Ayuk is using the platform to campaign against typhoid fever and also to empower widows.
“ I lost my sister to typhoid and also because my Mum is a widow, I intend to create small scale businesses for widows because I believe that one of the problems facing Nigeria today is extreme poverty and hunger and when you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole nation,” the beauty queen noted.
Some activities embarked upon by the MBGN Queen include visits to primary schools as well as to widows, donation of hospital equipment as well as granting scholarships to some students. She also visited a refugee camp, distributed free typhoid vaccines and also renovated some primary schools as well as some houses belonging to widows.
Among the recipients of the good heart of the Queen was a food vendor simply known as Mama Food Vendor, who is a widow with three children and who was also catering for her 79-year-old mother in Nassarawa Local Government Area of Nassarawa State. When she told her story of how she started her food vending business by borrowing money to buy five cups of rice, beans, and other food items to sell to her customers so could not make ends meet as she had debts to pay. Her restaurant had little or no furniture and as such was not attractive to customers. Moved by her predicament and seeing the effort the widow was making to be self dependent, MBGN Queen provided plastic chairs and tables, a bag of rice, a cartoon of tomatoes, some gallons of ground nut oil, seasoning ingredients, salt, plates, cups, spoons, a big cooler to preserve food and also constructed her restaurant to prevent it from rain. Out of excitement, the appreciative entrepreneur named the restaurant Queen Isabella Ayuk Restaurant.
The Queen who will be representing Nigeria at the Miss Universe Competition taking place in the United States in December this year, also visited Primary School Akam in Ikom LGA of Cross River State and was touched by the conditions where the pupils received lectures which were not conducive as half of the roof of the school building was blown off thereby exposing the pupils to rain and harsh weather conditions.
She therefore pledged to assist in reconstructing the dilapidating structure in the school and went ahead to award scholarships to 10 students from Etung/Ikom Communities as well donated school desks to Three Corners Primary School at Effranya in Etung Local Government.