Precious Jefferson -My Dream Was to Become Another Agbani Darego But…

0

Precious Jefferson is an ex-beauty queen who has graced several beauty pageants over the years, making her model of excellence and distinction. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, she talks about her new project, Africa Beauty Queen International Pageant and her career

About me 

I’m Precious Jefferson from Cross River State and a graduate of the University of Port Harcourt where I studied Religious and Cultural studies. Also I’m the MD and CEO of Roses and Rubies Limited and the Executive Director of African Beauty Queen International. 

My Miss World Dream 

This was after Agbani Darego won Miss World pageant. So, I pushed myself harder to achieve that dream which actually brought me into beauty pageantry. Starting out, one of the challenges I faced was the pressure from some of the directors, and the conditions that some of the pageantry came with. In the sense that some organisers would ask you to seek sponsors to enable you participate in such pageants and it was actually so difficult to participate with such demands, which was the major challenge I had to face. 

 

I overcame challenges because I knew what I wanted 

Also, I knew where I was headed because I didn’t let myself succumb to such pressures; I was able to overcome them. When I know some things were beyond my limits, I don’t push too hard. As I always say, all my beauty pageants were actually my breakout point, as any pageant I won pushed me farther to compete for the next one. And I cherished a lot of them and I was happy to win a lot of them, which was my biggest dream. 

Why I started my own pageantry

I felt like I was being victimized, as we were asked as models to go and source for sponsors and a lot of contestants go through a lot of things. You see cases where most of the sponsors you get to meet, who are mostly men, would want to take advantage of you and you are pressurised to meet up to standard. Sometimes, you would be asked to do certain things to get to a particular platform.  Sometimes you are asked to go and sell tickets to get to a particular level in a pageant. So a lot of girls do crazy things, and most of them think by having an affair with the organiser, they will wear the crown but at the end of the day, the case is usually not so. I just felt like I have a story I needed to share and one or two girls will agree with me on this, and that’s how African Beauty Queen was started. 

African Beauty Queen has already commenced

The first edition will hold on the 30th of March at the Grand Ballroom of the Oriental Hotel, and I want the world to expect something different. That is why one of the criteria for the pageant is that there is no sort of ticket sales for the contestants and no camp fees. In some pageants, they ask you to go to certain heights to pay some amounts for camp fees, for you to be in camp. I’m here thinking that if you did sit down to plan this and the welfare of the contestants have been considered why do you ask them to pay? Sometimes, you can pay a lot, which most of these girls don’t have, but they have the talent and are just looking for the platforms to showcase themselves and in the bid to meet up, they do a lot of things. For us, once you qualify, you come to camp and do the best you can do and I believe this is the first start and I want to create something different where anyone can perform, whether rich or poor. 

I don’t believe in names but what the individuals have to offer 

My team members are people that are actually close to me and people that I have actually worked with over the years in pageantry and modeling. So, I felt they are people I have looked up to in one way or another, and have supported me. 

When deciding to do this, I spoke to them about it and they encouraged me and decided to be a part of it. It’s been difficult really and hasn’t been easy because people have different thoughts and opinions. Some people won’t want to agree with you on certain things but the most important thing is team work. 

The main show will be exquisite 

I can’t even wait as we are going to have a lot of musical performances, comedy and our hosts for the night will be Stephanie Coker and Ghana’s Mawulli Gavor. We will have performances by Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks and a host of others. Also, we’ll have comedy from the very best of Ushbebee, Shakara, Akpororo, Acapella and all, so it’s really going to be beautiful and I urge everyone to come out as it would be fun. It’s going to be about pageantry, music, comedy and dance such that at a particular point in time you won’t want to go home. 

The prize is one of the beautiful things about the African Beauty Queen Pageantry 

The cash prize is $5,000 and an SUV for the winner, the second prize goes with $3,000 and the third prize goes with $2,000. But in camp, there will be a whole lot of activities for everyone to participate in and there are going to be winners. 

We have competitions in entrepreneurship and Miss Photogenic, where the winners will be become ambassadors for some brands. So, even if you don’t emerge on the main night, you can also be a winner in camp. 

We have partners and no sponsors 

African Beauty Queen International is solely sponsored by Roses and Rubies Limited. I believe my company is well enough to fund the pageant. There would be tickets sales on tables and regulars. 

It’s going to be a busy year 

We are also going to launch the very first edition of African Beauty Queen Nigeria, and we are doing this because we want to have a representative from Nigeria who would be representing the country on the international scene at the next year’s edition. That way, we won’t be hosting auditions round the country anymore. Once we have a Queen, we will set out, and my foundation will also be coming up. 

I admire Oprah Winfrey 

She is a strong black woman who has done so much and I also admire Agbani Darego on the field of modeling. And, even though I wasn’t able to win Miss World, I was able to go for an international pageant and affect the lives of people.