The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described beauty pageantry as a catalyst for the growth of the creative sector, hence the need to support it for the creative industry to transit into a creative economy.
The Minister stated this in Abuja on Friday when the Chairman of Daily Times Newspaper, Mr. Fidelis Anosike, formally presented to him the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi.
“I look at beauty pageantry as an integral part of the creative industry because when you are organizing a pageant like Miss Nigeria, it’s the entire creative industry that you are waking up and you are reviving, starting from the make-up artist to the hairstylist, music, the film industry and you can imagine the kind of economy that is created around just one Miss Nigeria Pageantry.
“I don’t look at Miss Nigeria just from the view point of beautiful ladies prancing on the catwalk and say who is more beautiful. I think it goes beyond that. It’s a catalyst for the creative industry and that’s why it must be encouraged,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed also said beauty pageantry is a veritable platform for tourism as well as for showcasing the country’s heritage and image.
“The oldest beauty pageantry I think is the Miss America, which actually started in 1921 and it was primarily because a businessman wanted to attract tourists to his city, New Jersey. You can see the link between beauty paageantry and tourism, which is one of the portfolios of this ministry,” he said.
The Minister noted that even though beauty pageantry was a little unpopular at the beginning because of the concerns about decency, over the years, pageant winners have made a huge difference by serving as role models and the embodiment of what is good about their countries.
He pledged to use the platform of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to further deepen and popularize the contest.
In his remarks, Mr. Anosike said the organisation has been working hard to revive the Miss Nigeria Pageantry, which started in 1957, to provide a platform for the empowerment of young women.
“Coming here today is to be able to revive the age-long tradition and alliance between the Daily Times and the culture and heritage platform, especially now that the Ministry of Information and Culture is properly aligned under the leadership of Alhaji Lai Mohammed that understands strategic communication,” he said.
Mr. Anosike expressed his willingness to collaborate with the ministry to use the Miss Nigeria platform to promote the “Change Begins With Me” campaign of the Federal Government.
Also speaking, the 40th Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, expressed her deep passion about Nigeria because of the country’s rich cultural heritage and values and pledged to promote them during her reign.