by Tolu Orekoya
She was not the popular choice to win the Most Beautful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) competition, and it seems Isabella Ayuk’s run of bad luck in the popularity stakes is about to get worse. MBGN winners usually get sent to the prestigious Miss World competition (being held in Mongolia this year) while the runner-up heads to Miss Universe.
However, an age snafu seems to have tripped the beauty queen up and she is ineligible to to compete at Miss World, so she and the second place contestant, Diamette Charles Granville will swap places, and Ayuk will be heading to the Miss Universe pageant instead.
The age limit for Miss World is 25 and it seems the contestant was already officially too old by the time she won MBGN, although there were rumours of her being well past the age limit. The Miss Universe competition has a slightly older age limit of 27, making Ayuk eligible.
Silverbird Entertainment, the producers and owners of the MBGN brand released a communique earlier today, declining to explain the exact reason for the swap:
Silverbird prepares MBGN 1st runner up Diamette Charles for Miss World as MBGN winner Isabella Ayuk goes to Miss Universe.
The management of Silverbird, organisers of the annual Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria and Africa’s longest running beauty pageant will be sending MBGN First Runner up, Miss DIAMETTE CHARLES GRANVILLE, to represent the country at the Miss World pageant holding in Mongolia, China in August.
MBGN winner, Miss ISABELLA AGBO AYUK will represent Nigeria at the Miss Universe.
MBGN Second Runner up, Miss IFEOMA UMEOKEKE will be at the Miss Tourism International holding later in the year in China
In a signed statement, the management said the decision was in the best interest of the beauty ambassadors, the company and the country at large.
‘As we celebrate our 25th anniversary in the world of beauty pageantry, Its our wish not to only raise the bar but replicate the groundbreaking records achieved by Agbani Darego as the first Black Africa’s Miss World 2001 as well as some past queens who have achieved remarkable results at some renowned international pageants in the recent past.
While we seek your understanding, we also urge you to pray for their victory at the various global beauty pageants where they will be flying the country’s flag.”
GUY MURRAY BRUCE
Group Vice President, Silverbird.
Like Aaliyah said though, “age ain’t nuthin’ but a number”, and Ayuk is sure to represent the country capably, in any pageant.