by Onyeka Nwelue
I fear for a brand that can only produce beauties with no brains. Will it be strange if I add that past winners have not necessarily impressed me…
Several years ago, I was introduced to a certain young man whose dreams daunted me. He had dreams, one of them, was that someday he would start a pageantry competition for men. He had a dream that one day, his entrepreneurial spirit, will guide him to becoming very influential in Nigeria and beyond. Gradually, those dreams, as they seem right now, have come true.
Mr. Ideal Nigeria is the dream of a certain young man who loves his God and believes in people around him. In his head, he is fixated and feels completely lost on this journey, which is very difficult. There are many people who have same dream, but what is their drive? Slowly, I figured that Mr. Ayotunde Fabamwo’s drive could slightly be credited to the people around him. Not financially. Just the fact that when you are in the midst of young people who are doing amazingly well for themselves, you get really motivated to join the bandwagon.
In the process of trying to understand the concept behind Mr. Ideal Nigeria, where the two winners of its previous editions have gone on to start their own businesses and travel round the world, I’ve come to believe that if the organizer doesn’t pay attention to details (which means, trying to understand the intellectual capability of the contestants of this competition), the focus may completely be lost.
Few months ago, I visited the NSYC camp in Lagos and to my dismay, I saw the winner of the second edition of Mr. Ideal Nigeria, in a blue shirt and a black boxer short, walking aimlessly in the camp, seriously looking for attention. Did it put me off? No. Did it make me lose some respect for him? Yes. For once, he represents a brand, the dream of a young man, who is obviously working off his arse to make sure that this keeps going and the moment such people represent the idea of a great man, dreams may likely begin to dwindle and linger.
Few weeks from now, a new Mr. Ideal will emerge. Thoughts have been running through my head. And they are very disturbing. Is the winner chosen because he is macho? Or because he is tall? Or because he can easily pitch a business plan that can make him generate revenues? Or is the winner chosen by the Chief Executive Officer? Not like I doubt the organiser’s capacity to deliver, I fear for a brand that can only produce beauties with no brains. Will it be strange if I add that past winners have not necessarily impressed me with their responses during interviews or interactions? They sometimes sound like puppets, being paraded to glory. No matter how harsh this sounds, the truth remains that the winner of this year’s edition of Mr. Ideal needs to be someone who can be counted on, whose dreams will not be limited, who can command an audience and who can also raise awareness to the cause of humanity in general.
Yet, I glorify Ayotunde for this journey that will never end.
About the author: Onyeka Nwelue is CEO/Founder, Blues & Hills Consultancy and first African to join Sandbox, a global community of young innovators and achievers under 30. He’s author of best-seller, The Abyssinian Boy.
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.