Opinion: Who’s the real ‘Mr. Ideal’ in Nigeria?

  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.

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Comments (5)

  1. we should always be ready to welcome constructive criticism, stephaano i don't think the article is seeking to victimize any one so do not personalise it please!!! The organisers must be careful on who the crown fits best cos really the winner must be doing Nigeria Youths proud at any point.

  2. Well written but baseless, seems the writer jus needed to submit a piece.. Onyeka has definitely never had a conversation with the current MIN winner, I have, and I reckon the current winner to be of reasonable intelect and intelligence. He is the embodyment of brains and beauty. Then again of what basis is the writer's point on the winner being garbed in shorts and a shirt at the NYSC camp? Was he supposed to be on 3 piece suit or in agbada??? Was he wearing his Mr Ideal sach on the shorts and shirt essemble??? Wot makes the writer reckon he was walking about seeking attention?? Or did he probably not give Mr Onyeka the 'attention' you sought of him?? What were u doing at the camp anyways?? Tryna market your book?? Of what influence has your book being to the youths or the society at large?? Never even heard of its title prior to reading your resume after this article. Please get ur facts right next time. Yes everyone is entitled to his/her opinions, I opine that this your opinion is grossly unsolicited for. Also thanks for your greek appraisals on the founder of the paegent. I wish Mr Ideal Nigeria (MIN) a very successful third outing.

  3. excellent, i agree with all the points, we just cant continue with mediocrity.

  4. Fantastic piece. That is exactly the caliber of Mr(s) Nigeria(s) that we need and will get from now on IJN.
    We need to raise a whole nation of them.

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