Leesi Pamela Peter-Vigboro was the winner of Miss Ogoni 2012, third runner-up of Miss Niger Delta 2014 and winner, Miss Nigeria 2015. In this interview with TAYO GESINDE in Lagos, the graduate of Computer Science from University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, speaks on how she intends to change the perception of people about beauty queens, among others.
I grew up with my parents and siblings in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I am 23 year-old. Growing up was fun because I spent a lot of time with my siblings and cousins. I was a quiet child. I love to read and write. I think that helped shaped where I am heading now. Being a quiet child, my interest in reading and writing grew and it is something I am following through. I did my primary and secondary education in Port Harcourt and studied Computer Science at the University of Port Harcourt.
Why I contested for Miss Nigeria
I have always been fascinated with the idea of being a beauty queen and the glamour associated with beauty pageant. Aside that, the platform that Miss Nigeria gives to you to be a leader and create change was what really attracted me because prior to the competition, I was involved in voluntary work. The platform is really big and it gives me wider coverage.
My parents’ reaction to contesting for beauty pageant
My family supported me for the contest. The competition was held in Lagos. Though they couldn’t be there physically, they supported me morally and we were talking constantly on phone. My family was a huge source of inspiration to me.
On whether I had contested in other beauty pageants
Yes. I contested for Miss Ogoni in 2012 and I won. I also contested for Miss Niger Delta, I was the third runner-up, and was crowned Niger Delta Model 2014. Miss Nigeria was my third beauty pageant.
How I intend to change the perception people have about beauty queens
I believe for you to change anything, you have to reflect it first. Changing that perception starts with me pursuing my dreams and doing what I can on my part to become a successful woman because doing that alone will inspire other people that; she is a beauty queen and despite being in the beauty industry, she still has her goals and plans. Apart from that, I intend to use this Miss Nigeria platform to empower young girls, especially in the South where I came from.
I like to look good generally because it helps the way you feel too and improves your confidence. I like to look simple a lot. I don’t like to be overdressed. I like to keep it simple and comfortable. It is really about how I feel, I carry that through. I try to have the right mindset and smile. A smile is the most important make-up. If you make-up and wear a nice dress but you don’t have on a smile, your outfit is not complete.
What I can’t be caught dead wearing
I have to think about that. Maybe a see-through dress that will show all my private parts. Yes, I can’t be caught dead in that.
My favourite designers
I don’t have one. There is one designer, Tope, who makes great jumpsuits. It is really nice, I like it. I like a lot of African wear. I buy them a lot.
How I handle my male admirers
As a young woman, you will always have male admirers whether you are a beauty queen or not. I have been having male admirers for a while and I still manage it in the same way I have been managing it. I try not to do anything I am not comfortable with. That is basically it.
Advice to young ladies
My advice to young ladies is that they should find themselves, embrace themselves and believe in themselves. You don’t have to be a beauty queen to be a queen. What is important is for every woman to find her confidence, find her happiness and from there, the sky is her limit.