CELEBRITY OF THE WEEK: Agbani Darego
Black African Miss World. Her full names are Ibiagbanidokibubo Asenite
Darego, and she was born 22 December 1982.
Agbani hails from Abonnema, Rivers State, Nigeria and was born into a
family of eight children.
When Agbani was ten, she was sent to boarding school in a bid to
shield her from her mother who had breast cancer. Agbani's mother died
two years later. The loss of her mother prepared her for the future.
When Agbani became a teenager, she longed to be a model, and despite
her conservative father's wishes. This led to her being auditioned for
the M-Net Face of Africa
modelling competition, but she was not
chosen as a finalist. As a model,
Agbani appeared in print adverts for
boutique chain Collectables.
Darego achieved greater success when
she won Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2001. Agbani managed to
divide her time between her official duties with her education at the
University of Port
Harcourt where she was studying
Agbani represented Nigeria in the 2001 Miss Universe competition,
which held in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She was placed among the top 10
semi-finalists, and she finished seventh. However, she was the only
Black semi-finalist for that year - and the only finalist to wear a
maillot as opposed to the more popular bikini.
In November 2001, Agbani was
crowned Miss World, becoming the first
native Sub-Saharan African to claim the
title (although past winners, such as
Penelope Coelen and Anneline Kriel, are
South African, they were of European
descent, and Antigone Costanda, who
represented Egypt in 1954 is of Greek
heritage). Her victory in the pageant
was widely welcomed in her home
country, Nigeria and her one year tenure included goodwill trips and
scheduled appearances on behalf of the pageant.
Agbani was honoured with the Nigerian
national honour of Officer of the Order
of the Niger, OON after her win as Miss
World in 2001. During her reign, she
visited a number of countries which
included the United Kingdom, South
Africa, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, the United
States, Germany, Italy, China, Spain
Due to her busy work schedule, Agbani left the University of Port Harcourt after
she won Miss World. After her reign, she later went to studied
Psychology at the New York University and graduated in May 2012.
She was formerly with Next Model Management, but she is currently
signed to Ford Models in New York. In 2002-2004 she was a spokesperson
for L'Oréal cosmetics and is now promoting Arik Airlines.
I personally like Agbani because she is beautiful and she put her head
up high despite the loss of her mum and obstacles she encountered.
Above all, she made history for being the first black Miss World and
she kept Nigeria on the map.
Sorry this post is coming late. I had a busy day yesterday.
Thanks for stopping by.