Hairstylist pockets ₦1.5 million as winner of Mr Nigeria International 2023
More than 320 young men applied for the 11th edition of the contest.
Usman, a hairstylist, beat 11 other finalists after three rounds of displays in cultural, official and beach outfits at the event, held on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at Lekki, Lagos State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Usman, an indigene of Kogi, but born in Cross River, is also a make-up artist. He was crowned by the outgoing Mr Nigeria, Ajewole Odunayo.
Mr Akwa Ibom, John Goodnews, a graduate of Mass Communication, emerged second and has become Mr Nigeria Global.
The position of Mr Nigeria International, Tourism, was secured by Mr Abia, Collins Okere, a student and interior designer.
Usman, 25, who became emotional as soon as he was announced the winner, expressed joy at his feat.
"I feel so blessed, so happy and elevated. I know that I have a lot to do to meet up with my new position as Mr Nigeria International.
"I am going to look towards encouraging our youths, the less privileged and empowerment of the unemployed," he said.
According to the organiser, Brendance and Crusader Ltd., the contest is touching lives, promoting peace and encouraging tourism in Africa.
"The 2023 maiden single Mr Nigeria International is fashioned to promote culture, tourism and intelligence.
"We decided to separate the two contests which had existed for 11 years to give them more concentration and attention.
"We resolved to go cultural in order to boost and promote the nation's culture among the youth," the Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brenden Nsikak, said.
Nsikak said that more than 320 young men applied in 11th edition of the contest, with the theme, The Evolution.
He said 30 applicants qualified for the contest and 12 emerged finalists through public voting.
He said that Usman would go home with ₦1.5 million while the first and second runners-up would represent Nigeria internationally and would have consolation prizes.
Nsikak told NAN that the pageantry had a tradition of selecting the most credible and valuable contestants.
NAN reports that some of the judges at the contest are Ada Karl, a movie producer and actress; Adesola Oshosanya, an educationist; Nkiru Umeh, an actress; and Zak Francis, a movie director.
The pageant had been a mixed one – Mr and Miss Nigeria pageant, but this 11th edition is the maiden single contest.
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