BEVERLY HILLS, March 29, (THEWILL) – At different points in time, they held many spell-bound with their beauty, grace and poise, and were always the stars of any gathering. As a result of their status and social standing, they were tabloid fodder, as many wanted to know what they were always up to. Even though they have all gone into oblivion, it hasn’t stopped people from wondering what they have been up to.
Adenike Oshinowo: The former 1991 Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, who reigned on the social circuit for about 25 years, suddenly dropped off the scene without warning. Nike was one beauty queen who dabbled into several things but never really sustained any. From running a beauty and spa outfit called Skin Deep, to creating her own range of beauty products for the Nigerian market, to releasing her own workout DVD when she clocked 40 named ‘Nike Oshinowo: Fit, Forty and Fabulous’. She also tried to be a beauty pageant organiser for Daily Times, launched her own talk show which ran for only two seasons in 2014, ‘Late Night with Nike Oshinowo,’ and several other ventures. At some point in her entrepreneurial journey the Ibadan indigene married fellow socialite, Dr Tunde Soleye. They were the quintessential couple until they both parted ways in 2012 after five years of marriage over what they termed irreconcilable differences. Many allege the marriage ended because Dr Soleye ran into financial problems and was at some point a guest of anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Two years after the marriage ended, Nike welcomed a set of mixed-race twin boy and girl via surrogacy. With the arrival of her twins, coupled with age, Nike was forced to slow down on her social activities. The 55-year-old currently resides in the United Kingdom, away from the prying eyes of the public.
Omasan Buwa: Before Adenike Oshinowo, there was Omasan Buwa who won the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 1987. Like Nike, Omasan has done it all. She is a trained lawyer, an actress, a singer, a broadcaster, a Disc Jockey, a restauranteur, a cosmetologist, an educationist. A mother three grown-ups, Omasan was also a two-time Executive Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state from 2009 to 2015 and later a member of the board of Culture and Tourism for Delta state. After her political stint, the 56-year-old tried being an On Air Personality both on radio and TV and later took up a teaching job in China in 2018. She is currently a human rights activist based in America.
Wunmi Ogunbiyi: A 1989 former Miss Nigeria, Wunmi Ogunbiyi shortly after her reign went into the banking sector and after putting in 15 years, she resigned as a General Manager to float her own outfit, aCubed Limited, a modern-day business growth consultancy firm where she wields her experience as a multi-facetted administrator and business consultant in various sectors of the economy including Financial Services, Technology development, eCommerce, Power (energy), and Transportation, to grow businesses and to provide bespoke Project management for her clients. Wunmi is currently married to Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, the Chairman of Tanus Communication as his second wife. She also runs Bakery Direct, a one stop shop for pastries, confectioneries and bread.
Toyin Raji-Ayodele: She won the Most Beautiful girl in Nigeria crown in 1995. Following her win, she left for South Africa to participate in the Miss World pageant but was asked to withdraw from the pageant because the then head of state, Gen Sani Abacha had a week before the pageant, executed activist and play wright, Ken Saro Wiwa and nine other activists. Her withdrawal was a protest against Nigeria for Abacha’s despicable act, by civil liberty and pressure groups around the world who put pressure on the Miss World Organisation to drop her. She returned to Nigeria, participated in a few Nollywood productions and suddenly dropped off the radar. She is now married with a child and currently lives in Texas.
Sabina Umeh: She was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 1990. Following the end of her reign, she embraced music, dance/choreography and modelling and went on to set up Juicy Groove, a music production company. The 53-year-old resides in America and is married to Kese Jabari, a one-time rave of the moment fashion designer in Nigeria before he took his craft to the US. They have four children.
Sylvia Edem-Emechete: She had competed in the 2001 edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant but when she didn’t win, she applied for the Miss Nigeria pageant and won in 2002. She however didn’t stay too long on the social circuit as she soon got swept off her feet by her now businessman husband, Chris Emechete whom she married a year after meeting and subsequently relocated to the United Kingdom. A fitness enthusiast, the 42-year-old mother of two children is currently the host of Luminous TV where she connects with those who wish to escape the everyday material pursuit in order to stimulate their Spirit towards a spiritual goal and purpose.
Ene Maya Lawani
Ene Maya Lawani: She disappeared from the social scene faster than it takes one to blink, after dominating the scene for years. Ene was the longest reigning Miss Nigeria and was so for six years because of the comatose state of the Daily Times owned pageant. She reigned from the time she won the crown in 2004 till 2010 before relinquishing her crown. During and after her reign, Ene took both the fashion and social scene by storm and in the process, caught the interest of John Obayuwana, the lifestyle king who runs Polo Limited. Their very public relationship spanned about 10 years with the Polo boss showering her with love and some of the best things that money can buy. They however soon dropped each other like a bad habit to the shock of many who thought John was in loave with her enough to walk her down the aisle. While John hasn’t been publicly associated with anyone, Ene who has since disappeared from the prying eyes of the public is alleged to be in a relationship with Godwin Obla (SAN), a former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It is also alleged that Obla whom she lives with in his Abuja home, banned her from the social life she is accustomed to, including restricting her on social media except it has to do with her millinery business, Ene Maya Turbans.
Vien Tetsola: She was widely referred to as the millennium queen as she got crowned Miss Nigeria in the year 2000 at the turn of the millennium. Besides being in a well-publicized relationship with music super star, Innocent Idibia, more popularly known as 2Baba at some point, Vien was also alleged to be in a romantic relationship with clergyman, Chris Okotie of Household of God Church. Vien soon dropped out of the scene leaving many to wonder what had become of her. She eventually surfaced mid last year after undergoing some spiritual transformation. Today she runs Holy City Empire of GOD Beulah Land Ministry where she is the head of government of the ministry (General Overseer). She has also changed her name and now prefers to be called Israel Shepherd.
Anita Uwagbale: Her reign as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2004 was very uneventful as she was still a student when she won the crown. She soon married Tom Iseghohi, a former group managing director of Transcorp Plc. recruited from America by the former Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Ndi Okereke-Onyuike. In quick successions, the 36-year-old bore Tom three children. Then in 2018 after 15 years of being together, she ended it. Anita choosing to end the marriage may not be unconnected to the fraud and money laundering charges brought against Tom in connection with the botched acquisition of the Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) by Transcorp. Even though the Court of Appeal discharged and acquitted him of the charges, their relationship obviously took a big hit from it. While Tom has since gone back to America, Anita now spends time nurturing her wellness and fitness outfit, FitandFabNg as well her retail baby store.
Chineye Ochuba-Akinlade: But for her husband, Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, failing to win the 2019 gubernatorial election in Ogun State, under the platform of Allied Peoples Movement, APM, Chineye would have been the first lady of Ogun State. Chineye who won the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 2002 is satisfied with being a supportive wife and a mother to her two children.
Omotu Bissong: Omotu who currently resides in America, started out as a model, entered for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant in 2003, won the crown, travelled out, completed her education, returned and set up a modelling agency. She abandoned it for Nollywood and television presenting but that too was short lived and she soon returned to the states.
Dr Matilda Kerry
Dr Matilda Kerry: She was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 2000. Following the end of her reign, she returned to school to bag a degree in Medicine and Surgery at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She also completed a Public Health and Health Promotion Course at the same institution in 2006. In 2012, she received training in minor surgery and cryosurgery by the Royal College of GP’s London. Today, Matilda who is married is a resident community health doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH with special interest in Women’s Health. She also oversees the extensive cervical health campaign of the George Kerry Life Foundation which she founded.
Nwando Okwuosa: Nwando Okwuosa came into limelight in 2003 when she won the Miss Nigeria crown and became the first Miss Nigeria to represent Nigeria at the Miss International Beauty Pageant. A combination of beauty and brain, after her reign, Nwando returned to school and bagged a degree in Law from Middlesex University and a Master of Science in Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, from the University of Sheffield. She returned home and got into the banking sector and worked at various times with Heritage Bank and Fidelity Bank. She currently works with the Central Bank of Nigeria.