Iveren Tyolanga is the Queen, Community of Tiv Student (CTS) Taraba State chapter. In this interview with our Correspondent, Nathaniel Gbaoron in Jalingo, she spoke about her vision and mission. Excerpts:
We understand you are the Queen, Community of Tiv Student (CTS) Taraba State Chapter and also the Kumaashe of Ukum Community; when and why did you develop interest in beauty pageant?
Well, it began when I was in school. During my diploma days, I discovered that most of the things that the girls do in school were not appropriate and then, even the beauty Queens who were there showed no competence in directing girls rightly. Then I said to myself, if I was given the opportunity, I will be able to put one or two things in order to help the girl child and as well put them on the right paths. I then took the steps in 2017 to contest, and I won.
Can you please tell us, is it just being beautiful that’s the criterion for contesting and being a queen or there are other things involved?
For me, it’s not all about being beautiful; intelligence should also be a criterion. It is also important that what you portray and give out to the society should also speak about you if truly you are a beauty queen. Right now, the trend in beauty pageantry is that you should be able to manage the people around you and as well use the platform to impact positively, at least on your immediate community.
What do you intend using your position as a beauty queen to achieve?
I have a few things that I will love to achieve. My target is on the girl child, little on promotion of our cultural heritage and peace building. On the girl child, I intend to launch a campaign on the need for girls to recognise their importance in society and the need for them to stay awake why they are in school in order to achieve good results at the end. I intend to also initiate programmes that will promote peace and unity among the good people of Taraba State, this time around it will not be the women alone but a programme that will carry the men along as well.
We understand that you are putting a programme together; what is the programme all about?
The programme I have on ground now is all about culture promotion and peace building. If you look around, you’ll discover that the insecurity in the country and particularly in Taraba State is because there is no unity among the people. So, I’m set to preach peace and see to it that peace is actually restored at least in my community Taraba State through this initiative. I also want to see that through this programme, I will be able to touch lives, especially the vulnerable and orphans. Now, people might be wondering, where is she going to get all the funds to do all that? I want you to understand that this is a project for the community and everyone in the community is involved; I cannot do it alone and so I’m calling on individuals and organisations to key into this project so that at the end, the glory will be returned to God and the community.
As a beauty queen, it’s possible you have role models; who are your role models?
I want to say thank you to my mother, for she’s my role model. While growing up with her, I saw her relationship with the people around her and I discovered she was always trying to positively impact on anyone that comes around her, especially ladies. No matter what, she always tries to assist, thus she wasn’t into any pageantry. In the modeling field, the India Aishwarya Rai, the 1994 Miss World who was crown for her humanitarian works always come to my mind, and that’s all. The rest have actually not been in my order, but I hope that the present Miss Nigeria who I see as part of me will come up with projects that will actually impact at least on our immediate community, if not Nigeria as a whole.
What do you have to say to ladies who are also aspiring to pick a career in beauty pageantry?
Let me tell you something, in the pageantry industries, modeling is a competition but however, should not be a do-or-die affair. Most of the models, especially the upcoming ones, in order to get the crown, go extra miles and indulge in habits that tell ugly things about them. The 1994 Miss World like I earlier said was crown as a result of her humanitarian services and not the other way round. In short, for these already models, and these aspiring to be, I want them to know that their humanitarian services should not include giving out themselves. Hard work, dedication and confidence pays more in the career than the short cut they seek which often results to nothing.