‘My man must be dark and sexy’
By RACHAEL AGUNTA
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nduka

She is not the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) because she has the crown. Looking at Sylvia Nduka, one would not hesitate to call her a beautiful girl. Not only does she have height, her beautiful face, elegant and skinny nature make her a queen even without a crown. Sylvia, a final year student of Lagos State University, is the last of five siblings and hails from Isuofia in Anambra State of Nigeria. In this interview with Saturday Sun, she talks about the goodies the crown has brought to her.

If you had not won MBGN, do you think you would have made it this far?
I am not God. But I would say that somehow, if I am not MBGN 2011, I don’t think I would make it so fast to where I am now. At the same time, I am not God. He may have other plans for me. However, I give thanks to Him for everything.

What were you doing before you went for the pageant?
I am a student of Lagos State University. I am going to my final year now.

You are not putting on jewellery even as a queen. Why?
I am a very simple girl. I am not crazy about accessories and jewellery. Sometimes I don’t even wear wristwatch.

What about your hair?
I love hair. If you want to bless my life, start from my hair to bags and shoes.

What influence has the crown on you?
It has a lot of influence. It has done pretty much. Now, it is getting to the end of my reign. Sometimes, when I think about it, I feel like not handing over the crown to someone else. But it is okay, I have to. But to be honest, I am really going to miss a lot of things for you to know how far I have gone and how well I am now.

What were the benefits that came with the crown?
There are so much that I would not be able to mention. But let me start with the clothes I wear. I don’t buy clothes any more. I have about six or seven designers in Nigeria and some in Ghana that give me clothes I wear. I get all that for free including other things. Like you know, right now, I have a car.

Would they still be clothing you when your reign is over?
They are not going to stop. I am there. My name is there on the 24th edition of MBGN at Silverbird. It does not stop and I cannot start going backwards simply because my reign has come to an end. This is just the beginning of good things in my life.

Of all businesses, why did you choose to deal on hair?
I am a lady who loves hair and I have always wanted to go into hair business. I did not go into it because I won MBGN. It is because of my flair for hair that made me go to Spain where I know that they have long hair. I went for the best and despite the fact that it is a 100 per cent human hair, they are also affordable.

Don’t you think that it has been over- flooded?
No it has not. There is something about me that people do not know yet. Give me some time like one year and people would discover something wonderful about me. Even, I don’t understand what is happening to me but I know that whatever I put my hands on works perfectly well for me. My hair extension would sell and I bet you that where it would get to from now till June, would be a surprise to people.

Who are the people that patronize Sylvia Hair?
A lot of girls do. Now, the next MBGN is around the corner. Everybody wants to get the crown. I tell you that a lot of girls want to wear Sylvia’s hair for the next MBGN. I am happy about it and I know that the best is yet to come.

What does it cost to wear your hair?
It is not too expensive. It is affordable. Moreover, it is a special human hair that is of good quality. It does not require any treatment or cream and it will be used over and over again. If you like good things, you pay to get it.

Why the craze for human hair?
Synthetic is pretty good but because I change my hair very often, I prefer human hair. It is not something that tangles or the type your heart beats when you want to brush it. Human hair lasts and can be used over and over again. I love looking good and for me, beauty is about my hair.

What makes Sylvia’s Hair different from others?
It is my own make. It is what I choose and they manufacture for me in the company. Whoever uses it would spot out the difference. I am not boasting about the hair, I know what I went for. The weavons which are purely human hair range from straight hair, deep body waves and body waves. With Sylvia’s hair extension, the difference is clear.

Beauty pageants nowadays are being stage-managed. How is it with Silverbird?
I did not pay a dime. How much do you think I would pay Mr. Guy that they don’t have already. I paid nothing. It was God’s favour. My dear God had already ordained that it was my turn to shine and I shone. No matter what went wrong, what happened and what anybody said, I shone. People are entitled to their opinions and I don’t care. I did not pay a dime to get the crown.

Why are you saying all these?
No, it is just that people would always have something to say or to condemn but I am not bothered.

Before you won the MBGN 2011, did you try before and lost?
Yes, I tried and lost. Even in UNILAG, I tried being Miss Campus but it didn’t work. I got the form, scaled through the audition but something happened along the line and I forgot about it. It has always been what I wanted to go into but my studies would not allow me. I hadn’t the time to pursue it. I found the opportunity in 2011; I went for it and won.

What gave you the confidence that you could win?
It was God who used a friend of mine to push me to go for it. Even, while I was feeling the form, I was laughing at myself. I did not take it seriously. Now, not only did I win, I was also given the Best Costume Award.
When you were announced the winner, what was your first reaction?
I didn’t react anyway. I was just on standstill. I was lost and totally blank till the next day.

What are the things you have stopped doing since you won the crown?
I used to go to joints a lot. There is a place in school where I go to eat amala and ewedu. I am not a Yoruba but I love it. Before, I usually go to that joint but now I no longer go there. But I must confess that I miss it because the sweetness of the food is when you eat it there with other students chatting and cracking jokes. I am also a girl who loves to go on flat sandals but I don’t wear flat shoes or sandals anymore. I go on hills everyday. Again, I don’t like make-up but now I make up on a daily basis.

Why are you depriving yourself of what makes you happy?
I am a queen. A lot of people say that a queen is not meant to be seen in a common place. If I go to the amala joint, students would say that MBGN is eating amala. So, I keep away from whatever would cause me embarrassment.
When you have handed the crown over to someone else, would you go back to the things you were doing before?
No, I would not. It is something that has started and I would keep it. It is a stepping stone for me and I would maintain it.

If your parents had objected to you picking the form, what would you have done?
I would have mingled and found a way to do it. I am a student and I live in a hostel; so, I would have had a way to go for it. Nevertheless, since I became MBGN, I have gone back to the house. I no longer live in the hostel.

Who is your ideal man?
I love God-fearing man even though everybody says that. Most importantly, I am allergic to fair guys. I like dark guys but he must be tall, and of course, sexy and cool.

What are your expectations?
I hope to go into full-time politics by next year. Even if it is not next year, I know I would definitely do that.

Why politics?
It could be because one of my uncles is a politician but I know that if I get any political appointment, I would assist so many young people to acquire education. A lot of young ladies are passing through difficult situations in order to pay their school fees and nobody is helping anyone.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
It was the day I went to the airport and five guys were requesting for my number at the same time. They were together when they spotted me. They greeted and I reciprocated. But they turned to request that I give them my number. Though I did not give them, people were watching us. I felt so embarrassed.

What are your likes and dislikes?
I like travelling a lot. There are lots of things I don’t like. I don’t like criticizing people and I don’t like people who criticize others.

What projects do you have?
I have a pet project on education which I am going to launch first week of February. It is called Sylvia Empowerment Development Foundation. What we do basically is to empower children to go to school. I have helped a lot of kids. I give them scholarships. I am not going to do it for just one year. It is going to continue and that is why on the other hand, I am doing other businesses so I can fund and sustain it.

How many children are under your care now?
We have about 12 to 15 that we pay their school fees now.

What are the criteria for picking them?
Some people call to tell me about them and we go to their houses. Some are introduced to us and some are directed to come to us. If you look out, you would see people who cannot afford to buy a sachet of pure water, let alone sending their children to school. It is not that the children do not want to go to school but their parents cannot afford it. We are helping them and we hope to increase the number.

Where did you get your height from?
I got it from my dad. My dad is tall and I am closer to him till today. I love my dad so much and if I need advice on any issue, I go to him as well. Everybody knows that I love my dad more than my mum. I don’t hate my mum but I love my dad. If my dad is having headache today, I must have headache too.

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