Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Miss for the Nigerian Diaspora

"It doesn't only involve beauty like all the other pageants that I see. It involves brains, too. So I said, ‘OK, this will be a real challenge. It won't just be Claret showing her pretty face.’" Claret Onukogu, Miss Nigeria in America.

Even diasporas have their beauty pageants.

The reigning Miss Nigeria in America, Claret Onukogu, wants to use her prestigious title, the strength of her American education and what she calls her Nigerian compassion to make a difference in her home country.

Onukogu especially wants to help at risk-women and children overcome the daunting obstacles of poverty and government neglect.

In this video, she seeks inspiration from a visit to an orphanage in the state of Maryland, and professional guidance from the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C..

Her guide along the way is a retired professor, Dr. Ignatius Ukpabi, who is widely regarded as the unofficial “mayor” of the Nigerian diaspora in Washington.

This is a story about the fortitude of a young woman trying to bridge two worlds.