Ex-Beauty pageant queen, Gina Onyejiaka, popped on the timeline of many Nigerians as she was celebrated on international women’s day on 8th March, 2023, for her audacity and courage in sponsoring herself to the 1963 Miss World Pageant in London after she was turned down by Nigerian beauty judges as being ugly.

Ex-Beauty queen, Gina Onyejiaka smiling at the judges

The 2023 International Women’s Day, saw the celebration of Nigerian women all over the world, both alive and of the great beyond.

Among women celebrated, was ex beauty pageant queen, Gina Onyejiaka, as her video at the pageant show surfaced online, with the story of her resilience inspiring many young Nigerians, an experience that tested her even though she came out victorious in her own way.

Onyejiaka made history as the first Nigerian woman to fly the country’s flag at an international pageant.

According to a report by journalist, Julio Rodríguez, there was a contest in Nigeria where eight finalists emerged, with Onyejiaka coming up as the first runner-up. The contest would have seen one of the ladies emerge as the ‘Most Beautiful’, who would then proceed to represent the country in the international pageantry show.

Rodríguez reported that one Martha Bassey who was 16-years emerged as ‘Miss World Nigeria 1963’ but was eventually disqualified for not having the required minimum age that was 17 years, hence leaving an opportunity for Onyejiaka. Since Onyejiaka’s emergence didn’t augur well with judges, she was left to cater for the trip down to London while officials were still in the process of finding a prettier lady to represent the country.

Story: Christy Dung