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Eka: You have to be bold and smart as a beauty queen

By Esther Ijewere
25 December 2021   |   4:06 am
Having gathered experience in events and experiential marketing as a coordinator, leading event Staffs and training brand representatives, Grace Ini Eka founded her own company, QG Agency, a firm that trains and provides professional marketers/brand representatives, event staffs and models.

Eka

Having gathered experience in events and experiential marketing as a coordinator, leading event Staffs and training brand representatives, Grace Ini Eka founded her own company, QG Agency, a firm that trains and provides professional marketers/brand representatives, event staffs and models.

She holds a Bsc. In Marketing and OND Accounting, with certificate of training in Fashion Design Crafts, Catering Services, Intensive Training in Business from BSC Brand Consult. She is a member of Neca’s Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW). She believes in giving and impacting lives, which gave birth to her Grace Humanitarian Foundation.

The former beauty queen (Miss Akwa Ibom Lagos) and Deputy Coordinator Of Association of beauty queens and kings, Lagos, shares her inspiring journey in this interview.

Childhood Influence
My childhood was an exciting one as both of my parents were disciplinarians. I wasn’t allowed to keep friends and being the first child, I had to learn how to consider my siblings first before myself. It was quite interesting!

The very first female friend I tried to keep after my secondary school education, my dad instructed me never to bring her home again. The only friends I had then were my colleagues at work and people in church and they mustn’t visit, and I don’t visit too. Yea! My secondary education was quite fast, and I started working at age 14 the day after having my last paper for WAEC.

The part I enjoyed more in my childhood is falling in love with God at a young age. I spent most of my time being in God’s presence and my parents were very supportive. I think it is what they wanted, because they would prefer that I go to church rather than visiting anyone.

One thing I learnt from my parents while growing up was the attribute of giving and caring for others. I can recall how my dad would pay rents for people and help people with money to start up businesses then. Each time my mom buys foodstuffs; she would call some women and share amongst them. This happened during my childhood, and I adapted.

I could recall sharing my food allowance with friends in school that didn’t have. This happened when I was 8 years old and at age 15 when I started working, I had started sharing my salary with some people in church. My childhood taught me the principle of sharing. I’ll say I really enjoyed my childhood.

I have always wanted to be an independent woman and a great leader. I believe so much in giving, and I’ve always prayed to be a giver and the grace to touch the lives of everyone that deserves to be happy.

Inspiration Behind Grace Humanitarian Foundation  
The feelings were just so strong that I couldn’t resist it. Even while I was a reigning beauty queen, I knew I could have used the platform, but fear of funds and support didn’t allow me.

But God allowed the launch of The Grace Humanitarian Foundation to happen, because it was just the right time!

Pitching My Tent In The Modelling Industry
I had no contacts and support; my dad didn’t even support my decision to venture into the industry, because he was scared I would lose focus. Only God can tell how I became the winner of Miss Akwa Ibom Lagos 2015/16, because I only know I got the form for #5000 then and the rest I can’t explain. All outfits I used during the competition were given. Though I was working, I couldn’t have sponsored myself if not by His grace.

QC Agency
QG_Agency is CAC certified, and we offer the following services: providing of well trained professional models for brands, video shoot and adverts, providing of well trained event staff, handling of experiential marketing for brands for creating awareness and increase in sales making, real estates and property management.

Challenges Of Being A Young Entrepreneur
There are so many challenges that if you aren’t strong enough and determined in your career, you could give up easily. So, I’ll advise that whatever the challenge may be, just stay put, believe you can and pray. Some of the challenges I’m facing as an entrepreneur are…

Mental stress: Being a young entrepreneur and managing a growing business is hard work. It is not easy coping financially and employing people to relieve your stress of managing social media, attending to people calling for enquiries, graphic designing, etc so do all these myself… Yes, I do everything myself for now and it’s stressful you know.

Office space: This is a major challenge that I really need to sort as soon as possible, because it’s affecting my business growth. Most people appreciate you more and feel safer doing business with you when they are able to meet you at a physical place that is comfortable and not just an online meeting.

Requirements Or Qualifications Of A Beauty Queen
For you to qualify as beauty queen, you need to be bold, beautiful, intelligent, smart, and self-confident.

Business Principles Life Has Taught Me
We are in the time where business has really changed compared to the 1990’s. It takes a passionate and determined person to do business now, because of the number of competitors in all businesses and so I’ve learnt to carve my business on quality service, which is ‘Professionalism;’ take advantage of every opportunity in promoting my business and build a great team.

Three Women Who Inspire Me And Why
Mrs. Hannah Iniobong, that’s my mum; she is a virtuous woman. If you meet my mum, you can’t help but call her mother, because she will treat you like her own child. She is a mother that every child would want to have.

Second woman that inspires me is Mrs. Funmilayo Awoogun. She is a kind of leader you will appreciate having. I admire her so much, as she is the President of NNEW, a Pastor, a wife, a mother, and a mentor and yet so humble and she manages these roles excellently.

The third woman that inspires me is a famous popular Actor, Aunty Kate Henshaw. I have loved her from the first time I saw her movie when I was about 10 years old. She is the realest Actor I have known, and I learnt to be a Humanitarian through her. So many things to talk about Aunty Kate, but I can’t say it all now.

In The Next 5 Years
In the next five years, I see myself fulfilled.

To Young Girls…
Ladies, don’t be desperate, take one step at a time, seek God first in everything and work hard to be an independent woman.