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‘Don’t sacrifice culture for fashion’

By Waliat Musa
08 October 2022   |   4:38 am
The 44th Miss Nigeria, Shatu Garko, has advised younger women to find the balance between religion and fashion in her message to women to commemorate Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day.

Shatu Garko

The 44th Miss Nigeria, Shatu Garko, has advised younger women to find the balance between religion and fashion in her message to women to commemorate Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day.

   
Sharing her experiences as the reigning queen of Nigeria’s oldest and most prestigious pageant, Miss Nigeria, Garko, whose journey into modelling was inspired by COVID-19, stressed how difficult it was for her to break into the industry as a Hijabi model. 
   
In December 2021, when she emerged as the 44th Miss Nigeria and became the first Hijabi model to win a national pageant, Garko received backlash from some religious and ethno-cultural bodies.
   
“At first, it was difficult, but I can only say that I don’t let some things bother me because it may not be worth it,” she said.
   
“No one can judge me or any other human except God. Alhamdulillah, I was able to cope by blocking my ears and remaining true to myself and originality.
   
“To all ladies, never sacrifice your faith, culture, or beliefs for fashion and beauty. Losing your identity may follow. However, do not let religion and cultural beliefs stop you from pursuing your dreams and achieving them. The key is finding the right balance between it all.”

Garko described her almost-ending reign as outstanding. The 18-year-old beauty queen said she had become more punctual, responsible, and environment aware due to working on several projects with The Green Girl Company Limited, a sister company of the Miss Nigeria Organisation.
   
Wishing Nigeria success, happiness, prosperity, and peace at 62, Garko said she would work continuously with the “incredible team at Miss Nigeria and the Green Girl Company” for the rest of her reign and is focused on eliminating or at least significantly reducing period poverty.
   
“No girl should be denied an education because they do not have access to period products. These are necessities, not luxury items,” she stressed.
   
Glad to be an inspiration to hijabi models worldwide, Garko said: “Dressing modestly is like a religious art for a Muslim woman. It is an act of devotion and submission. Modest fashion requires looser fits, but not baggy clothes. You can be stylish and keep up with the latest trends by choosing waist-defining pieces with gathers, sash belts, or tie fronts.”
   
Garko also disclosed that she has been accepted to study at a highly regarded institution in Dubai and that the Miss Nigeria Organisation has also extended her reign as queen.
   
“This way, I can complete all my outreach programs across other states in Nigeria”, she said.

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