‘I want to make positive changes …’
Tell us about your childhood, growing up years, family background, parents and siblings
I am Hadassah Ibiyingi Allaputa, Ms. Nigeria United Nations; Executive Director, Dare To Dream Again Foundation And Girls with a Purpose International Network.
I am representing Nigeria as a contestant for the Ms. World United Nations finals scheduled for July 21 to July 28 in Kingston, Jamaica.
Growing up as a child, I was so full of life, love, adventure and passion to live my dreams.
Although, I didn’t get the best opportunities or go to the best schools, but I always strived to be the best I can in all I do.
No matter how many times I fail, I still try again. I’m the first daughter of four siblings of Mr and Mrs Hamilton Allaputa from Bonny/Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State, Nigeria.
What schools did you attend and what was school days like?
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and an advanced diploma certificate in Broadcasting and Presentation from Alpha Institute of Broadcasting and Communication.
What was your childhood dream? What did you want to be when you grew up and why?
While growing up, I always dreamed of being a Super queen that saves people from danger just like Superman, Batman, Spider man does etc,..hahaha.
I usually say I’m going to be the richest beauty queen that has ever existed in the history of mankind…my dream is so bigger than me.
I didn’t have a clue of how but I just believed it, I also knew that it’s going to come to reality through working hard and perseverance.
It is funny that sometimes when nobody is watching me I used to stand in front of the mirror, and imagine an invisible glittering gold crown on my head and demonstrating how I’m talking to a large number of people, giving them hope, with a comb as my microphone.
I used to say back then that I was going to be a great beauty queen with so much love for people and with impeccable leadership skills.
I dreamed of having my own make up brand name as I love make up artistry and photography and I have discovered my uniqueness and style in the make up industry.
I dream of travelling around the world doing business, meeting people, helping as many people I can who feel discouraged in life to be hopeful. One other thing
I dreamed was to have many children. Is it a bad dream? I don’t know …it’s funny but I just love children and I like to play with them.
I believe it is what I’m called by God to do. Through my career, gifts and skills, I will add my voice to humanity, make positive changes and reach millions of people across the globe.
Why did you decide to enter the Miss United Nations Competition? Tell us briefly what you’ve been doing since you were crowned to represent Nigeria in the finals last year
I believe in what the Miss United Nations pageant stands for, they stand for friendship, building relationships and uniting the world through pageantry.
It is great to be associated with this unique kind of platform, they are the first pageant to end poverty through their strategic programs and I love the idea of different categories such as Miss, Mrs, Ms, Miss Teen, giving every woman the opportunity to participate regardless of your status, age or where you come from.
Ever since I was crowned, I have spent most of my time reaching out to the unmarried teenage mothers and young girls in rural communities.
I have visited 14 communities and eight secondary schools, six in Rivers state and two in Abuja.
I have over 400 girls, 11 unmarried teenage mothers and 36 dropout girls who have registered in my organization and will be imparted on through my programmes and initiatives.
I also visited the IDP camp recently in Abuja. A lot of women and girls are greatly affected by the crisis in some parts of the country.
It was a very emotional experience for me; our girls, children and pregnant women looking tattered, malnourished, hungry and feeling hopeless.
They feel they don’t have a future. But I came with a message of hope to them.
I believe Nigeria will eventually become a peaceful country, that no matter what is happening, never give up on yourself, your dreams and never give up on Nigeria.
I talked to them about hygiene and menstruation and distributed sanitary pads, detergents and bathing soaps.
There are over 2,000 IDPs but I could only provide for 1,000 women and girls.
I want to use this opportunity to call on organisations and individuals to also make contributions to support the IDPs.
On your pet project- Dare to Dream Again Foundation- what was the motivation behind it? Briefly state some of the programmes/projects you’ve done in the Foundation.
My motivation for Dare to Dream Again Foundation springs up from the belief that things are not as bad or difficult as you may think or see.
I believe that failure is not an excuse but the drive for knowledge, self-development and the determination to succeed is the key to fulfilIment and my initiative, the Girls With A Purpose project, is to help our young girls discover their purpose early, make better decisions, remain focused and achieve personal greatness.
Dare to dream Again Foundation and Girls with a Purpose International Network, have established and currently embarking on various initiatives and programs with the sole objective to give hope and add value to lives.
We seek to empower and re-integrate the vulnerable, unmarried teenage mothers and their children, school dropout girls and under-privileged single mothers to inspire them to Dream Again.
Our intervention efforts are in the areas of enlightenment, education, healthcare and opportunities for self-development through sustainable skills that alleviate poverty.
Some of such programs are-Sensitization for SEXUAL SANCTITY -a campaign to shun every form of sexual immorality, teenage pregnancy, child abuse, prostitution, molestation, human trafficking, sexual harassment and violence against women and girls, among others.
You’ve been preparing for the finals coming up soon in Jamaica. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced on your road to the finals?
I have been through several trainings, grooming classes and exercises. Presently, I am enrolled in Consima finishing school in Abuja, to polish my social skills and etiquette.
I also registered with the Toastmasters International for public speaking, effective communication and leadership skills to be more articulate and confident, also speech training classes, interview drilling, strict dieting, exercises, fitness, catwalk rehearsals, prayers and meditation.
Some of my challenges are the lack of sponsors, high cost of preparation, public perceptions of beauty queens as having beauty without brains, lack of funding to sustain preparation, no social media presence yet.
Will you continue with your Foundation after the finals?
Yes I will continue the work I have already started and extend it even beyond my reign across Nigeria, and the globe.
My goal is not just about winning the crown, but to use the amazing opportunity the office offers to bring sunshine and positive change to the girl child and unmarried teenage mothers who have been fragmented to pick up themselves and dream again.
What do you do to stay in shape, keep fit and slim?
I try to keep up with exercises like jogging, dancing and playing basketball.
Do you have any role model?
Not really a role model, but there are lots of people I admire so much like Joyce Meyer, Dr Stepannie Orhare, Engr (Mrs) Happiness Ihueze, Pastor David Ibiyeomie, Mrs Sonye Allanah, Pastor Collins Edebiri, Dayo Benjamin, Tara Durotoye, Omotola Jalade, they are just so many.
What’s the skin care routine that keeps your skin glowing and radiant?
I drink plenty of water to nourish my skin and natural fresh fruit drinks and juice.
What’s your favourite food?
I love fresh fish native soup with eba. I also love fried plantain.
Are you in a relationship?
Who is your ideal man?
My ideal man is a confident man, who fears and loves God, committed to his family, living his purpose and greatly promoting God’s Kingdom.
What motivates you in life?
The Word of God is my greatest motivation; good music and dance motivate me. My dreams, visions and aspirations are also my motivation.