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Miss Rivers clinches Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria title

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It was a moment of uncommon glitz as 21-year- old Miss Rivers State, Maria Okese, recently clinched the first ever Most Beautiful Deaf Girl in Nigeria (MBDGN) pageantry to represent Nigeria at the 2020 Miss Deaf World in Prague, Czech Republic.

The MBDGN pageantry, which took place at Standard Bearers School in Lekki, Lagos state displayed beauty and brain as it canvassed inclusion for the deaf in the society.

Speaking at the event, the CEO of Empathy Driven Women International Initiative (EDWIN), Mrs. Uri Ngozichukwuka, lamented the lack of recognition given to the disabled in the society, especially the entertainment industry that ought to serve as a vanguard.

Uri said: “When it comes to the issue of disability inclusion, the Nigerian entertainment industry, for all its creative firepower, visibility and growing influence in the nation’s profile and social-economic fortunes, is still light-years behind the rest of the society.” 

She decried that in Nigeria and many parts of Africa the notion of disability inclusion is novel. 

“The entertainment industry is supposed to be the vanguard, to set the pace when it comes to enhancing access to the production and consumption of creative content by People with Disabilities (PWDs),” she expressed.

Also, Nigeria’s foremost clinical relationship and marriage counselor, Dr. Tolu Oke-Igaire said creating awareness, advocacy, spatial justice and affirmative action could serve as balm for the entertainment and beauty industries to correct the anomaly. 

Maria emerged winner amongst 14 other contestants present from across 13 states in Nigeria. Although impaired, she expressed herself in tears, laughter and gesticulations. Her joy was vividly written all over her. 

The top five finalists were Anambra’s Columba Chinazo; Lagos Blessing Iyasere (Lagos; Odedina Rebecca (Lagos and Ogun State). Funmilayo Ogundari alongside Okese, Columba came second and Odedina emerged first runner up. 


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