Three queens have emerged in the 2017 edition of the Face of Maritime International (FOMI) beauty pageant.
They are King Joyce Saviour, Queen-Face of Maritime International 2017, Asiru Balogun Kikelomo-FOMI Ambassador 2017 and Eniola Sekoni-FOMI Intellectual 2017.
The award winners are Okpala Chinonye -FOMI Miss Tourism 2017, Chukwu Justina-FOMI Miss Influential, Best Marshall -FOMI Miss Photogenic, Nwachukwu Precious -FOMI Most Talented, Agboola Joy-FOMI Best Catwalk and Poise, Francis Precious -FOMI Miss Hilarious and Arise Elizabeth -FOMI Best Dinner Gown 2017.
The contest which debuted in 2016, started this year’s journey with the sale of forms on the 1st of July, 2017 with a total of 24 candidates picking up the forms and consequently attended the audition held at the ANLCA. Secretariat on the 8th of September, 2017.
Then followed the contest which was heralded by faculty training which held every Saturday at the School of Oceanography, Victoria Island, Lagos for five weeks where the contestants were groomed on the basic maritime knowledge and skills since some of the contestants had no maritime background.
The contestants were later taken on a courtesy visit to meet with their sponsors and stakeholders in the industry which saw them visited SIFAX, Ocean Deep Services Limited, all in Apapa among others within a two weeks time frame.
Precisely on the 31st of October, 2017, the contestants commenced camping at the Takwa Bay Island Beach which lasted for five days where they had the opportunity of having maritime stakeholders and non maritime stakeholders alike to come and tutor them on modelling etiquette.
Then on November 4, 2017, came the grand finale which was held in honour of one of the outstanding female maritime practitioners, Mrs. Dabney Shall Homer, former Director, Commercial Shipping Services of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
Speaking on the essence of the pageant, the Project Director, FOMI and Chief Executive Officer of Platform Reporters, Mr. Sylvanus Obasi noted that FOMI was an industry pageant built on the tripod of changing perception, women empowerment and to promote the girls go to sea campaign of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Obasi noted that the queens in the course of their reign would embark on a pet project known as girls go to sea which is targeted at creating awareness among female students in the senior secondary school 1 to 3 on the opportunities inherent in the maritime sector and the need for them to choose maritime related studies at the university level believing that it was at that level that students make decision on where they want to be.
According to him,” The first queens produced in the maiden edition held last year started it off very well and the current queens are going to continue with that pet project. Face of Maritime International is also an empowerment programme for the female folks and it is not just to win a pageant, we have cash prizes that we give out to the three winners and other consolation prizes to the other award winners.
“We started last year and this year, we continued with what we started, we have also made an improvement. So, this year, we provided N1 million to be shared across the three queens. The winner will be going home with N500,000, the first runner up will be going home with N300,000 while the second runners-up goes home with N200,000 and them there will be official car for the official movement of the queen.
“In this our little way, Platform Reporters are also trying to empower these young girls. With the sum of N5,000, one can win N500,000, N300,000 and N200,000. But outside the cash, the knowledge impacted in them during the course of the two months training is something you cannot also quantify.
“We are not doing this alone and we are not in it alone, the maritime stakeholders are fully behind us, the likes of NIMASA, NPA, Shippers’ Council, SIFAX, ANLCA, WISTA and all other stakeholders are the ones who have seen what we are doing to be a noble concept and they queued behind us to support us both financially and otherwise”.
He observed that out of the 24 contestants that made it through the audition, only 14 made it through to the final stage even as he said that 10 were eliminated during the course of the contest.
“Then out of the 14, we have 3 queens and then 7 award winners. The other four couldn’t win anything except consolation prizes from the organizers”, he added.
On the criteria used in selecting the actual winners of the contest, Mr. Obasi listed attitude (participation in FOMI activities) 20%, popularity (voting) 20%, maritime techniques (faculty training) 25%, influence (ticket sale) 20% and modelling skills (judges) 15% as criteria used in determining the winners of the contest.
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