Thursday, October 13, 2005
Who Will Be The Next Miss Africa International
In August I was selected to represent my country as Miss Nigeria International in the upcoming Miss Africa International Pageant. If crowned I will become more than a beauty queen and title holder, but an ambasador of the continent. The event will be taking place in Washington DC on October 29th 2005 at the Warner Theatre. Please visit the website at www.missafricainternational.com for more information. Tell your friends to come out and support me and if you cannot make it out please make a donation on my behalf by contacting the pageant office.
I'll be chronicling the next two weeks as I prepare for the challenges that beauty pageants are (trust me)and juggle real life's challenges. WISH ME LUCK!!
Here's your first chance to get to know me upclose before the event.
University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications, Minor In Theater Arts, 1999- 2002
Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, 1997-1999
University of Lagos International School, Akoka, 1997
University of Lagos Staff School, Akoka
Ambition: To Become a News Correspondent or Anchor on CNN, Publish My Own Anthology of Poems and a Novel....life would be a lot easier if i just became a Super Model or a Hollywood Star
Talents/Hobbies: Writing Prose and Poetry, Reading, Dancing and Performing, Meeting New People, Painting, Watching the News, Public Speaking,
National Association of Black Journalists, Member
National Association of African Journalists, Member, Election Committee
Triangle Association of Black Journalists, Member
Nigerian Business Forum, Triangle Regional Representative
Carolina Week, International News Reporter
Organization of African Students Interests and Solidarity, Co-President, (2001-2002), Publicity Secretary, (1999-2001)
Awards and Accomplishments:
Edward Kidder-Graham Award for Leadership, International Organization
1st Place in Feature Writing For 'Hans Massaquoi: Black Nazi', Electronic News Association of the Carolinas
Charities: Co-Founder, Liberation Association by Women of Nigeria
Firstly, bringing awareness to domestic violence and sexual abuse against women and girls in Nigeria and Africa is a topic I am very passionate about. I feel that it is not being given due attention and urgency because it is justified in many cultures, many policy makers in Africa are culprits themselves and women are culturally stigmatized, too ashamed and afraid to talk about it.
I particularly want to create a media campaign, using data and testimonials of real victims in order to reduce stigmatization and get the issue on the table of discussion.
I also want to facilitate setting up centers to provide counseling (psychological, legal and otherwise) and shelter to victims, because these are lacking in our society, as well as persuade lawmakers to see that laws are enforced and enhanced towards protecting women and prosecuting offenders.
Secondly, I would like to see Nigeria and many African countries raise the age of consent to 18 and enforce statutory rape laws and laws against child marriage by convicting and heavily penalizing culprits.
Sports: Played basketball, soccer, volley ball and ping-pong growing up but now I only enjoy watching college basketball and soccer occasionally
Why I am participating in Miss Africa International Pageant:
I am participating in the Miss Africa International Pageant because I am aware of the opportunities it will provide me in achieving my goals. The exposure will put me in contact with policy makers and government officials in Africa who after hearing what I have to say may return home and enact some changes in their different jurisdictions. It can possibly accelerate the humanitarian agendas that I am very passionate about.
What I hope to achieve during my reign:
If I am crowned Miss Africa International I plan to use the platform to champion the causes I have mentioned above. I would like to engage in public speaking events where I talk and make presentations about domestic violence in Africa. I hope to align with a media group on the continent to pursue my media campaign project and galvanize women in their different communities, especially those in higher institutions, to take an educative approach by re-educating society about the roles both women and men can play towards combating domestic violence and sexual abuse. I would also like to change the negative perception that speaking out against this issue and raising awareness is about basic human rights, not western feminism. One year is not adequate time enough to pursue these goals, so even after my reign I would undoubtedly use the contacts and vast network that being Miss Africa International would have provided to continue working on achieving these goals, expanding my scope to other humanitarian causes, continuing the work with my charity organization and more.
Bragging about my country:
I have a popular saying for many of my American friends, "even though I carry a blue passport, my blood is very green."
Nigeria is my home and it stands as one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world, with more than 250 ethnic groups. We are rich in land resources and cultural histories and traditions that attract tourists and researchers in various fields.
Nigeria is a country, if given a leveled playing field, has the potentials to lead Africa out of its underdeveloped state.
With the government’s continuous focus on eradicating corruption, Nigeria is now widely attracting investors in every sector, from multi-national oil companies to service oriented corporations.
Nigeria is also a testament to the important role small businesses play in growing economies. Nigerians are very industrious and enterprising and this has kept many cities sprawling, and the economy bustling.
Nigerians are also the most optimistic people who seek happiness and remain hopeful in the face of despair
More on Me
My name is Adaure Agnes-Chiaka Achumba and I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina 25 years ago to Walter Iheanyi Chukwu and Comfort Chiaka Achumba. I am from Umunjo-Uburu Ekwe, an Ibo town in the Isu local government area of Imo State, Nigeria however I was raised in the metropolitan city of Lagos. I currently reside in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and I’m an associate producer and assignment editor ***. I recently started an internship with the Chapel Hill Herald Newspaper and aspire to become a news reporter or anchor on CNN, covering international news, like humanitarian, political crises, and even wars, with an emphasis on Africa. A self-proclaimed news junkie, I would have to say I am addicted to CNN and often dedicate hours at a time to watching its broadcasts.
In May 2002, I graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Theatre Arts. While at Carolina, as the first international news reporter for Carolina Week, an Emmy award winning student news cast, I won first place in the Electronic News Association of the Carolinas Award for Best Feature category for a piece titled "Hans Massaquoi: Black Nazi".
A large part of my time at Carolina was spent championing causes and issues that affected Africa through my position as publicity secretary and eventually co-president of the Organization of African Students Interest and Solidarity www.unc.edu/oasis. During my participation in OASIS, I made it a priority to revamp the organization and turn it into a formidable voice on campus. I established and hosted the university's first Africa Awareness Week, and organized events ranging from guest speaker panels to culturally explosive performances. Expressing Africa's cultural diversity through my playwriting, direction and performance in several plays and dances carved a path for OASIS to become one of the most desired organizations in the Chapel Hill community. I was also instrumental in fundraising efforts for several charity projects, including for a foster home and women's shelter in war-torn Liberia. My role in OASIS and towards improving Carolina's diversity eventually earned me the Edward Kidder Graham Award for Outstanding Leadership in the International Organizations category.
Other highlights of my college experience included volunteering as an orientation counselor for the U.N.C International Center every fall, and teaching students in both the Orange County, Chapel Hill-Carrboro and Durham County schools about Africa and African cultures.
Before attending U.N.C, my summer in 1998 was spent campaigning for the Clean Water Act and other environmental causes as a volunteer with the Sierra Club of Charlotte. This prompted an increase in my desire to help members of my community/society back in Nigeria and thus, before I graduated, I, along with a few of my Nigerian friends and acquaintances, formed in a charity organization, Liberation Association by Nigerian Women (LAWN), which aims to help less fortunate women and children and raise awareness about domestic violence and human rights abuse. In December 2002, LAWN coordinated our Feed the Needy Project, where packaged meals were provided for several homeless people living under a bridge in the Lagos Marina area. We also raised funds to purchase items for the Motherless Babies Home and a retired civil servants shelter.
Public speaking, writing and performing original poetry and prose, acting, blogging on various subjects, Bollywood and Bhangra music are among my many interests and hobbies. I am a very thorough, optimistic, tenacious and free-spirited free-thinker, who when not busy focusing on my career and personal enrichment, loves to meet new people, spend time with friends and attend church regularly at Jubilee Christian Church International. I credit strong family and cultural values, a network of caring and loving friends, passion and drive for my profession and heritage, and most especially God for keeping me grounded and giving me strength and grace to remain cheerful in the face adversity and tackle challenges head-on. I am a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of African Journalists, and am in the throes of initiating a Carolina African Journalist Association to bring together journalists of African descent who attend or have passed through U.N.C's Carroll School of Journalism. I hope to eventually further my studies and attain a Master's Degree in Journalism.