I Quote Bible Verses To Ward Off Sexual Advances From Men - Shirley Aghotes, Former Miss Tourism Nigeria Queen
Shirley Aghotes was the toast of everybody years back when she was crowned the Miss Tourism queen, Nigeria. Her reign, though successful, was not without some controversies, especially her alleged romance with Elkana Mowarin of EOM Communications, which almost marred her career. In this interview with Adunola Fasuyi, the leggy, beautiful queen and 2008 graduate of Accountancy from Delta State University, Abraka, speaks on the controversies that surrounded her reign, her new lease of life and sundry issues.
Tell us about your achievements during and after your reign as Miss Tourism.
Things I achieved during my reign are innumerable, but that is past, though it was a stepping stone which I leveraged on. Now, being an ex-beauty queen opens some doors for me and because I do not underestimate the power of hard work, I work extremely hard to maintain an independent financial stance. I graduated on top of my class in the university; I currently run three organisations, my NGO- Rebirth Renaissance and Advancement Initiative of Nigeria, inclusive. Therefore, I adjudge myself as being successful.
What is your organisation all about?
RRAIN is all about Nigerian youths. We inculcate the right kind of values, we inculcate national unity and consciousness. We have a programme this April, I'd invite you to have a feel of it. It's something you'd be proud of. We are asking for the support of all and sundry to come to our aid and make these future of tomorrow great people.
Your reign was crisis-ridden, how did you manage it?
Indeed, I had some setbacks during my reign which really made me sad. I cannot really say I had a formula to curtail the crisis, because I did not envisage such, especially when it is a situation of being betrayed by those one trusted. It just passed, and this affirms the part of the Holy Bible which says ...if God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:30-31). It's over now, and I give glory to God that it made me a better person and closer to God.
You're one of the best beauty queens ever produced by Miss Tourism, do you still possess the aura of a beauty queen or has it left you?
I am humbled by your statement. Being a beauty queen is a way of life whereby you are taught how to be a proper lady in all ramifications, therefore, you live by these ethics after life in the office. Remember that once a beauty queen is always a beauty queen. So, the aura is still there. In fact, it's better now.
What were the challenges you faced after your reign?
The challenges are numerous, but the one that readily comes to my mind is that of going back to school and waking up in the early hours of the morning to attend a morning lecture. That is forgoing my 'beauty sleep'.
How about your alleged romance with Elkanah Mowarin?
Elkanah is an old man who has his priorities misplaced. He allowed himself to be used by the devil but God vindicated me.
How did the rumour affect your career and personal life?
Honestly, at the time the rumour was rife, I was devastated and shattered. I had to leave the country and cool off in America for a while. It was really depressing for me and my family. I was adversely affected but thank God, I managed the fury in me with maturity and I overcame and the good Lord vindicated me. By and large, what does not destroy a man strengthens him. The experience made me better and wiser.
Did you ever imagine you would become a successful person in the industry when you started out?
I never considered modeling until I was prompted by Ayo Makun a.k.a AY (the ace comedian) in the university. I knew where I was going as soon as I started and that was it.
You've been keeping a low profile after your reign. Why is that?
I have been keeping a low profile because I do not want to be distracted from things that are important to me. In other words, I do not want to lose focus.
I can never pose nude, not for any price because I would not want my grandchildren to stumble on my nude pictures in the future. I am a homely and decent babe and I know what is good from what is bad.
When you started out this modeling career, did you get your parents' support?
Oh, yes! I had my parents support all along, so, there was no problem from the home front at all. What I do, I do with decency, putting in mind our culture and mannerism.
You are beautiful, how do you cope with advances from men?
As a Christian, warding of advances is easy for me. I simply say NO, and if the person persists I back it up with verses from the Holy Bible.
What are your plans for marriage?
Yes, I shall be getting married later this year and I shall let you know when the time is right. That is all I want to say about that for now.
Can we have an insight into your family life?
My family life is personal. Basic.
How do you see celebrity magazines in Nigeria ?
Celebrity magazines are superb, they compliment the work of celebrities.
What's your take on the modeling/beauty arena generally, how can the lives of the players be better?
Modelling/beauty world is a lucrative industry throughout the world, it opens doors for the young people and it is a good way of generating income for adults, but I have noticed that because Nigeria is a developing economy, people tend to view this industry as unnecessary, thereby investing in the so called necessities. Many promising models, fashion designers, ex-beauty queens, investors, and others have left the country to a more conducive environment because Nigeria does not seem to appreciate the sector as expected.
What are your major achievements in life and what impressive statements have you made?
As Aghotse Shirley, my major achievement is knowing God. The impressive statements I have made include but are not limited to the following; I serve as a worker in my church; I graduated from the university on top of my class, which means that I am not only beautiful, but I also have brains; I successfully run my business and NGO that caters for the underprivileged Nigerian youths; I am currently studying for my ACCA- professional accounting; I am the first Miss Tourism Nigeria ever and 4th runner-up Miss Tourism World 2005; I am financially independent. The list is endless.
Who do you take all these after; your dad or mum?
I took after both my mum and dad. They are wonderful parents.
What is your greatest fear in Life?
My greatest fear is failure, just like the character of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. But unlike him, I control my emotions and I come out good at the end.
What's next for Shirley Aghotse?
I am currently busy with my new jewelry line called Shirley D' Jeweler.
Who is your kind of man?
My kind of man is one that is spiritually upright, physically attractive, emotionally stable and mentally alert. My kind of man is who I already have now.
What would you not be caught doing?
I can never be caught visiting a 'juju man'. I equate it to death. It's terrible, I cant even imagine it.
Your first kiss, how was it like?
My first kiss was heavenly, because then, my brain was full of Mills and Boons stories. I was really innocent and it's memorable till date.
What's the relationship like now between you and the organisers of Miss Tourism, Mrs. Etiebet?
Mrs. Nike Etiebet is like my mother; we are very close.
How do you relax?
I relax by visiting spas and reading books.
There is this rumour that you jet out of the country on a monthly basis, how true is this and what do you often travel out to do?
Yes, I travel all over the world monthly to source for diamonds and precious stones, because I design and sell diamond and precious stones, embellish gold jewellery. So, that is the purpose of my frequent travels.
Where is your favourite fun-spot?
That will be my church, because I love worship songs a lot. I am a church girl o, despite my celeb nature.
Message to your admirers and supporters out there?
Thanks for all the love and support, and always remember that your life is what you make of it, no one else is responsible for it but you.
What's your most priced possession?
My most priced possession is the gift of life.
Which part of Lagos do you reside?
I live in Lekki.
Story by nollywoodgists.com