So much in love with showbiz and entertainment right from her teens, Ibinabo Fiberesima had a taste of this life-long interest shortly after gaining admission into the university as she contested and won an 'Elopee Entertainment' sponsored Miss Wonderland beauty pageant in 1990. This however became a turning point in her life as she thereafter got involved in acting, modelling, singing (to some extent), contracts and beauty pageants. Currently the chief executive officer of 'Miss Africa Beauty Pageant' the extroverted artiste believes she is a Jack of all trade and also master of all.
Born to an Okirika father and an Irish mother, Ibinabo lived with her grandmother for the greater part of her childhood and adolescent years. The second child in a family of six, she studied English Language and Literature at the University of Ibadan from where she graduated in 1994. Apparently destined for greatness in showbiz and entertainment, she didn't work with her degree for one day as she got 'The Pyramid' night club as birthday and graduation present from her ex-boyfriend. "I got the night club the month I came out of school, so I just started doing business. I preferred a night club because I am a karaoke freak, I love karaoke, I love to sing."
A single parent to three boys (two of them biological), she soon discovered that as she started having her kids, she needed to spend more time with them. And the club wasn't well managed because she didn't really know anything about night club management. Instead of generating profit, 'The Pyramid' incurred great debts. Apparently trying to avoid a nervous breakdown, the fair-complexioned lady said she had no option but to put the property up for sale about three years ago. That was shortly before travelling to London with her son to unwind.
An ex-beauty queen, and to a great extent still looking pretty and charming even after two kids, it would be an understatement to say that Ibinabo still attracts the attention of the opposite sex. However, one aspect of her life that seems puzzling to many is why she chose to be a single parent. "Well, that isn't anybody's choice, it happens. I thank God that even as a single mother, I am a strong woman, So, I really don't miss that part of it". Having grown up with her mother, father, grandmother". And in the presence of many family members, she believes that the love and experience she received from them goes a long way in assisting her bring up and take proper care of her sons: nine, six and two years old respectively.
Even after three children Ibinabo said she still wants more. How? When would she get married then? "When the Lord wants it to happen. And He will soon, I know". This year? "Even if it is tomorrow. I miss that part of my life. I love the family setting". When asked what she looks out for in a man she would love to get married to, her response was swift but simple: "Honesty", She went on to reveal why she isn't married yet even after two biological children for two different men: "I found out two days after my grandmother's death that I was pregnant. I was shattered because she longed for me to have a child she could carry. I was really prepared for the baby, but not for marriage. I wasn't ready for that at the point, I just wanted my baby. With the second one, I was really ready to settle down, but it just didn't work. That's life."
For now, the nervy actress said she isn't ready for marriage, but wouldn't hesitate to go into it if it is the Lord's wish. Reason(s) for not being ready? Her career. According to her, she has picked up with her career again and she is going places with it. "I want to be able to stand firm." Is she an independent person? "I am a very independent woman." How much is she worth? "I don't know; I am not telling you that side."
If she had not gone into showbiz, Ibinabo said she would have been a full-time housewife. But she quickly added that for now, it is no longer possible. " I don't want to be anybody's housewife again. That time has passed. Now, I will own a career. But that doesn't make me less a mother."
In her shoes, being partly Irish, many would prefer running away from the hustles and bustles of Nigeria to settle in Ireland, or somewhere in Europe. As far as this idea is concerned, Ibinabo reasons differently. She sees Nigeria as the place to be and doesn't in any way prefer to live in Europe. " I will never leave Nigeria. Maybe I am one of the idiots, as some of my friends call me. There is so much to do here. Everyday I wake up I have ideas in my head. I go after them and I get them done. In London, I can be indoors for a whole week without stepping out. It is so boring, and why would I go out and do all the odd jobs? Why would I do that when I can live like a queen in my country?" Gosh!
Having emerged second runner-up of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant (1991), first runner -up Miss Nigeria (1990) and winner, Miss Wonderland, Ibinabo realised that she enjoys showbiz more than any other business. Knowing that only pageant winners proceed to other international contests (a situation she dislikes since she believes other contestants ought to be given similar opportunities), Ibinabo registered her own outfit, 'Miss African Beauty Pageant' and got the franchise for Miss Earth, Miss Intercontinental and Miss Tourism International.
Having taken the Miss Nigeria (2003) first runner-up, Eva Ewemade Ogbebor to the Miss Earth Pageant in the Philippines, reigning Miss Nigeria (2003) to Miss Intercontinental in Japan, Ibinabo looks forward to taking the Miss Nigeria (2003) second runner-up to Sri-Lanka later tin the year for the Miss Tourism Intercontinental pageant.