Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria
MBGN 2008 Adaeze Igwe performing at Miss World Talent

The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant originally began as Miss Universe Nigeria in 1983, and was created by Silverbird Group. It was later re-named Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria in 1986.[1] Winners represent Nigeria in Miss World and, until recently, Miss Universe - currently, only the first-runner up participates in Miss Universe. After Miss Nigeria stopped representing the country abroad, MBGN titleholders continued from where Miss Nigeria had stopped.[2]

The current title holder is Miss Nigeria 2010 finalist Sylvia Nduka, who represented Taraba, and is also the fifth consecutive Igbo to win the contest.



  • In the pageant's early days, contestants were allowed to wear maillot swimsuits of their choice during the swimsiut parade. Identical bikinis are now used instead.
  • The pageant's first winner was model Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu in 1986, who would later become Miss Africa 1987.
  • In 1987, the pageant produced the first Nigerian to reach the top ten at Miss World, 1986 first runner up Pharmacy student Mary Bieoneh, who was also the first Nigerian to be named Continental Queen of Beauty. [3]
  • 1988 winner, Law student Bianca Onoh was crowned Miss Intercontinental in 1989, [4] and was replaced by Biology undergraduate and model Regina Askia, who was in the top three in Miss Charm held in Russia.[5] As no MBGN contest was held that year, Askia automatically became MGBN 1989.
  • In 1990, aspiring entertainer Sabina Umeh won Miss World's Personality prize.[6]
  • Future Nollywood actress Toyin Raji won Miss World's Personality prize in 1995, despite withdrawing from the pageant at the last minute due to political reasons.[7] Prior to this, Raji had been named Miss Congeniality at Miss Universe 1995.
  • Law student Emma Komlosy became the first mixed race winner of MBGN in 1996. Komlosy's father is of Hungarian descent, and her mother, singer/actress Patti Boulaye is from Delta. Previous mixed race contestants had included Lilian Bach, Alex Lopez and Ibinabo Fiberesima.
  • In 2001, Mathematics student Agbani Darego became the only black African to win Miss World; she had also been a finalist at Miss Universe 2001. Following her victory, MBGN first runner-up Philosophy student Ann Suinner was asked to step in as the new titleholder for five months.[8]
  • MBGN 2003 first runner-up Psychology student May Ikeora became the first Nigerian to win Miss Ecowas in Cape Verde.[11]
  • In 2007, Silverbird announced that the pageant would produce five representatives, as opposed to one winner.
  • In 2009, MBGN second-place winner Diana Odiaka was named Miss Tourism Africa at Miss Tourism Queen International.


Several past winners and participants of MBGN have managed to carve out successful careers in music (Sabina Umeh, Emma Komlosy, Munachi Nwankwo, Ibinabo Fiberesima [13]), acting (Regina Askia, Stephanie Okereke, Alex Lopez [14][15][16], Ibinabo Fiberesima [17]), business (Bianca Onoh, Omowunmi Akinnifesi), television (Chika Chikezie [18], Celia Bissong), and politics (Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, Omasan Buwa). Two former contestants, 1991 winner Nike Oshinowo and 1990 third-place winner Robina Ehana are currently pageant organisers, with Oshinowo as chief executive and creative director of Miss Nigeria, and Ehana in charge of Mrs Nigeria. [19] [20] Others, like Rhihole Gbinigie and Sandra Petgrave, have sank into obscurity.

Year Titleholder State/town represented International level Notes
1986 Lynda Chuba-Ikpeazu Imo Miss Africa 1986 Now member of the House of Representatives
1987 Omasan Buwa Warri Miss Intercontinental 1987 finalist Currently politician in Delta
1988 Bianca Onoh Abuja Miss Charm International 1989 Miss Congeniality and Semi Finalist; Miss Intercontinental 1989 Owns cosmetics company; now Nigeria's Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, and married to Emeka Ojukwu
1989 Regina Askia (Replaced Onoh) Akwa Ibom First runner-up Miss Charm International 1990 Worked as film actress; now a registered nurse in America
1990 Sabina Umeh Imo Miss Personality (Miss World 1990) Singer/songwriter/model - performing under the name Sabina Afrogena; married to fashion designer Kese Jabari
1991 Nike Oshinowo Rivers Now Nike Oshinowo-Soleye; creative director, Miss Nigeria
1992 Sandra Petgrave Akwa Ibom Co-hosted the 1994 edition of MBGN; now living in America
1993 Rhihole Gbinigie Lagos Judge at the 1998 edition of MBGN; whereabouts now unknown
1994 Susan Hart Benue Whereabouts unknown
1995 Toyin Raji Kogi Miss Congeniality (Miss Universe 1995), Miss Personality (Miss World 1995) Withdrew from Miss World 1995, briefly worked as actress
1996 Emma Komlosy Lagos Now Aret Kapetanovic; works as a singer/songwriter
1998 Chika Chikezie Imo Presented the Lottery Show and Quiz Line [21]
1999 Angela Ukpoma Imo Now Angel Baldwin; works as model and voice-over artiste in America
2000 Matilda Kerry Rivers Now a medical doctor
2001 Agbani Darego Rivers Miss Universe 2001 finalist; Miss World 2001, Continental Queen of Africa Award Spokesperson for Afrik Airlines ; has modelled for L'Oreal
2001 Ann Suinner (Replaced Darego) Abuja Now Titilope Lawoyin, studying Nursing in America
2002 Chinenye Ochuba Anambra Miss World 2002 finalist, Continental Queen of Africa Award (Miss World 2002) Now Chinenye Akinlade; works for Exxon Mobile
2003 Celia Bissong Calabar Now Omotu Bissong; works as television presenter and model
2004 Anita Uwagbele Benin City Continental Queen of Africa Award (Miss World 2004) Now Anita Iseghohi; businesswoman
2005 Omowunmi Akinnifesi Kwara Miss Tourism International 2005 Now Lagos State Environmental ambassador
2006 Abiola Bashorun Lagos Starred in Motorolla commercial
2007 Munachi Nwankwo Imo Rap artiste performing under the name Muna; currently the face of Lux in Nigeria
2008 Adaeze Igwe Anambra First runner-up Miss World Sports, Top Twenty Miss World Talent Married Joseph Yobo in 2010; now residing in Turkey
2009 Glory Chuku Nasarawa Now Glory Umunna; established the Glory Chuku Foundation
2010 Amuzie Afora Plateau
2011 Sylvia Nduka Taraba


  • MBGN 1987 model Omasan Buwa had placed second in Miss Nigeria 1987.
  • At MBGN 1992, pharmacy graduate Kemi Fateye placed second in the pageant. A year later she competed as Janet Fateye in Miss Nigeria and emerged winner.
  • Former Mathematics student and future Miss World Agbani Darego had auditioned for M-Net Face of Africa before applying for MBGN.
  • In 2010, five years after representing the country at Miss Universe, Human Science student and MBGN 2005 first runner-up Roseline Amusu was among the contestants at Miss Africa USA where she made the top five.[23]
  • The reigning MBGN, Accountancy student Sylvia Nduka, had represented Kaduna in Miss Nigeria 2010.
  • A number of past contestants - including Regina Askia and Sabina Umeh - had been crowned campus queen prior to winning the MBGN title.


  • A number of contestants who participated in MBGN but failed to win tried their luck in Miss Nigeria. Successful contestants include Janet Fateye (Miss Nigeria 1993), and Sylvia Edem (Miss Nigeria 2002).[24]
  • The contestants do not always represent the states they hail from - nearly all of the contestants who represent northern states are southeners, as the predominantly Islamic north frown upon beauty pageants. Last year, Glory Chuku, represented northern state Nassarawa, despite her Igbo heritage.
  • Most of the pageant's winners - including reigning queen Sylvia Nduka - are Igbo.

See also

External links


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