Precious Okeke, a Nigerian model fought off fierce competition to win the 2013/2014 Miss Black Africa UK pageant, held at the Royal Regency Hall in east London.
By far the toughest contest since the inception of the pageant two years ago, there were 30 finalists from 17 African countries who made it to the last stage. After a grilling contest that involved them appearing in swimwear, traditional costumes and talking about how they would help Africa if they won among other things, the contestant had a grilling wait at the end as the judges decided on the winner.
After intense deliberations, the judges opted for the 21-year old Ms Okeke and named Alexina Phiri and Sonia Ike as the first and second runners-up respectively. Ms Okeke was crowned by her predecessor Samaia Tchapesseka from Angola on the night.
Countries represented at the event included Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cape Verde, Ghana, Congo, South Africa and Senegal. Judges on the night included Adebayo Jones, Jenni Steele, Sporah Njau, Ini Edo, Kunle Lawani and choreographer Mr Fierce.
Event organiser Dele Onabowu, said: “I want to say a big thank you to all the 2013 finalists, as they all deserved to win and put on a great performance. I look forward to working with the new queen.
“I would also like to give special thanks to our main sponsors Arik Air, our make-up sponsors Flori Adir, our hair and make-up team and everyone else who made the event a success. The pageant is highly competitive and seeks to bring out those leadership qualities in women.”
Miss Black Africa UK is open to young women from sub-Saharan Africa that are resident in the UK and the winner becomes a goodwill ambassador, charged with designing and implementing a charity programme based on their pageant platform. Mr Onabowu added that the Miss Black Africa UK pageant aims to give young African girls born or living in the country a platform to showcase not only their beauty but most importantly their culture, talent and creativity.