As part of the activities taking place before a new Face of Okija is announced, the organisers on the 16th of December unveiled the top 20 contestants of the acclaimed socio-cultural pageant at an event in Lagos.
On the 29th of December at Okija town, the Face of Okija pageant winners will be declared King and Queen for the duration of their reign.
This year, the contest was open to graduates from all the towns in Ihiala local government and included a male category to the competition. After hundreds, of applications, a list of 20 finalists was unveiled to the public. The top 20 finalists selected were composed of 10 females and 10 males all Igbo indigenes, graduates of tertiary institutions and below the age of 30.
The finalists are Claire Chinenye Obodozie, Henry Nwadialor, Cynthia Nnowayi, Chukwudi Enukoha, Chinasa Ezeamaka, Chinonso Ahanonu, Chisom Ubachukwu, Honorus Ahanonu, Adaolisa Asomba, Chimezie Madueke, Chiagozie Ngwukaenyi, Nnaemka Agusionu, Onyinyechi Okaforeze, Fredrick Ahize, Ogechi Onuigbo, Emmanuel Ahanonu, Chiamaka Obiakeze, Chika Ogueze, Chidumaga Nsofor & Chisom Okoye.
The competition now proceeds to the camp stage where the contestants would be trained in various areas; including Igbo culture, language lessons, business training, charity activities with the Obi Jackson foundation and an official visit to the Royal cabinet of Okija amongst other developmental activities.
At the finale on the 29th of December, the contestants would be expected to tests their skills against each other and prove that they are true representatives of Igbo land and particularly the right ambassadors for Okija.
This year, the King and Queen will be hired by the Obi Jackson foundation and will earn a fixed salary of 1.4million for one year, an official vehicle for the duration of reign, a scholarship grant of one million naira (N1,000,000) and a chance to impact the lives of the indigenes of Okija, Igboland and Nigeria positively through a mix of social welfare programs that they will be required to champion.
See Contestants below