1st Runner Up
Ibitoru Obukuru Ibelema
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Ibitoru Obukuru Ibelema, I am from Bonny Island, a kingdom in Rivers State, Southern Nigeria. I am a 22-year-old graduate currently serving in Abuja. I graduated from the prestigious University of Benin where I studied Linguistics studies. My hobbies are singing and acting. I love expressing myself through talking, visiting new places, researching about history, and trying out new things. I am very confident and a goal getter.
Give a summary on your family and upbringing.
I was born into a family of nine which comprises of I, my dad, my mom, three older brothers, one older sister and two younger sisters. I was raised in a Christian home by strict, disciplined, and principled parents. My dad who was once the human personnel manager at the Bonny Local government council and my mom a pharmacist at the health sector of the council raised us to be kind, content with what we’re provided with, respectful and disciplined amongst others.
Is FONDCUP the first Pageant you have competed in?
No FONDCUP is not the first pageant I have competed in.
Would you like to continue with your pageantry career when you handover the FONDCUP crown?
I would not want to continue with my pageantry career after I handover the crown, though this is still subject to change. I would like to focus on other aspects of modeling and try to build my acting career while still doing my best to be of great help to upcoming young girls in the industry.
How did you feel when you were announced the 1st Runner Up of FONDCUP 2022/2023?
When I was announced as the 1st Runner Up of FONDCUP 2022/2023 I felt very excited but at the same time a bit nervous. I felt excited because it was a huge honour to be part of the top three queens of a pageant with integrity. I felt nervous because I’m fully aware of the duties that comes with the crown. I have a role to play especially in the lives of youths within the Niger delta region and I’m scared of failure, so I braced up for the challenges ahead with the confidence that I’ll conquer.
What should we expect from you, during your reign as FONDCUP 2022/2023 1st Runner Up?
As the 1st Runner up of FONDCUP 2022/2023, I have plans of doing a lot of secondary school reach out programs to talk to the students on how to live a responsible life, drug abuse, hygiene, bullying etc. And as part of my pet project, I’ll also be organizing The Clan Quiz Competition were students from different states within the Niger Delta Region, reads about the history, tradition, values, and lifestyle of the Niger Delta people, and compete in a quiz competition. The quiz is to test the intellectual prowess of these students and how well they know their history.
What was your greatest fear during the competition?
My greatest fear during the competition was the fear of not being enough to win. At some point I started doubting myself and didn’t think I would pull through because of some circumstances.
What is your greatest fear during your reign as Face of Niger Delta Cultural Pageant 1st Runner Up 2022/2023?
My greatest fear during my reign as one of the queens is not being able to carry out my duties as queen thereby disappointing the FONDCUP brand and not impacting my region positively as their queen.
How was your camp experience?
My camp experience was fun and enlightening. As much as it was a competition, I still had a lot of fun while learning. The maidens were awesome, we immediately bonded as sisters. We learnt a lot in camp, from the harvesting of cassava to the peeling, grinding, sieving, and eventually frying it into garri.
The whole process was a lot of work but I’m glad I went through that because I also learnt the importance of teamwork. We also learnt soap making which is a skill that we can use to start up something as entrepreneurs. Then our catwalk sessions were always something I looked forward to. In conclusion, I had a wonderful camp experience.
What legacy would you like to leave behind as a FONDCUP Queen?
As a FONDCUP Queen, the legacy I’ll like to leave behind is a queen that was able to impact teenagers within the region especially those in secondary schools through her school reach out programs.
What's your advice for young maidens like yourself within the Niger Delta region?
My advice to young maidens within the Niger Delta Region is to be bold and confident. There is nothing they want to achieve that they cannot achieve if they put their minds to it, as well as the hard work. They should not be discouraged by people or circumstances or past failures. If you fail keep trying until you get it right. Never give up.