Ibitoru Ibelema Obukuru – Rivers State maiden in FONDCUP 2022
Ibitoru Ibelema Obukuru – Rivers State maiden in FONDCUP 2022 is a 22 years old lively maiden who is diligent, and a goal getter. She loves acting, talking, and traveling. She carries herself in a very stylish and unique way her confidence speaks volume of how prepared she is for whatever challenges that will be thrown at her.
Ibitoru wishes to use her office, If crowned FONDCUP 2022/2023 queen, to empower youths within the Niger Delta region, educate secondary school students on sexual hygiene, while donating free sanitary pads to teenage girls.
HERE IS AN INTERVIEW WITH IBITORU OBUKURU
Tell us briefly about yourself and family?
My name is Ibitoru Obukuru Ibelema. I am 22 years old. I am from Bonny local government in Rivers state, Southern Nigeria. I am five feet seven inches tall and light in complexion. I am from a family of nine including my parents. I have three brothers and three sisters. I am the fifth child. My dad is a retired civil servant and my mom works in the health sector of the Bonny local government. My eldest brother works as a contract staff with NLNG, while the other is an Engineer and my third brother is into music. My eldest sister is happily married with two kids, my other sister who I’m older than with three years is currently in her 200 level studying Chemistry in the University of Benin and the last born is in SS2. I graduated from the University of Benin and I’m currently serving in Abuja. My hobbies are Acting and singing. Asides that, I love talking, traveling to new places and meeting new people. I am a very neat and organized person and that’s how I like my environment to be as well. I hate lies and dishonesty. I feel the world would be a better place if people just tell the truth. I don’t have a favorite food, I can eat anything. I also like trying out new delicacies.
Who is your role model?
My mom is actually my role model. She’s my role model because she’s determined and strong. She’s been through a lot, she didn’t let her background determine her success in life. She had to struggle to see herself through school and get to where she is today. And that is proof that you can’t let your background and situation stop you from attaining your dreams and reaching your goals in life.
What is your ideal Niger Delta?
My ideal Niger Delta is a Niger Delta with peace. A Niger Delta where our natural resources isn’t a source of war and strife. A Niger Delta without oil bunkering or Sea piracy. A Niger Delta where the boats used as a big method of transportation are properly taken care of and scrutinized in order to avoid boat mishaps causing the lives of so many passengers. A Niger Delta where the oil and gas companies are put under proper scrutiny and supervision. A Niger Delta were youths are empowered with skills, young children in school and the people are not exploited. This is my ideal Niger Delta.
What regrets do you have so far as a young lady and a Pageant model?
As a young lady and pageant model, I regret letting what people say stop me from chasing my dreams early. People have a lot of negative things to say about modeling and acting. After my first pageant, I wasn’t given my prize and some persons wanting to have their way with me before giving me my prize. My first experience was not a good one and gave me some sort of bad impression and a proof to what most people said. It stopped me from going further into modeling for years now but I later realized that I can’t judge the whole modeling industry from just one bad experience. This shouldn’t stop me from going further and attaining my dreams.
How was your FONDCUP 2022 camp experience?
My FONDCUP 2022 camp experience was an interesting one. I had a lot of fun while learning even though most of the tasks were really stressful. Some tasks I had never done in my life prior to camp included going to the farm in general, harvesting cassava, grinding cassava and frying garri. I’ve had the opportunity to peel cassava before but not in that much quantity. I had the opportunity to learn some of these things from my team members Miss Edo and Miss Bayelsa. And then I was able to gain an extra skill from the soap making class. The workout sessions was another part of camp that I liked because it’s been a while I did a proper workout routine prior to camp and it was indeed needed to carry out our daily activities. One of my favorite part of camp is meeting the other maidens. We instantly built a bond and grew fond of each other. That is enough proof that we as Niger Deltans can actually live in peace and harmony without strife and jealousy. In all I had a splendid time in the FONDCUP 2022 camp.
How would you describe your room mates? (mention their names and the states they represent)
My room mates in FONDCUP 2022 camp were Petra Fufeyin Oyindenyefa who is representing Bayelsa and Precious Iniobong Imoh who is representing Akwa-ibom. They were both pretty nice and fun to be with. Petra was always the “vibe-giver” and all the maidens agreed as we all gave her a nickname “women leader”. We did not have any sort of issue as room mates. We were always helpful to one another especially in the mornings when we needed to wake up quite early for our workout sessions. When one person wakes up first, she tries to wake the others up. It was always a nice gesture so none of us will be in trouble. I’m someone that likes my space a lot and I’m not used to having room mates but having them around was not bad at all, I actually really liked their company.
What have you learned from co-existing with your fellow maidens?
From co-existing with my fellow maidens, I’ve learned how to be more open to people. I like being in my space and doing my things by myself but with them I’ve learned the importance of team work and patience. Living with them made me understand that people from diverse cultural background can actually live together in peace and harmony. You don’t have to be from the same place to be able co-exist peacefully.
Why would you want to become the next FONDCUP QUEEN?
I want to become the next FONDCUP QUEEN because I believe being in that position will give me the opportunity of effecting change in my region. Having a voice is not enough but also having the right platform will help reach more people including people in power that will help effect these changes. I have a picture of my ideal Niger Delta and we can start from somewhere to impact the region but I need the right connection and sponsorship which I know I’ll be able to get bearing the title of the FONDCUP QUEEN.
What is your possible solution to the constant crisis in the Niger Delta region?
One of the major crisis we face in the Niger Delta region is the issue of oil bunkering and oil spillage. One of the reasons most youths go into oil bunkering is because of lack of employment opportunities. More employment opportunities should be created along side skill acquisition programs to empower the youths. Slots should also be given in these oil and gas companies to qualified Niger Delta youths. Most of these companies have outsiders filling the job positions available meanwhile there are a lot of qualified Niger delta youths that are jobless. There should also be proper supervision and checks with the security agencies protecting the pipelines because there have been recent discoveries that some of them are also involved in oil bunkering or paid to keep quiet while this criminal act is ongoing. So the security agencies should also be well scrutinized.
Which rule or law in your culture and/or tradition would you want to change if given the opportunity?
A rule of law in my tradition I would like to change is the one that doesn’t allow those that die in water to be brought and buried in the Bonny land. Most Bonny indigenes that have lost their loved ones in the sea have had to take them to Port Harcourt to be buried. I don’t see a reason why there is a discrimination and calling death in the sea a bad death and cannot be buried in the Bonny land in order not to pollute the land. Everyone should be able to bury their loved ones where they want and is permissible regardless of how they died. Taking them somewhere else is us just incurring more cost for the bereaved family. Some of these families may not even have the money to start transporting a corpse to Port Harcourt and may have to borrow because of this law.
When you become FONDCUP2022 Queen, what would you want the Niger Delta people to recognize you with?
When I become the FONDCUP 2022 Queen, I would want the Niger Delta people to recognize me with kindness. A Queen that strives to help her people in different ways. Touching the lives of the Niger delta youths by empowering them with skills, touching the lives of female children in the rural parts of Niger Delta by giving free sanitary pads and sensitizing them about their menstrual hygiene and also touching the lives of the old by sharing food items. I want to be recognized as a Queen that spread love within the Niger Delta region touching the lives of many.
What is your life’s greatest challenge and regret?
My life’s greatest challenge is discovering who I am and what I want to do with my life and also making that decision to follow my dreams no matter what is being said. It wasn’t easy trying to defend why I want to go into acting and modeling and trying to convince my parents to support my dreams and also make them understand I can make a difference in the industry. My life’s greatest regret is making others my no 1 priority instead of myself and my dreams and goals. My relationship was my priority at some point and after my bad experience in my first pageant I got betrayed by two people I trusted most and it just made me lose interest in a lot of things for a while trying to pick up the pieces. People always put themselves first and I’ve learned to love me first and put myself first. I can’t give what I don’t have. I have to first invest in myself so I can impact others.