BN Saturday Celebrity Interview – Lights, Camera, Action! Miss Nigeria 2011, Feyijimi Sodipo steps into the glam world of a Beauty Queen

Posted on Saturday, February 25th, 2012 at 11:51 AM

By Adeola Adeyemo

In November 2011, 21 year-old Feyijimi Sodipo participated in the Miss Nigeria pageant and beat 36 other contestants to win the coveted crown. Representing her home state as Miss Ogun, she displayed just the right dose of intelligence, poise and charm to earn her the title of Miss Nigeria 2011, ‘Queen Ambassador’. But more than a beautiful face, Feyijimi is an interesting person. She speaks German fluently and has acquired good skills in pattern cutting and dress making. She grew up in Ogun state and completed her Secondary School education at Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu. She later proceeded to Babcock University also in Ogun state to obtain a Diploma in Data Processing. Just as she was nursing the idea of attending a University in Germany, she stumbled upon the advertisement for participation in the Miss Nigeria pageant and found the offer of a full scholarship to study anywhere in the world particularly inviting. Today, she is the proud recipient of that scholarship and is set to make a positive contribution to the society during her reign.   

Nothing about Feyijimi’s demeanor as she enters the fast food restaurant, venue for our interview suggests that she is Miss Nigeria 2011. This is not to say she isn’t attractive, she is, she looks even better in person than in the photographs. She is shy, as she tries hard not to draw attention to herself and flashes a radiant smile that does not make me wonder why the judges chose her. Her status as Miss Nigeria comes with a lot of interesting benefits and as we sat down to talk, I couldn’t help but ask what drew her to the pageant.

 What was the attraction for you really? Was it the crown, the fame or the prizes?
It’s hard to just pinpoint it, but when I saw the advert in the newspaper that day, it was something my mind tuned into. I felt like I should do it. I wasn’t thinking of pageants or anything that year, it was just an on-the-spot decision. But I guess it was a combination of everything. Like the advert said there would be no bikini segment and the winner gets a scholarship to study anywhere in the world. Those were some of the things that attracted me.

What were the qualities you think you have that made you stand out?
It’s hard to say but I think it was just by the grace of God. I’m a Christian and I’d like to say I’m a very prayerful person. If you know me, you’d know I’m a religious kind of person. But besides that, one thing that really helped me was at the final show, when it was down to us top five, I realized that the rest of the girls who weren’t chosen were rooting for me and maybe the judges noticed it. I’m kinda friendly, but I was just being myself, being prayerful, being open and I think all of those things just contributed to it.

How did you feel when you were announced as the winner?
I was so happy. It was surreal. I was like wow, really, are you serious? I hope I’m not dreaming.

What prizes did you win?
There are so many, I can’t even remember all, but I have a year’s salary package of N3million. Then I have a car, gym membership at Four Points Sheraton, make up scholarship from House of Tara, free human hair for one year from Hair Fusion and so many other things.

Have you participated in any pageants before now or done any modeling before?
No, I haven’t been in a pageant. I’ve done a few modeling jobs but it was like volunteering basically, like I did one in Germany and that was free. Nothing major though.

Since you won the crown, what has been the expectation that you have to live up to as a beauty queen? What do people expect from you now?
For now, because I haven’t started doing big things yet or anything like that, not a lot of people know me. When some of my friends introduce me to other people and say she is ‘Miss Nigeria’, they have to look at me twice and say “is she really Miss Nigeria?” But it’s been pretty normal. Sometimes people get funny and ask “how come you are not wearing your crown?” and I’m like, “I can’t wear my crown everywhere.” I’m more of an ambassador so this is not really about just sitting down and looking pretty but this is about being a Nigerian ambassador. My management is picky because they don’t want me to go somewhere and just sit and be a pretty face. I have to be proactive, so the things I do, the places I go, I have to be heard more than seen so it’s not really about sitting down looking pretty.

What are your duties as Miss Nigeria?
My first duty is to be Queen Ambassador and that is to represent Nigeria everywhere I go. I also have my pet project which I will start soon and I chose to work with orphans and less privileged and hopefully help raise funds so I’d be doing that sometime this year. So it’s just basically service, to be a positive role model.

What do you intend to do after your reign to ensure you still remain relevant so that when your name is mentioned, people still remember you?
For me, what I really care about is how I’m remembered so it doesn’t matter if I don’t stay in the spotlight because honestly speaking, I have just a tiny idea of how that feels and I’m really not sure that is for me. But generally, I don’t have to be in the spotlight. I want to go back to school, in the future I want to raise a family and I really don’t think I want to raise a family in that light. I hope that I’d be able to touch somebody’s life, raise funds, help people, maybe sponsor someone who had no hope of going to the University and that person remembers. I don’t really care to remain in the spotlight.

What opportunities do you have now that you didn’t have before?
Generally, when I go to places as Miss Nigeria, I get a lot of attention and lots of respect as well and people want to listen to me and hear what I have to say. I also get all the salary and lots of prizes and benefits. It is also a platform for me. Somehow my name remains in the archives and I can tell my kids that “your mummy has been Miss Nigeria at one time”. I think that is pretty amazing.

Will you be representing Nigeria in any international pageants or competitions?
I won’t be going for any of that because we believe the Miss Nigeria is actually the best of the best. So as Miss Nigeria, I don’t need to go outside of Nigeria to participate in any other pageant to qualify myself. I’m Miss Nigeria and that is enough.

When do you intend to make use of your scholarship?
After my reign. I can study anywhere in the world.

Tell us about Feyijimi prior to your Miss Nigeria win.
I had just finished a two-year course in German language at the Goethe Institute in Lagos. At the time I entered for the pageant I was doing an apprenticeship in sewing.

Why German? What was the attraction to the language?
I have spent some time in Germany before. Also, I did want to get a degree in Germany so that was the main purpose and of course, the desire to learn another language. I still intend to go to a University in Germany after my reign as Miss Nigeria.

You mentioned earlier that the advert said there would be no bikini segment. Did it turn out that way?
Yes. We only had the dance segment, then the traditional and then we had the evening wear. That was all.

Not even in camp or for photo shoots?
No, not at all.

Tell me about the Miss Nigeria camp?
It was in Akwa-Ibom. It was a lot of work but it was really so much fun because I had never been to Akwa-Ibom. We stayed at Le Meridian Ibom and we had four star treatment. It was a good experience.

What prompted you to learn how to sew and when did you start learning?
First of all, I learnt it during the holidays after my Junior Secondary school. My mum is a multitasking woman. She likes for us to learn different things and I think it paid off. I can make hair now and I can sew. Afterwards, sometime after going to learn German, I improved on it.

So what do you intend to do with your skill?
I actually intend to do something in fashion because I am also interested in fashion and I hope to learn more not just in Nigeria and to improve on it further.

Do you intend to study something related to fashion at the University?
No. But I hope to go to a fashion school where I can take courses in fashion designing, not a degree.

Do you feel self conscious now when walking on the streets? Do you always have to get all dressed up?
Absolutely, I do. Now I wear flats just when I’m with my family. Even when I’m with my family and their friends come over and they say “this is Miss Nigeria,” they look at me and say “I expected you to be seven feet tall or something.” I am very self conscious now. I know this sounds crazy but I really try not to tell people. I don’t know if that is absurd. I can’t go around saying, “hi, I’m Miss Nigeria.” But I have to dress up a lot because I don’t know who is where and who sees me and the time when you think that nobody is watching, you might just see a camera flashing in your face.

Tell us about your family
I’m the only child of my mum, but I have step brothers and sisters. I come from a polygamous family.

Are you dating anyone at the moment?
No I’m single

What qualities would you look out for in a man?
I’m not really searching but then he has to be a Christian. I like someone who is mature, tall and well to do, and nice, and kind and all of that.

You talk a lot about being a Christian and your faith. What role do you play in church?
I’m actually a chorister, I sing.

Do you have any plans to sing professionally like some former beauty queens have done?
I have no plans to do that but if someone asks me to sing, I could do that, yes, why not.

Would you allow your daughter participate in a beauty pageant?
Why not? My mum approved of mine. If it’s a decent one like Miss Nigeria, where I got a scholarship and you don’t have to walk around half naked. As long as it glorifies God, yes, if they want to.

You mentioned that you might pursue a career in fashion. How would you describe your personal style.
I used to be a jeans person but I think this year, I’ve probably worn jeans only like thrice. Now I kind of dress up more. Because I’m the queen now, I pay more attention to my clothes. I always match things up with a pair of heels because that makes you look good any time, any day and I wear more make up now.

What is your fondest memory of the pageant?
It was the part where we were top five and the host of the show asked the crowd “who do you want to win?” The rest of the girls who didn’t make it to top five really shouted when she said Miss Ogun and that moment was so precious to me. I’m really happy they supported me like that.

Do you really have to be tall and skinny to win a beauty pageant? What opportunities do the voluptuous ladies?
You don’t have to be really skinny and really tall. We had other people that were not very skinny and not very tall in the pageant back then and they might as well have won, some of them made top 20.

Do you think there is so much attention placed on a woman’s physical appearance as opposed to her intelligence and other non-physical attributes?
Well, generally I would say yes. When a person sees you, before you say anything, you are first of all judged by what you look like. But again, it’s vanity. It’s the world we live in but we just have to keep trying to prove to people that it’s really not about how you look but what is inside of you.

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  • 50 Comments on “BN Saturday Celebrity Interview – Lights, Camera, Action! Miss Nigeria 2011, Feyijimi Sodipo steps into the glam world of a Beauty Queen”

    Comments
    • Demmy February 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      I love her. She’s so humble and everything.

      • Tosin February 28, 2012 at 11:41 PM

        very likeable. very likeable.

    • Ij Obiagwu February 25, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Wooowww – a year’s salary package of N3million. Then I have a car, gym membership at Four Points Sheraton, make up scholarship from House of Tara, free human hair for one year from Hair Fusion and so many other things. Soo mouth wateringg!!
      You rock girl!! So happy for you!!!

      http://www.nigeriantvshows.com

    • ayo February 25, 2012 at 12:06 PM

      gbam,i love this girl nuff said

    • lol February 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      spot on! humble, mature and well spoken…..

    • triangle February 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      Ndi mmadu eh. When this chic won, I remember the hate comments both on LIB and on BN. Those that said someone shud hv been crowned and how she wasn’t beautiful bla bla bla.
      apparently, the haters hv disappeared.

      When I was watching it that day, And they were coming out in their traditional outfits I remember telling my mom that Miss Ogun looked very regal and beautiful and that I wanted her to win. I wasn’t surprised wen she eventually did. My dear I’m happy u’re enjoying ur reign. Sinach sang ‘kings shall come to your rising’ and indeed they already are. God bless you dear.

      • sarah February 25, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        That is one significant thing BN is doing with this interviews and i give them kudos for that. I remember after the Davido interview, a lot of people said they now liked him. Same with Feyijimi. People just jugded her wrongly before but with the interview, they are seeing other sides of her and they now like it. I especially like the fact that she can speak German and she can sew. Interesting…

    • lol February 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      oya clap for urself na for being d only person that stood by her from the beginning….hw does ur comment add value to this page plz….mtchewww

    • bukioni February 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      She’s so lovely, inside and out x
      http://www.emblemofbeauty.blogspot.com/

    • jaeda February 25, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Awwww.perfect blend of beauty,brains and humility..all the featurz of a true queen..and yes,shez even mor breathtakin in person…proud of u darl.

    • ama February 25, 2012 at 4:10 PM

      Lovely girl….may God continue to lift those who aren’t ashamed of Him…..

    • faith February 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      After reading dis interview am happy she won!…love U̶̲̥̅̊ dearie….

    • Xavier February 25, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      She’s too humble! She hasn’t changed, even after all the fame… And no airs! You’ll surely go far.

    • RMD February 25, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      She is beautiful, and has achieved so much at a young age. Well done dear.

    • sarah February 25, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      She was my classmate in secondary school. Feyi has always been a humble girl. I’m proud of you.

    • T.S. February 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM

      She sounds like a girl with head on her shoulders

      http://www.titisule.wordpress.com

    • no dignity February 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

      She looks smart….

    • Abidemi Osho February 25, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      Fheyi dear, you’r so sweet and lovely. What I love the most about you is ur ‘good heart’ and fear in God.

    • seez February 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      She has a lovely smile and is more beautiful without all that make up on

    • Searching February 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      Hi Feyi, I’m the kind of guy you like. Would you date me?

    • Until.... February 25, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      I love her response to the last question. Yes, we do place a lot of importance on physical appearances, more than necessary, but then again, it’s vanity

    • Bond February 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM

      Now you suddenly have to wear heels everywhere? Heiyaaaa, i dont envy you for that o

    • Secret Admirer February 25, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Hi Feyi, i pray you go far in life.

    • Nowe February 26, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      Feyi darling,ur just a gem…we got ur back honey…u truly are absolutely divine,all hail the queen!!!

    • Seun February 26, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      Pweety lady!

    • juliet February 26, 2012 at 6:01 AM

      she’s luvly n very humble in hrt,i like dat.

    • Balloon February 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      She is the most beautiful Miss Nigeria ever

    • jacob February 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      It’s nice that she is focused on things like her pet project for now. But i hope she wont be singing a different tune after the end of her reign.

    • its moi February 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      no international competitions? why nah
      pretty lady and intelligent too.

    • crantz February 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      she’s so pretty…i love her smile. http://www.crantzcouture.blogspot.com

    • Nikki February 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      I’m so impressed! she sounds lovely, intelligent, real…no vanity whatsoever…Congrats&all the best in life!

    • christy February 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      I hate high heel,dat sure one reason y I can’t b interst in a beauty peagant.

    • the3axes February 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      she looks pretty and regal.

      http://www.the3axes.com

    • Busayo February 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Beautiful inside out. God bless you Feyi

    • clairebaby February 28, 2012 at 10:51 PM

      beauty and brains, finally!!!!!

    • Doris February 29, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Congrats to her. Though i did not watch it, yet am happy for her. She spoke very intelligently. May she continue to enjoy her reign. All the best to her other fans.

    • Dee February 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      She’s adorable!

    • toluwalase March 1, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      feyi,well done sweets. keep making God the utmost & he won’t let u down. Trust me the best is yet 2 come. keep flying dear Looking forward 2 seeing u @ d top

    • nwando March 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      That is one impressive young lady! Has her mind on the right things, mature and beautiful.

      Wish you loads of success and happiness!

    • wemimo March 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      good girl..

    • Ako March 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Congrats darling. Beauty n brains.

    • elohelahe March 1, 2012 at 3:21 PM

      Wow she is so humble, beautiful and intelligent.God will continue 2 bless you.

    • kobi March 1, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      How many miss naija are we going to crown? silver bird is the most recognised. chikena

    • Dammy March 3, 2012 at 1:23 AM

      she is absolutely divine!x

    • L.A Chick March 3, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      She is what I call a BB, Beauty with Brain! I enjoy her perspective of life “always remain true to your self” no matter what

    • Marian March 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

      Lovely interview to read. She sounds incredibly down to earth and sounds like the perfect pageant queen. Well deserved, congrats to her.
      Marian x

    • Tyna March 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      i think i like her, beauty with brain………..

    • beejay9ice March 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      yeap, she’s pwetty,keep it up babe,

    • Vicky john May 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      I luv u damsel, i wish 2 meet u someday…

    • Thomas May 20, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      Congratulates am proud of u because this is ur time .