Shatu Garko, an 18-year-old hijab model from Kano state, has been crowned the winner of the 2021 Miss Nigeria beauty pageant.
Garko won the crown after besting 17 other contestants at the 44th edition of the pageantry, which was held on Friday at the Landmark Centre, Lagos.
Garko succeeded Etsanyi Tukura, a native of Taraba state who happened to be the 43rd winner of the 2019 Miss Nigeria pageant.
Nicole Ikot emerged as the first runner-up while Kasarachi Okoro was the second runner-up.
Speaking after emerging as the beauty queen, Garko said winning the contest is a fulfillment of one of her lifelong goals.
“Winning this competition means a lot to me. My whole life, I have always wanted to be a Miss Nigeria. I’d like to thank Miss Nigeria and its sponsors. I would also like to thank my mum for supporting and loving me,” she said.
The new Miss Nigeria had earlier said she loves riding horses and is passionate about proving that religion and culture are not barriers to following one’s dreams and achieving whatever a person sets out to achieve.
Garko walked away with N10 million as well as a one-year residency in a luxury apartment, a brand new car coupled with lucrative brand ambassadorship opportunities.
Speaking to reporters at the event, Chioma Nwigwe, manager of the Miss Nigeria Organisation, said the contest is beyond a celebration of beauty but a means of women empowerment.
“This has always been about empowerment. Miss Nigeria platform is beyond the beauty pageant. We are very committed to empowering women, girls and providing opportunities for women to grow,” she said.
“Miss Nigeria is a full-time job. It’s a 9-5 job. That is what a lot of people don’t know. It’s beyond the fun, the glamour, and Miss Nigeria is always looking for someone who is committed to doing that.”
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