When Mary Oladejo was announced as the winner of Miss Oyo Beauty Pageant for 2021/2022 at the contest organised by Silverstone Communications Limited on Sunday,12th of December, 2021, at Jogor centre, she did not only fell flat on fours, she was equally overwhelmed by emotion, so much so that it took a lot of efforts from the judges to calm her down.
According to her, never in her wildest imagination did it cross her mind that she could emerge top out of the nineteen beautiful ladies that participated in the contest.
At the final stage of the competition, shortly before the winner was announced, all the 19 contestants were asked to pick a random question from nineteen questions the organisers had prepared. When it got to her turn, the question she picked read; “If you did not win this competition tonight, what would be your reaction”? She gave what is considered an impressive response, by saying that, “though I will not be happy but will congratulate and embrace whosoever wins because all the nineteen contestants cannot win,” but lo and behold she was the one that wore the crown.
Over the years, beauty pageant or beauty contest has been traditionally focused on judging and ranking the physical attributes of contestants but has now evolved to include inner beauty, with criteria covering personality, intelligence, talent, character, and charitable involvement, through private interviews with judges and answers to public on-stage questions.
Hundreds of thousands of beauty contests are held annually and organisers of each pageant often determine the rules of engagement, including the age range of contestants. The rules may also require contestants to be unmarried, and be “virtuous” and available for promotions, besides other criteria.
Beauty pageants are generally multi-tiered, with local competitions feeding into the larger competitions.
The Miss Oyo Beauty Pageant organised by Silverstone Communications Limited owned by a renowned broadcaster, Mayor Issac Brown as far back as 2002 has grown in leaps and bounds, according to Mr Brown.
The new Miss Oyo is a 22-year-old who hails from Oyo town. She is a National Diploma (ND) graduate of Mass Communication from Lens Polytechnic Offa and is in the process of starting her Higher National Diploma (HND) programme at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic.
In a chat with Rulers’ World after the competition, Mary disclosed that she will utilise her reign judiciously by focusing on empowering widows, assisting orphans, the less privileged and the vulnerable.
For the nineteenth edition of the pageant, nineteen contestants made it to the boot camp which lasted for two weeks and among them were graduates, undergraduates and self-employed youths.
Over the years Silverstone Communications has gotten lots of sponsorship which has kept the event moving. The new Miss Oyo received a star prize of a car courtesy of a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Ibadan South West/Ibadan North-West Federal Constituency, Hon. Stanley Olajide Adedeji (a.k.a. Odidiomo).
Also, all the nineteen contestants were compensated with a cash prize of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) only each by Hon. Adedeji for taking part in the pageant while they were similarly appreciated by many others.
The event also marked the 19th anniversary of the accident involving a juju gospel musician and founder of a private radio station in Ibadan, Abeokuta, Ekiti and Lagos state, (Dr)Yinka Ayefele. It would be recalled that Ayefele was involved in an accident on 12th December 1997, the sad event later became a watershed in his life. And as a way of showing appreciation to God for saving his life, the musician doled out items ranging from refrigerators, television sets, set of chairs, etc to 12 persons from the audience selected through a raffle draw.
The nineteenth edition of the pageant was witnessed by several dignitaries including the Special Advisers to Oyo State Governor on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni; Labour, Mr Titilola Sodo; Executive Assistant to the governor on People with Disability, Barrister Adekanmbi.
Others include Senator Kola Balogun representing Oyo South Senatorial District; Hon. Babajide Olajide; Dr Nureni Aderemi Adeniran, Executive Chairman,( Oyo SUBEB); Barr. Bayo Lawal, Chairman, Oyo Housing Corporation; Senator Monsurat Sunmonu; Alhaja Bose Adedibu, PDP South-West Women Leader; Mr Gbenga Eyiolawi, Chief Executive Officer Titan Farms, among others.
Members of the judges include Hon. Seun Fakorede, Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon Bolanle Sarumi Aliyu and Revd Funke Adetuberu,
Some agencies of the state government also got the outstanding Oyo Agency of the Year 2021 award at the occasion. Among them were the Oyo State Housing Corporation, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Oyo State Teaching Service Commission and Oyo State Health Insurance Agency.