Not everyone know the first Nigerian to win miss world pageantry title. Not everyone know about Agbani Derego.
Not like the names of many Nigerian Footballers who had made the country proud in the past.
Unless you are of course in the fashion and beauty industry, where such details carry great relevance.
But like all firsts, this is a part of the Nigerian achievement on the global level that deserves both documentation and praise.
For that reason our focus is today fixed on Agbani Derego, that Abonnema native from Rivers State.
Her journey to fame was finally crowned the highest honour in 2001 when she became the first Nigerian to win miss world.
That is after winning the title for the most beautiful girl in Nigeria in that same year.
Her achievement as the first Nigerian to win the title of the most beautiful girl in the world, is a success story to inspire other Nigerian females dreaming of walking on the biggest stage of pageantry in the world.
Her story is a message of validation, that a black girl from any African country can go out in the world and be crowned miss world even though there is a silent war on the black skin.
Agbani Asenite Darego was born on 22 December 1982. She lost her mother to breast cancer.
The First Nigerian To Win Miss World, The Facts
- She is the first native African to win Miss World.
- She is the first Nigerian to be counted among the top 10 semi-finalists at the Miss Universe.
- landing a three-year contract with L’Oréal , after winning Miss World would make her the second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams.
- Her attempt at Miss Universe earned her an invitation from Naomi Campbell to participate in Frock ‘n’ Roll – a charity fashion show in Barcelona, which consequently would lead to a modelling deal with Trump Model Management.
- She was also photographed by Annie Leibovitz, a big name in the American portrait photograph space for Vogue.
- Agbani Derego has modelled for the following brands Avon , Christian Dior, Sephora, Target , and Macy’s .
- Darego has also appeared in Elle, Marie Claire, Allure , Trace,
Stitch , Cosmopolitan , and Essence magazines.
- The designers she has worked with include Oscar de la Renta, Marc Bouwer , Tommy Hillfiger , Ralph Lauren , and Gianfranco Ferre.
- She won both titles for Miss Nigeria and Miss World in the same year of 2001.
- Pageant competition she has judged include Miss World 2014, Miss England 2002, Mr. Scotland 2002, and Elite Model Look Nigeria 2012 and 2014.
- She has her own her denim range, AD by Agbani Darego , which includes jeans, dresses, sunglasses and bags.
- After winning Miss world, she abandoned her schooling at the University of Port Harcourt. Enrolled at New York University where she studied Psychology , graduating in May 2012.
- She became the most beautiful girl in the world at the age of 18.
- Darego won a total cash prize of $100,000, plus gifts valued at $150,000. She was quoted with this statement “black is beautiful“, moments before being crowned.
- She got married to Ishaya Danjuma, son of Billionaire General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma in a ceremony held in
Marrakesh in 2017.
- She was also honoured with the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR)
- She is currently a mother of one, a baby boy.
Agbani Derego as the first Nigerian to win Miss World is one of the beautiful faces of the Izon nation.
And her story even as a wife and mother is one that says we can still fall in love no matter the tribe or region.