By: Juliana Odame-Labi
And the winner is…. Anthony Ikotidem and Adeyemi ‘Addie’ Aladegbami were crowned Mr. and Ms. Africa at RU Wanawake’s 2nd annual pageant on Sunday, November 22, 2015.It was Anthony’s “confidence” an enthusiasm that helped him take the crown. With her name meaning “the crown fits me”, Adeyami lived up to her name by winning the pageant.
The pageant opened up with rapper Joe O’s rap entitled “The Motherland”, that described his determination to uphold his Nigerian culture and values while still prospering in the music industry. Nigerian comedian Aphrican Ape hosted the pageant and threw in a couple jokes about the comedic “African struggle”, including immigration, dealing with African parents, adjusting to the American lifestyle. Furthermore, DJ Flygerian dj’ed the event with a mix of African songs and popular American songs to keep the night going. You could “milly rock” while doing the azonto and still be good.
In total, there were 8 contestants, representing 4 of Africa’s most vibrant countries. The four girls were all sophomores: Erica Adjekpiyede (The Gambia), Otandeka ‘Oti’ Laki (Uganda), Timnit ‘Timmy’ Afeworki (Eritrea) and Adeyemi Aladegbami (Nigeria). All the boys represented different states in Nigeria: Ogu’ike ‘Ogu’ Offoaro (Imo State) Anthony Ikotidem (Akwa Ibom State), Victor Ogbuehi (Abia State), and Abayomi ‘Ab’ Asokeji (Ondo State). Each contestant brought out each of their personalities throughout the pageant. From Victor’s ripped shirt to Oti’s feel-good performance of “Put Your Records On” with her guitar, all of the contestants definitely represented some of Africa’s finest. Erica’s inspirational poem about being African portrayed her confidence and comfortability in her own skin. Both Timmy’s and Ab’s singing performances had the crowd in awe because of their incredible talent and passion. While Ogu dj’ed the performance with the music he produced, he had a show in a show: rapping, dancing, and the audience participation.
There were 5 sections in the pageant: the cultural event, swimwear, talent, and the question/answer. The Nigerian victors dominated almost every category. In the cultural portion, they both welcomed the audience in their native tongue. With their choreographed routine, Anthony and Addie danced together in their traditional African swimsuits. In the talent portion, Anthony played the violin to Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and had the whole crowd singing along. However, Addie had the whole crowd dancing and praising for Sunday worship with her mashup of Nigerian gospel songs.
Through community service, they both expressed their love for their home country and their dedication to give back as much as they can. With great articulation, Anthony answered that his confidence set him apart from the other contestants, while Addie stated that Jesus Christ is her inspiration.
Anthony Ikitodem is a Public Health major and a senior graduating in May 2016.
Adeyami is an Exercise Science major and Public Policy minor; she is graduating in 2018. Victor Ogbuehi and Otandeka Laki were the runner-ups.
Photography courtesy of RU Wanawake