Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mr. Ideal Nigeria Highlights African Male Beauty as it Boosts Entrepreneurs

Last year's Mr. Ideal Nigeria contest offers a glimpse of what's expected for this year.

Contests that focus on beauty and talent are nothing new. But with Mr. Ideal Nigeria, the goal is not only to highlight African male beauty but also to inspire and support entrepreneurship. 

The contest is headed by Ayotunde Fabamwo, who is currently a student at the University of Southampton in England and is also head of marketing for the Ejector arts seat in Southampton — and he also spends a lot of time in Nigeria, where one of his projects is to oversee Mr. Ideal Nigeria. As this year's contest gears up for June 24, Ayotunde shared his thoughts about the contest, as well as photos of some of this year's contestants. 

When did you start Mr. Ideal Nigeria, and how did you get the idea?
I was taught from a very young age that it is important to grow in life and help make a difference in the world and I wanted to do just that. I realized that a lot of my friends who had finished university had no jobs and these were very creative people who could start their own business and make money out of it; all they needed was a little push and I knew they were a lot of young Nigerians like that as well. So I decided to come up with a male competition that will produce a winner who will be the spokesperson for the ONEclub9ja, a club of young entrepreneurs coming together to exchange business — and creating campaigns to inspire young Nigerians to start up their own businesses.

What makes an "ideal" man?
An ideal man is not just someone who provides for his family but also his country, because at Mr. Ideal Nigeria, we believe that the more viable businesses we have, the better the economy and that leads to a raised standard of living for the average Nigerian.

Where does the contest take place and what happens during the event? Mr. Ideal Nigeria is the nationwide search for Nigeria's most adorable man, so we host the competition in different states every year. Last year it was in Akure and this year we are having it in the exotic tropical spot of Lagos. At the grand Finale, the top 16 are determined by a combination of online voting and preliminary judging compete in four rounds of competition: physical fitness, talent hunt, evening wear and the final question.

How many contestants do you have this year?  We have 34 finalists this year drawn from 6 cities: Abuja, Lagos, Owerri, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Akure. Each of this cities held their own auditions and prelims and presented the pageant with their top six, unfortunately two people could no longer continue at the finals so we have 34 finalists this year.

How do you narrow down the competition?A combination of online voting and preliminary judging will determine who makes it into the Top 16. The top 16 will compete in physical fitness, talent hunt, evening suit and final question. At each stage of the competition, four finalists will be cut out, until we are left with the top four at the final question stage. The judges will vote for a winner based on everything they had seen that night.

What do you look for in a contestant?At Mr. Ideal Nigeria, we look for an individual who has the ability to communicate and inspire. Someone who has that overall star quality with great determination to succeed and an outstanding character. He has to be physically fit, [have a] body [that is] well proportioned and evidence of an active and healthy lifestyle.

How can we follow the contest?
Mr. Ideal Nigeria is an amazing project. It’s one that will touch lots of lives and create a lot of entrepreneurs in west Africa. You can follow our pageant by visiting or our blog to get all the latest news and updates.

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