Acada Magazine’s managing Editor, Sunday Obembe recently caught up with the reigning Miss LaCasera and she speaks passionately about her reign and dreams in this exclusive interview. Antoinette, a 21 years final year Mechanical Engineering student of University of Benin and Miss LaCasera 2012. She speaks about her role as Miss LaCasera and her other big dreams amongst other things.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Igebu Antoinette 21 years old, a finalist in the University of Benin, studying Mechanical Engineering and I am currently Miss LaCasera 2012,
What was growing up was like?
Growing up for me was quite interesting, I come from a very small family, I am the first child among four children, I have a brother and two sisters, I got so much love from my family, it was really cute growing up, not until 2005 when my dad passed away, it wasn’t easy, but we have gone past that stage, though we still remember him every day, but things are getting better and they can only get better, and like I always tell people that my dad is in heaven. So that’s pretty awesome. [Laughs………].
At what point did you decide to go into modeling?
In my childhood, I used to watch beauty pageant, and I was always in awe when I see their accessories, dresses, Style, crowns, it was really pretty and beautiful, but then I had to my concentrate because my dream course Mechanical Engineering barely gives you time go into lots of other stuffs. It was really tasking. So I felt being in my final year was the best stage for me, because there was more time, and I had done well in my previous levels in school. So there was more time to work towards my dreams of being a beauty pageant queen and that was how I got into the journey.
So how was the journey starting from MBGN to being Miss LaCasera?
Umm…the journey was not what I expected. when I got into the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria competition, I felt I was beautiful, and I had all it takes to fit in for the pageant, on getting to the camp, it was really interested I met 31 more beautiful ladies, and I appreciated their beauty and uniqueness in every way. I had a saying in camp then, If I don’t become a queen in the Pageant , I would always want to be Miss LaCasera, because I like what LaCasera has been doing, I like their brand, and how they reach out to the society. I would say the journey has being eventful and interesting.
So what is the feeling like, now that you are Miss LaCasera?
It feels great I am now a millionaire and own a car. Laughs… then I have been given a great opportunity to achieve my dream of reaching out to people. I do not think, I could be more honoured with anything else than this crown cause now I have been placed on a really high pedestal , and I have to get to higher places and use this opportunity to get to higher places, it can only get better from here .
What are the demands placed on your position?
Well… I have to represent LaCasera as a brand I have to keep in mind that it’s not just about me as a person, but that I am representing a big brand and I have to show the best part of me, to show my strength and my good qualities. I wouldn’t really call it a demand, but an opportunity for me to show the world the best part in me, and how I can make a positive contribution to the society.
So how do you intend to achieve that?
During my tenure, my first project would reach out to orphanage homes and the less privileged, also LaCasera has an initiative programme going on this year called Golden Heart Initiative. Like I said earlier LaCasera is a brand that likes giving back to the society. So I believe when you are given a great responsibility, you are supposed to do things that will endear people to you and to be closer to you. It not about the elite alone but for each one of us, the common man in the society, basically I believe with this position, I would be able to work with the company and also portray its image positively.
Do you have any project at hand already?
I do have project , that’s my first project on orphanage homes and the less privilege, so far I have not done anything yet, it’s close to 3 months that I got the crown, so there a lot of things that needs to be done, we have to take enough time. Soon we’ll commence work.
So what other things do you intend to do besides being Miss LaCasera?
Well I intend owning my own franchise as I get older, basically catering for the women. Women are the fashionable creatures especially in Nigeria. A franchise that can cater for every woman’s needs, I would love to practice as a Mechanical Engineer, also to get married and build a family, which is paramount.
What’s your plan for modeling?
Modeling is something I would love to continue with, I intend starting an industry where size does not really matter before you can become a model.
How would you describe LaCasera brand?
LaCasera brand is an awesome brand, I love working with them, it is one of the best thing that has happened to me, and it’s a good brand.
What is different about you now as Miss LaCasera?
Like I said, I have a car now which I didn’t have before, now I have to be more cautious because I am trying to be a role model to young girls, I have had lots of young girls walk up to me especially in my sister’s school, she’s in a boarding school. They tell me I am their model, I am like wow… I would love still remain a real role model to young girls and kids out there, so this crown has made me to be more careful than before.
In school, what’s the reaction?
Well in school, everybody knows Miss LaCasera there’s a lot of attention that comes with it, but I have to be nice to people, because you never know where we might meet in the future, that’s my believe. Though I am still the same, there’s really not much difference.
What would you say to other ladies who have dreams of becoming a model?
I would say never let anyone thwart your dream, don’t let anyone talk you or keep you away from your dreams. Go for what you want and do what makes you happy.
After your reign as Miss LaCasera what would be your legacy?
Like I said, I love that I am a role model to young girls as a legacy that even my successor would have to do a lot of work to beat the records I will leave.
Who’s Miss LaCasera when the crown goes off?
I am the playful type, like to have fun with my friends, sometimes I could be quiet, and that’s when I am getting to know people, once I get to know them, I just flow with them.
What’s your best food?
Beans and fried plantain