Queen Celestine is a beauty queen and model who won the Miss Congeniality award at the 2014 Miss Universe pageant.
In this interview with Yetunde Oladeinde, she opens up on her experience at the Miss Universe pageant, winning Miss NYSC pageant, memorable encounters as well as her experience as a model.
TELL us about your experience during the Miss Universe pageant?
Honestly, I would say getting to Miss Universe was great and at that point, I was still young in terms of pageant and how you really put yourself together. But getting there, I had a lot of fun, exposure and more. I also met the current President, Donald Trump, he was not the president at that time. Also having to meet different people from different countries, culture , character and I learnt a lot. It was amazing , just being in that competition and having to share that moment with different people who are now like pageant sisters, and are now my friends. It was really amazing, I had so much fun.
What are some of the memorable experiences?
In pageants, you do a lot of tour in terms of going to different restaurants, different events, doing shoots together, exercising together. Just having to be around those girls to do different activities and bonding on a different level. Some of the most memorable experience obviously would be when I won the Miss Congeniality award, which was being voted by the girls in the camp. For me, winning that was good, at least I brought something home to Nigeria. I was given an award for my country and it just made me feel special.
What inspired you to go for the competition and what were your expectations?
What inspired me to go for the competition, I am not really sure. Interestingly, I used to be a tom boy, so when I went to serve in Osun state for my NYSC, I competed for Miss NYSC for my platoon. Then everybody kept saying I could do it. I tried and I won the competition. From there, my sisters kept on informing me about this and that event, always encouraging me to try this and that. I was inspired by love from family and people who believed in me , that I could do things that I did not think about. So, it was just because I had a lot of people giving me positive vibes, that this would work. That was what kept me in the competition. My expectation was that, for every time I tried I would be able to grow and be a better person. Learn something and use the platform to do something for myself and the country at large.
Did the pageant open other doors for you?
Well, the pageant did open doors for me, in the sense that I was able to use that platform for networking with friends, and colleagues. This basically gave me one step higher than I was. This no doubt expanded my network, it opened doors for me in terms of relationship and businesswise.
Tell us about life as a model?
Life as a model was a bit simple. I do a lot of things and even while I was modeling, then and now I still do other things. These include selling things. So, my life was not just about being a model alone. I was just helping my sister with whatever she needed then, working and basically doing my thing. So, it was a lot trying to do everything on my own and trying to stay afloat. So, I would say life as a model was busy. There was a whole lot of activity going on with the shoots, busy but quite interesting.
What were the challenges?
My challenges as a model would have been just maintaining the right diet, keeping shape. I think that was it.
How would you assess the performance of Nigerian models today?
Nigerian models today have done so much and it is incredible. We have few model managements to help our models, boys and girls to be able to travel, go to other fashion shows in other countries. Nigerian models have been doing well in places like South Africa, New York , California. They are doing so well of late and as we are growing and progressing, you will see that people are learning more. So, whatever craft they choose, they learn and some people are just born gorgeous models. They have been doing so well especially those outside the country. Even the ones here are really doing well, the pictures are great.
What inspires the things you do?
Nothing really. I do things because I love it or because I have a passion for it.
I grew up in a family that is so cozy, there is that love and wanting to share space by hanging out with your cousins, sisters. Being in that circle has been good and everything I do.
Who or what influenced your passion and personality?
I have to say my mum and my dad. My dad is a retired Police Officer. He was always busy at work but he always had time as well, whenever he was free. You would know that he was around, so caring and so quiet. My mum is not so quiet, she is the funny one. She does this things that are so funny. So, I am like that. Sometimes, I can be quiet and sometimes , I can be out there. They are the people that made me who I am today. I can see how my mum is always fun to be with, fun loving people like to be around her. So, I grew up to be that person that could always put smiles on people’s faces. Also, my mum is an amazing cook. I came from a home where everyone literarily is a good cook. So, I grew up loving good food too.
Tell us about the people you admire?
Basically, I don’t think I have one person. I have met a lot of people in life and different people do different things. For me, to admire you, it means that you have confidence in yourself, you are a hustler, you are strong. You don’t let things break you down. I basically admire the hustle and the striving around me. I am not the social media person. So, I am not the type that would just go and google people and rap them randomly. I admire the people around me. People, I have watched over the years, grow in the issues of their life, and they just keep pushing and pushing.
So, for me I admire people who have drive to do something in their life and they keep pushing, no matter how you feel until you get there. These are the things that I admire.
What other things that occupy your time?
I am not the TV person or a movie person per se. Not the type that is always watching Movies on my phone or playing games. I play physical games but not on my phone. I love cooking and when I am not cooking, I am wine tasting, because I sell wine and spirits. If I am not doing that, I am hosting people, talking to family or reading.
What lessons have you learnt working in the sector?
For me being a model is a career. It is not just something that is on the side. I was more of a pageant girl. So, I wasn’t doing runways. I was more of a commercial model but the lessons that I learnt is that you have to always come prepared.
There is always someone who is finer, taller or whose waist is more cinched than yours. You have to come prepared, you can’t give excuses. Modelling like other businesses is a serious business.
Whatever client that you are working with does not have the time to start to mould you. So, the days you don’t come prepared, you will probably lose the job or whatever it is that you are doing.
Do you have people that you mentor?
Yes, I do have people that I mentor. A number of people do reach out to me and in my sister’s church I have talks with the youths, share my thoughts advise them when I can. So, I reach out to them and guide them.
Tell us about your beauty routine. What is the secret of looking good?
It is quite simple. I am a very simple person and I actually reached out to people who are experts in skin and hair care, and I get different products. So, in the morning when I wake up, I shower, feel fresh and do my hair and face routine. I do a lot of DIYs at home because I like a lot of natural products. I just basically stay fresh and my skin is natural. The secret of looking good is being positive. I feel happy from the inside, and once I’m excited, I come out looking good. So, that is the secret, putting up a happy face.
How do you relax?
My relaxation also depends on my mood. If I just want to be alone and relaxed, I go to the Spa, massage and get something to calm and soothe me. Also, I can choose to stay with family and play games like monopoly. So having that laugh and at the same time not doing so much. It is fun having drinks with friends or I just sleep.
What is your favourite travel destination and what do you like about it?
My favourite travel destination so far would be Dubai because I have been there a couple of times and I also schooled there. The reason is that I have a few family there and it is just more of relaxation with friends. Every time, I go to Dubai, it is more of sightseeing and relaxation. Yet having gone to other places, hopefully if coronavirus allow us to travel, I would have a new favorite destination.
What type of books do you like to read?
I like novels, motivational books, books about life, relationship and how to save.Different things really, nothing about Science though.
What is your definition of style?
I would say style is a mirror.So, your style would reflect the kind of person that you want to be addressed as.It is mirror of what you want people to see. This would be wearing something that doesn’t represent me. I will never wear anything that doesn’t portray who I am.That would be a no for me.
What items do you treasure most in your wardrobe?
What I treasure in my wardrobe would be my perfumes, my Jeans, my crop,shoes and wristwatch. My perfumes comes first.
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