Abimbola Abayomi and the Social Inclusion Project

Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project

Ex-Beauty Queen, Red Carpet, and Reality TV Show Host; Abimbola Abayomi, also known as AIRA has continued to advance her commitment to improving the terms of participation in society, particularly for disadvantaged people, through enhancing opportunities, access to resources, and voice and respect for rights.

In an exclusive media chat with Ken Gbados of The World Satellite, the graduate of Language and Literature emphasized various focal areas which include her reign as the 13th Nigerian Queen 2021/2022, current engagements, her aspirations, and contemporary issues facing young people.

Excerpts:

The Nigerian Queen 2022 was held in August wherein a new Queen emerged as the 14th Nigerian Queen; briefly reflect on your reign as the 13th Nigerian Queen and what it means to you as a brand

Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
    Abimbola Abayomi (AIRA) co-founded a spoken word group “word phantoms” during her undergraduate days at the University of Port Harcourt

    The Nigerian Queen beauty pageant is a brand targeted at redefining beauty with a connotation of purpose, and the sole aim of carrying out humanitarian activities. So, like a lot of women going into the pageant space, I had a lot of expectations, hopes, and dreams I desired the title would help make a reality.

    I was not disappointed, because aside from being a communicator, I have always wanted to be a connector of people. The Nigerian Queen beauty pageant, being a platform that opens doors, afforded me the needed opportunity to accomplish various impactful engagements within several communities during my reign.

    Personally, it gave me the chance to focus on my strengths and build from there. I still do that today and hope to go further in media and public speaking which I believe is a calling I can better hone for self-fulfillment and actualization.

    Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
      Barbing Outreach by Abimbola Abayomi (AIRA) in partnership with black cuts

      As a brand, it made me self-aware and cautious. It also deepened my empathy and allowed me to use my voice and platform for the betterment of several communities.

      Which of your pet projects as the 13th Nigerian Queen gives you the most satisfaction?

      As a beauty queen, I discovered that the biggest problem facing young people today is an identity crisis. This, I believe stems from the world being a global village and the quest to find a path for oneself within reality and what is obtainable globally.

      Therefore, I came up with the Social Inclusion Project, which focused on the at-risk youths in society. This project aimed to enlighten underserved youths and those at the grassroots level on how they are also important parts of their society and how their decisions in life affect society, not just them.

      Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
        Abimbola Abayomi addressing participants during the Eghe Idimu LCDA social inclusion Outreach in Lagos

        In the process, we were also able to create employment opportunities and provide them with skill acquisition opportunities so they can be better contributors to their society. The outreach featured health checks, job opportunities, and skill acquisition classes

        The project was carried out at two local government areas, where with the help of the local government we reached over 500youths at both LCDAs

        We also had other projects like school and foundation visits to inspire and motivate kids. More so, we partnered with the Initiative for Inclusive dialogue (IIDN) to give grants to young people people who are actively working to create a better environment for us all.

        Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
          Health Check by the Regalo Hope Foundation facilitated by Abimbola Abayomi (AIRA)

          Nonetheless, the social inclusion project gave me the most satisfaction. This is because about 40 young people were impacted and are now positively engaged either in business, internship, or skill acquisition.

          You have been described as resilient about social security; where did you get these attributes from, and what motivates you?

          (Laughs), I do not know about being resilient, though I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well or to the best of one’s ability.

          I think a lot of it came from my mother; she made me know it’s rewarding to sometimes look beyond yourself and to others. Beyond that, I have always been a people person.

          Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
            Queen Abimbola Abayomi during her ambassadorial deal signing with Green Lotto

            What motivates me is the need to wake up every day and say “I am here, and my being here matters, my being here is important!”, irrespective of where “here” may be at any and every given time. Even on days when life is being the life and everything seems bleak, I can still find a purpose in that stage or phase.

            Beyond the Nigerian Queen, what’s Next for Abimbola Abayomi?

            Life, living, growth; making all three simultaneous. Back to my hobbies and things that make me happy. Most importantly, I am focused on building AIRA as a brand beyond a beauty queen

            Also, I am doing more work in public speaking; one of my highlights of this year was being a speaker at tedxLasu where I spoke on the topic “the dangers of self-love”. I hope to grow more in that field, sharing ideas, learning, and growing

            Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
              Free Make up class with Dvals facilitated by Abimbola Abayomi

              Again, creating content that inspires and pushes people beyond their comfort zone, through the use of words, reviews, stories, and my online platform @bluehearts.mn

              Shortly, I hope to make bluehearts.mn a leading platform that drives social change, in areas of inclusion and availability of opportunities, using dialogue, media, charity, and promoting a global ideal tailored to the Nigerian reality

              Do we expect more pageantries from you, and would you say pageantry Objectifies women?

              No, it does not. Rather it shows women as being more than they may be perceived to be or expected to be. It takes away the preconceived notion of a woman having nothing more than her beauty to offer.

              Abimbola Abayomi And the Social Inclusion Project
                Ex-Beauty Queen, Red Carpet, and Reality TV Show Host; Abimbola Abayomi (AIRA)

                Pageants today are redefining the standard of beauty and pushing the boundaries of its essence beyond the physical appearance of a woman to include intellectual and individual awareness.

                The Nigerian Queen title would be a tough act to follow, to be honest. However, there are boundless opportunities out there and I see myself as one who is limitless; I never say never. Nonetheless, I would love to have an international opportunity to represent my country; if that comes my way, it would be amazing.

                Read Also: Queen Mimidoo Uhundu and The Girl-Child’s Advocacy Campaign

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