Exceptionality will forever be a sure tool to achieve success. This was very evident in the chat I had with the beautiful Ms. Monica Chinemerem Samuel, the current 2nd Runner-UP of The Paragon Queen, Nigeria Beauty Pageant. In this exclusive chat, Queen Monica opens up about a few crucial matters affecting the society and focuses more on her past struggle with mental health issues and how she’d been able to overcome it. One thing can be said for sure; this lady is a perfect definition of class, character and authenticity. Read the full interview below:
Dav-Oz Blog (DOB): So let’s start with knowing you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Queen Monica (QM): I’m Monica Chinemerem Samuel, from Anambra State, I have 4 siblings and I’m the last child of my parents (Laughs). I’m also a final year student of the Rivers State University. I’m a fashion model, photo director, stylist and beauty queen.
DOB: Just curious; how does it feel being the last? Rumor has it that last born kids are usually the stubborn and troublesome ones, is that true?
QM: (Laughs) Let me laugh this off first. I think this is a myth because I am very strong and determined. I don’t feel my place as the last child has ever let me stay down. Being stubborn or troublesome though is on a personal note Smiles.
DOB: So, is there any pressure mounted on you by virtue of your position as the last born?
QM: Yes, Personally I want to be different, so I feel I’m at the end so I have all the time now or never.
DOB: We can understand, and we can only hope for the best while giving our best
DOB: So I know this is late, but congratulations on your win as the 2nd runner-up of the 4th Paragon Queen Nigeria, beauty pageant.
QM: (Smiles) Thank you, wasn’t an easy one though.
DOB: How would you best describe the feeling after winning the title?
QM: Uhm, it was amazing but I remember feeling a little bit relieved because it wasn’t easy till the very end.
DOB: Was there ever a time during the contest you felt like giving up or that you wouldn’t make it to the top three position?
QM: Never. Because I don’t stop till I get it. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I never wished to stop.
DOB: Wow, I’m impressed, but come on, I’m sure you saw other Queens that contested. What gave you that confidence to believe that you were going to pass all those ladies and claim the crown?
QM: Yes, it wasn’t easy but I was prepared and ready for anything.
QM: Yea, that mind set helped, and I was ready to accept corrections and change. I learnt a lot in camp though and added it to what I had.
DOB: When you made it to the top three position, I’m sure you had an eye for the grand title; how did you feel when your name was called in third place instead?
QM: I had this mixed feelings of happiness and a little “oh no!”. But I was grateful because I saw so many wishing to be in my place. Then I felt happy knowing I gave it my best.
DOB: I think that should be the main target of every endeavor, giving it our best. So what’s been happening since the contest?
QM: Well, I’ve been working a lot on improving myself, my profile and my career; making it get better
DOB: Speaking of which, I learnt you’re planning a mental health awareness project. How’s the preparation been going?
QM: Just good, but still hoping I get more sponsors and support because this is something I’m really passionate about and ready to give my all for.
DOB: If you don’t mind my asking, there are a lot of issues going on currently in the country, why focus on mental health?
QM: A very good question. The truth is I went through depression as a child. It might sound unbelievable but I was abused at a very young age; I was 12 then and I nearly killed myself having to deal with it. Yet no one found out I was dying inside. So to me depression is a big problem people face but it’s never taken seriously or talked about. A lot of people have died because of it.
DOB: I’m really sorry about what you went through
QM: No it’s fine. It was one of the things that built me
DOB: Given your experience, do you think depression is what one can completely heal from.
QM: Yes; only if you give it time and believe it would heal. It just needs a new inner man to work out, a new mind set.
DOB: Would you say you’ve completely healed from the experience?
QM: Yes o, I have, long time ago.
DOB: It’s nice to hear. So I’ve heard that forgiveness in cases such as that of your past experience with an abuser helps in the healing, what’s your opinion on that?
QM: That’s very true, because the moment I forgave, I had this peace in me. It works 100%.
DOB: So let’s talk about your project. What’s it going to be like?
QM: It’s going to be an online project; a 3 days Instagram live program with mental health specialists, online giveaways for participation etc.
DOB: That’s amazing. Any date fixed?
QM: No particular date yet but it will be out soon, my team and I are working on it.
DOB: Ok, we hope to learn more about it when the time comes.
QM: Yes, please. Thank you.
DOB: You’re welcome, meanwhile, the blog commends you on such a unique project.
QM: (Smiles) Thank you.
DOB: So what’s next for you?
QM: Uhm, Like I said earlier, I’m in my finals at school, so I’m working on expanding my brands and contesting for a bigger pageantry once I am ready.
DOB: By the way, Yeah, I was meaning to ask; did you always imagine being a beauty pageant?
QM: (Laughs) Yea. Started when I was 7. I always loved Barbie and the lovely dinner gowns she usually had on, so it ignited my interest in wanting to be a queen.
DOB: Oh Barbie, those animations really made a lot of people realize their calling in the modelling and fashion industry.
QM: (Laughs) I’m a fan.
DOB: We’re siblings then.
QM: Sure (Laughs).
DOB: So tell us, what was the first ever pageantry you ever contested for?
QM: (Laughs) This is funny, took me down the memory lane. I was 9 then, in Junior secondary school and I contested to win my school’s beauty pageantry. I won eventually though, (Laughs).
DOB: Are you serious? That young?
QM: Yea (Laughs)
DOB: You really are born for this
QM: If you say so, thanks.
DOB: So a lot of rumors are out there that most pageant contestants sleep with organizers for a title. Is that true?
QM: (Laughs) Rumors like this are being spread because female pageant are believed to be desperate ladies ready for anything. Well, people might have had such experiences but I do keep up my standards because it’s not going to be a win for me if I get laid for a crown. At the end of the day, it’s all about personality and choices
DOB: You’re so right. So, what’s your advice to up and coming pageant organizations and contestants out there?
QM: For pageants organizations; be real, don’t over hype your pageantries and put contestants under pressure when you know it’s not worth it; model’s should be awarded what is due them because they invest on themselves, time and money, So, pageant owners should stop the scam and be real. For models; be you, do you and keep going, consistency pays. You don’t always have to win but every experience counts.
DOB: Amazing words right there. It’s been amazing chatting with you Queen Monica.
QM: Oh you too, really amazing to have you.
DOB: Thank you. I do hope to have you with more us in future. Thanks a lot for your time.
QM: You’re welcome and I can’t wait. Thank you.
DOB: You’re welcome as well.
To contact or know more about Queen Monica, you can check her up on facebook (Monica Samuel), Instagram (@monic_samm) or WhatsApp (0908 195 9307). Or you can call her on 0908 195 9307, 0706 616 7129.