A saying I love so much goes thus, “the true beauty of a woman is not just in facial mode but is reflected in her soul”. Describing her as soulful, barely does justice to the beauty & person of our September’s Dav-Oz Blog Person of the Month, Queen Stephanie Timi, who, at just 16 years, has been stealing a lot of hearts and admiration lately. Earlier this year, she made record by being the youngest contestant, in The Nigerian Teen Beauty Pageant history to win the grand title of The Nigerian Teen World. Her victory, therefore, has granted her the privilege to be the first ever Nigerian representative to contest for the Spectacular Teens International beauty pageant taking place later this month in Dominican Republic alongside other contestants from around the world. And in addition to her ground breaking achievements, she’s the first ever female DOBPM the blog has ever had. In this insightful chat we had with her, we learnt a lot about the personality of Queen Stephanie; her life, her family, her goals, her vision, her victories & failures etc. One thing you can be sure of is that she let them all out. Read below for the full interview:
DOB: Hope you’re good?
QST: Yeah, I am. Thank you.
DOB: I usually start with getting to know my guests. So, can you briefly tell us about yourself? Who is Queen Stephanie?
QST: Okay, my pleasure once again. I’m Timi Stephanie, from Bayelsa State, Sagbama LGA precisely. I was born on the 7th of November 2005, so I’m 16+. Well, I attended my nursery school at Maryland Convent Private School in Lagos State, then I came down to Rivers State to continue my primary education at Centia Christian School. I then did half of my secondary school education in Bayelsa State; Ayakpo Comprehensive College, before I moved back to Rivers State again where I finished my secondary school at Army Day Secondary School, Bori Camp. Currently, I’m waiting for my admission to study medicine.
DOB: Really fascinating. For every section of your educational background, you did in a different environment. How would you describe the experience?
QST: (Smiles) Well, for me, it was fun and exciting because I like traveling, exploring, moving out to see what the other world is like so it wasn’t really difficult for me to adapt to the changes though.
DOB: So it was always a smooth ride?
QST: Yeah, it was for me
DOB: Did you ever feel like the odd one out on your first day in each environment?
QST: Yes, yes, in all occasions. Very funny, especially my first day in secondary school at Bayelsa State, but I had no choice than to role in.
DOB: What happened on your first day in Secondary school?
QST: Oh my God, it was really funny. So, I was like the smallest amongst my classmate and the faces were so new to me. I had no idea about anybody and then watching most of them that did primary school together and were now in the same secondary school again, the same class, you know that vibe. They were all having fun, and me the new Comer, I was just moping around till the school hours were over; tried fitting in but it just didn’t work that day for me. Gradually though, before the week ended, I was in the circle already
DOB: Before the week ended?
QST: Yeah, before the week ended.
DOB: So, it’s safe to say you’re very relatable
QST: Yeah I am, I’m very much social.
DOB: That’s interesting. Let’s talk about your family, what’s the structure like?
QST: Well, I’m the only female child in my family. I have 2 elder brothers and a younger brother so I’m the 3rd child.
DOB: Only girl among guys? How does that feel?
QST: (Laughs) I won’t lie; at some point, it’s kind of annoying. You know how the male gender behaves, always trying to be superior, even my younger brother that I’m older than. But, no matter what, they still respect the fact I’m the only sister. They have the only female child of the family and so they do treat me well it feels good and I must say they are the best.
DOB: (Laughs) I think it’s quite unfair to generalize all male gender as behaving superior.
QST: Unfair? Really, I don’t see it that way o. It’s in their gene and blood. Even the Bible made it clear to us; Adam for example, David, Moses, you name them, they are always in charge. Even when God created Adam, he kept Adam in charge of everything, including the female gender. No matter how calm a guy tries to be, when there’s need to be in charge, or to dominate, you would see him in action. You can as well prove me wrong if I’m wrong. We learn everyday
DOB: (Laughs) So, this would be a conversation for another day. Meanwhile, it’s commendable how you ended, connotes an openness to understand the other’s point of view.
QST: (Smiles) Thank you. We’re all different beings, so our perspectives mustn’t really be the same.
DOB: I think this is the moment I should say I Stan a Queen. (Laughs) So, The Nigerian Teen Beauty Pageant, 2022. First of all, congratulations on your big win as The Nigerian Teen World
QST: Thank you very much.
DOB: You know, since the inception of TNT, the winners have always come from the south eastern geo political zone, one could even argue that it was as though the organizers favored the South-East than they did other parts of the country even though they were represented each year, so how does it feel breaking the record as not just the first Non-Igbo but also the youngest contestant to win at 16?
QST: Quite interesting. Well, first of all, I’m happy I broke those records and I’ll break more by the grace of God. I have always said to myself I’ll be different and unique in all situations, but then, passion, determination and consistency was another thing too. Honestly, I’m happy at myself for believing I could do this. I always want to drop something I can be remembered for. Age, for me, is just the number of years we’ve spent on earth. But it doesn’t really determine our level of maturity and how we can handle issues. Since I have started the journey, I’m ready to take up my responsibilities not just as a beauty queen but as the woman that I am. At least I have cleared the doubts that the organizers are not playing favoritism. (Laughs) It’s an honour, I feel elated and I’m hungry to break more records as I intend to be the first African to win the Spectacular Teen International come later this month.
DOB: Yes, we’ll get to that. But first, was there ever a doubt as to winning TNT?
QST: Yeah, the day before the coronation.
DOB: So, why the doubt?
QST: Because, it was like every single thing disappointed me, starting from my dresses. A day before the coronation, I wasn’t ready, not even my gown was ready, tailor’s fault though. We’re all humans, so there is no way I wouldn’t feel bad. I had to look for other alternatives in less than 24hrs. I was just looking unprepared like everything was just going wrong. I felt really bad and it kind of discouraged me but then I tried as much as possible to be positive and look presentable.
DOB: Wow, so when your name was announced, what went through your mind?
QST: At first I was like “Jesus, did I just hear my name?” Tears ran through my cheek, it wasn’t really an easy task and I made sure I did my best in all that. I was even thinking I didn’t try enough. It was when I heard my name that I got convinced within myself that I did my best and I smiled and told myself it’s time to work.
DOB: Wow, the classic “Is This Real?” moment. And how would you describe your relationship with your fellow contestants?
QST: Okay, although we didn’t really have much days to get to know ourselves that much, the few days we were together, it was all good. I’m very good at interacting with people. I find it exciting getting to know and to meet people of different background, environment and all that, so the relationship was jovial and healthy.
DOB: Was there any particular constant you vibed with more?
QST: Nope. I took everybody at the same range and carried everybody along.
DOB: Are you still in contact with any of them?
QST: Yeah, sure I am. As a matter of fact, we still have a general WhatsApp group platform.
DOB: That’s amazing. And are you the youngest of them?
QST: Yeah, I am.
DOB: Was that ever a point of intimidation for you, not necessarily by them?
QST: Yes. When I got to know I was the youngest among them, I looked at the age range and my age, it was quite far but I didn’t allow it control me and my thoughts, I still stood strong telling myself I can achieve anything if I work for it. That’s where determination comes in.
DOB: I’m happy it worked for you.
QST: Thank you and all thanks to God too.
DOB: So, Spectacular Teen International, it’s coming up on September, from the 19th to 25th of September in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, you would be representing Nigeria in the contest. How excited are you about that?
QST: I am very much excited. One of my hobbies is to travel; changing environment, exploring. So, of course I’m happy. Not only that, I think it’s a very big stepping stone to my future and I’m taking it up as a challenge. I have to make my family who has been supporting me proud, not only them but The Nigerian Teen brand also who gave me this opportunity, and then, myself. It’s going to be a fun adventure.
DOB: What strategy you going into the competition with?
QST: I’m uniquely going there with humility, to do something different with all the poise, confidence, charisma, elegance and all you can think of.
DOB: I really admire the confidence. That’s commendable. Are you all for winning? What if you don’t make it to the top in DR, what then?
QST: All thanks to God, let his will be done. Maybe it’s not just my time yet, I believe there’s a reason for everything.
DOB: Nice approach. So you mentioned not disappointing your family; how would you describe their approach to your modeling career?
QST: They’ve been really supportive, all of them. I should I say I’m lucky to have such people around me as my home. I love them so much and I won’t let them down. Thank you Fam. Well, I think what’s happening now is as a result of a father’s blessing. Before I was born, my dad had already visualized his daughter being a model and it’s just what is happening. My passion for modeling started when I learnt of Agbani Darego’s victory. I like the way people celebrated her worldwide and all that and so the imagination of me being celebrated too hasn’t left my thoughts. I know I will someday. I’ll just keep the fire burning.
DOB: You really are lucky. I know about mothers but you hardly hear of Nigerian fathers who support their daughter’s modelling ambition from the get go.
QST: Daddy’s girl. Please, it’s good our parents support their children’s dreams and choice of career. why do I say so? Supporting your child in doing what he or she loves would only motivate that child and the child would want to be the best out of the best cause he or she wants to make their parents proud. Charity, they say, begins at home. Using myself as an example I know I must not for any reason settle for less because I know what’s at stake.
DOB: But at the end of the day, you’re not just doing it to make your parents happy but also because you love it, right?
QST: Yes, not just to make them happy but I love it exactly.
DOB: When did you realize your passion for modelling?
QST: When I was 9.
DOB: What happened?
QST: In my school then in Bayelsa, they wanted to have Miss Ayakpo as one of the agenda for end of the year party, that was my first time though to indulge in such activity. But before then, I have just been living inside my imaginations.
DOB: (Laughs) Didn’t we all at one point in our life live inside our imaginations? So did you win?
QST: (Laughs) Nope, I didn’t even
DOB: But here you are, winning a national pageantary.
QST: God’s time is the best.
DOB: Yeah, So, let’s move forward. Asides the international Pageantry in DR, what’s next for you?
QST: My pet project.
DOB: What’s it about?
QST: It’s titled “Pad a Girl”. Just as the name implies, I would go on a visit to government schools to have some talks with the female students and I’ll be talking about personal hygiene in general but I’ll lay more emphasis on when a girl is on her period, how to keep herself clean and every other thing they need to know. I’ll also distribute sanitary pads to each and every one of them present on that day and also I’ll teach them how to improvise when basic need of it is not met at that moment.
DOB: That’s very noble. When do you plan to begin?
QST: I’ll start making preparation towards it once I’m back from my trip.
DOB: No problem, just keep us posted.
QST: Okay that’s not a problem I will.
DOB: So do you have any advice for young ones out there who wish to chase their dreams just like you did?
QST: Well I’ll start by saying, first try to find out your Purpose in life. Each and everyone one of us was born to do something tangible on earth, so try to find your own. Try to discover what you enjoy doing, what you have passion for; mix it with determination and consistency and you will see yourself at greater heights. But first thing first, put God first in everything you do
DOB: I noticed you have a way of ascribing everything to God. Would you say you are a religious person?
QST: I won’t say m that holy or too righteous or too churchy, but I believe in God.
DOB: Amazing. Well kudos to you for all your efforts and commitment. Hopefully, we’d be seeing you at the top again.
QST: Thank you very much
The online voting process for The Spectacular Teens Int’l Pageantry is on. To vote for Queen Stephanie on Facebook click the link below & like, comment and share too.
To get to know more about Stephanie Timi, below are her social media handles:
Instagram: @ timistephanie_
Facebook: Stephanie timi