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Chioma Iwuchukwu is the 2018 Face of Candy City Tourism. Currently working on a project tagged Trace, she spoke about in this interview.
How did your road to modeling begin?
When I started, I was discouraged by a lot of people. I started with a competition and a lot of people said that I should not compete because I wasn’t sure of winning. I didn’t give in because I have always being a goal-getter.
Tell us how you emerged 2018 Face of Candy Tourism?
I can’t say. The competition was highly competitive. We were about 364, and almost all of the contestants were above 6ft. Threatened by this, a couple of people left, but I never did. I guess I just believed in myself. The rest is now history as they say.
Will your new profile cut off old friends?
As a beauty queen, you need to appreciate people, whether they are your friends or not, you have to treat everybody equally, no one is too exceptional, everyone is equal.
Most models are known for trying their hands with the movie industry, do you have any such plans?
I don’t mind trying the movie industry. I already have plans for that.
Are you aware that it’s a controversial industry, are you ready for it?
Controversies will come, but it all depends on how you handle them. If you want it to get to you or not.
A beauty with brains, there must be a lot of men after you, how do you handle them?
The truth is that I am a lady and should naturally know how to handle them. However, I would rather focus on what I’m working on presently.
Are you in a relationship presently?
I don’t have a relationship; I’m just trying to get a love life.
Tell us about your style?
My style is mixed. I wear all sorts. I love dresses like evening dresses and short dresses.
What sacrifices have you made for your career?
For me, sacrificing is not as complex as it sounds. You just need to do what you can and leave the rest.
To every glory, there is a story to tell.
You are working on a tourism-focused project called Trace, tell us about it?
History is very important, but a lot of Nigerian children don’t know their history. Our schools don’t even teach local history anymore. You can’t bring out a Nigerian pupil and ask of his or her background, they don’t know it because they are not taught anymore. If someone can bring that back, I think there will be a lot to write about this country, people will know where they are coming from.
How confident are you that Trace will achieve its purpose?
This is Africa; we have all it takes to be who we want to be. It is only people with little minds that believe in impossibility. I am not going to run a project that will give people food. If I give them food today, will I give them till the end of their life?
What is your take on models who consider giving food to motherless homes as a pet project?
As a beauty queen, people are supposed to know you for something good. Eighty percent of Nigerian beauty queens go about sharing food on the street during their reign; some of them don’t even fulfill their project. When you share food on the street, you have not done anything.
What would you like to change about the Nigerian youth?
Their mindset. In Nigeria, everyone relies on the government to put food on their table which isn’t right, people only love where the money is being shared forgetting that before you are given money, you have a role to play. There are a lot of things to gain if people think well.
Very few people know that you also have an interest in auto repair, tell us about it.
I have an auto diagnosis, repair and programming centre in Owerri, Imo State. It is built to standard.
How do you explain a model being into an auto repair business?
It was influenced by my dad. My dad has been involved in the business for the past 22 years. We sort of run a partnership now.
Tell us the success secret of the business
I think in life you just need to create an idea for yourself, you don’t need to wait for the government. Some people look for jobs when they are done with school, I don’t think that works for me, it never worked for me. For my business, I created the idea myself and it worked. Everything we have today started from scratch, the government never contributed to our success. So, entrepreneurs out there need to think of something new, anything can bring you out, just be determined. When I started my diagnostic business, people asked why I was doing a man’s business, but I told them that there is no business meant for any sex, as long as you can manage it yourself. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t require much money, it’s just an idea, you don’t need millions to become somebody because there are people that have the money, but don’t know what to do with it. Some people started with one thousand Naira and they are big today. So, start something, no matter how small, it will grow.
What is your biggest fear in life?
I don’t have any. Some people say that they fear failure, but I don’t have any fear. Nothing really, challenges come and go, you have to believe that nothing lasts forever; you need to do what you are supposed to do at the right time.