It was a great night in Baltimore Maryland this past weekend of June 23 as people gathered in the Banquet hall of America Best Hotel in Baltimore to watch the Miss Igbo America 2018 Pageant ceremony. The hall was well decorated with Igbo ornaments and artifacts imported from Alaigbo.
The three finalists included
It was a great night for the pageant organizers, several groups and organizations leading the effort to keep Igbo language and Culture alive were also in Baltimore for this event. This pageant was a great event with implications for Igbo language and culture.
Breaking of Colanuts performed by Chief Okechukwu P. Oranika (Odezuligbo 1
The young organizer Miss Chdinma Emenike has a vision which is in line with the visions of Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival Committee and their Partners for 2018 Festival-Umuada Di Igbo Mma of Los Angeles.(UDIM)Both bodies are currently organizing the 2nd Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival coming up August 17-18, 2018 in the city of Los Angeles California. The goal of this festival is to celebrate Igbo Language and Igbo Cultural Heritage and also draw attention of Ndigbo to the unfortunate demise of Igbo Language due to non usage by Ndigbo and failure to teach their children Igbo Language and associated Igbo Culture
Chidinma with Miss Igbo America 2018-2019
So when Chdinma invited us from Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival Committee and the Umuada Di Igbo Mma, Washington DC Metro President Chi Chi Nwanyimanari to come and be judges to select the new Miss Igbo America 2018-2019 we all told her that we will be in Baltimore not only to be part of the Judges for the event but also to make sure that our message about keeping Igbo language and Culture alive is heard at any given place and time.
Umuada Di Igbo Mma, Washington DC Metro Chapter President Chi Chi Nnamah (Nwanyimanari)
To my greatest surprise Chidinma and her Igbo America pageant organizers were very prepared to stage the pageant in Igbo employing Igbo culture in the process. Igbo language was largely used along with English language but we also understand that the transition from using Igbo language instead of English language in Igbo Diaspora events in the United States and elsewhere will be a gradual process. We encourage all Igbo organizations and Associations all over the world to employ Igbo in conducting their meetings, deliberations and events at all times and more importantly for all Igbo parents to spend sometime teaching Igbo language and culture to their young ones. Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Pakistani, Arabs, Vietnamese, or close to home Yorubas, and Hausas, all teach their language and culture to their children. One question that I have always asked is “What does it take for Ndigbo to understand that the only reason Igbo Language will soon disappear is because older generation of Ndigbo have failed to pass on our language and culture to the next generation of Igbo Children”.
Miss Ngozi Noblin Ogbonna owner of Igbo Amaka School and former Miss Igbo America 2016-2017 was the Co MC of the Event
(Photo on the left)Former Miss Igbo America 2017-2018 Miss Ezinne Orji passing on the touch to the new pageant winner Chisom assisted by Nwanyimanari of UDIM.
But the heartwarming news about this pageant is that it is remarkable that all the young Igbo girls, all under 19 years old who qualified as finalists understood Igbo and were able to speak back in Igbo Language. The judges asked the questions in Igbo and English, but all the responses from the contestants were in Igbo. It is also important to emphasize the fact that the finalists all three of them were born here in the United States, and the fact that they were able to speak and talk to the judges and other guests in Igbo is very noteworthy and encouraging. The parents of these girls deserve awards. The fact that some Igbo kids born here in the US are able to learn and speak Igbo language means that any parent could do the same if only they see the need and importance of speaking and teaching Igbo language to their children.
The Pageant Finalist impressed the audience with their Igbo native dance.
Many Nollywood actors, actresses and Directors attended the Miss Igbo America Pageant in Baltimore as well. Among those present include: Mac Collins Chidebe (Mr. China), Ejike Okoye, Dr. Damian Chukwu (DEEDEE Entertainment Award), Loveth EBEDE (Nollywood Actress/Producer), Cynthia Adebayo ( Actress), Mary Igwe (Actress) and others.
Group Photo of Guests and some Nollywood actors and actresses
The winner of this pageant Chisom will receive monetary award, she will also get an award from Entertainment Awards, and will appear on stage in Los Angeles at the 2nd Igbo Diaspora Cultural Heritage Festival coming up August 17-18, 2018. Nollywood Producer at the event said the winner will also appear in a new movie currently being shot in the United States hopefully a movie in Igbo Language.
Special shutout to: