“If you can believe it and your heart conceives it, then you surely can achieve it.” Current Miss Black USA lives by these words and there is proof that her slogan materializes in her.
You see, it is not uncommon to see many young people in today’s America aspire to break into the industry as an “easy-pass” to the American dream (or so they think) But then somehow through the complexity of the business give up their aspirations. However not all relinquish to the struggles of achieving what they set out to accomplish, just as I learnt when I caught up with 2010 Miss Black USA in late winter.
There is plenty of gist to know about this vibrant lady, but let us get down to business; that is her current reign. As the first Nigerian-American to hold this title, Osas Ighodaro has moved past the obstacle that once plagued her at a young age. Originally born in Bronx, New York to Nigerian parents Ighodaro admits the barrier she once suffered due to “low self esteem” as a child. To overcome this hurdle Ighodaro’s parents enrolled her into acting school where she took a step into entering preliminary contest. With a few wins and losses through her journey Ighodaro persisted to graduate into adult pageantry. In August of 2010 Ighodaro officially became the Current Miss Black USA after competing along side other pageant beauties from across the 50 states.
Now she admits going from once having low self esteem to becoming Miss Black USA is something she is overjoyed about. “I’m so proud of holding this title and being Nigerian. At a younger age I was ashamed of being Nigerian, ashamed of my name because it was different from people in my surrounding, I didn’t grow up around lots of Nigerians. Now I’ve realized it’s me, my family has struggled just to be here and I’m proud to be here.”
With her current reign, Ighodaro is now drawing focus on her platform, “youth development through the arts, education and culture” which she says aims at “encouraging young children to see the importance of being themselves because no one can be you.” But that is not all Ighodaro aspires to tackle. Her second platform is to shed light on the issue of Malaria in Nigeria. Poignantly, this dais hits close to home for the pageant queen who admits she lost her sister to malaria. She affirms, “People need to be aware that it is infact a big epidemic going on and we need awareness to be brought upon this issue.”
For sure, Ighodaro is certain that once her reign is up, she is “bowing out of pageantry”. Grateful for how far she has come, her plans are still to remain in the industry.
Right now she is currently working toward achieving her MFA degree from the Actors Studio Drama School, in New York and in the long run envisions herself becoming a mainstay in the entertainment industry of Hollywood, Nollywood and just about where her destiny lies. She adds “That’s why I’m pursuing a degree now, to enable me longevity in this industry, and pray that the lord blesses me with opportunities so that I can possibly open doors for other people as well.”
Ask for advice, and this budding young lady will always return to basic saying “I know it’s something that has been said before and you hear it all the time but it comes true to heart. Don’t lose yourself, be true to whom you are, you have to be the best that you can be because no one can be you better than you.”
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