Chidinma Aaron emerged the 42nd Miss Nigeria in November 2018. She trounced 17 other contestants at the grand finale held in Lagos and went home with a whopping N3 million, an apartment and a brand new car.

In this interview, the Project Management and Customer Relationship Management graduate opens up on her new status, and her pet projects among other interesting issues.

Tell us about growing up, were you born with a silver spoon?

I was born into an average Nigerian family. I had all the basic things I needed to lead a lovely life. I am grateful for that.

You’re the 42nd Miss Nigeria. How did you feel when you emerged winner?

I felt super excited! I was literally living my dream of being the 42nd Miss Nigeria.

Did you believe you could win?

(Smiles) Yes, I did.

What were your challenges in camp and which of the girls would you say gave you a run for your money?

Let me look back carefully. I wouldn’t say I faced challenges in camp. Rather I would say I met situations that helped me grow and that was beautiful. In a boot camp that had 18 beautiful and intelligent finalists, which I was graciously part of, my only competition was who I was the previous day.

Chidinma Aaron

Were your parents supportive and which of them did you get your looks from?

Yes, they were awesome; thankfully. For my looks, I believe I was blessed with the best of both worlds. However, looking closely, my mother takes the cake (Smiles).

What was the greatest advice they gave you that saw you through?

The greatest advice was ‘you’re a queen; you’ll always remain a queen, you’re blessed. Always remember that.’. That resonated in me all through.

You’ve been Miss Nigeria for some months. How has the platform impacted you?

It has impacted me in a number of ways. It has made me a lot more self aware and has afforded me in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of some issues in our country, and has led me to be more empathic in my dealings with individuals.

What new things would you say you have learnt in the last couple of months?

I have learnt a whole lot put together actually. I would sum it up by saying that staying true to myself and giving my best to anything I do is the greatest joy and the key to happiness and fulfilment.

How have you been coping with the glitz and glamour of your new office?

My office as Miss Nigeria is really mostly me serving contrary to popular belief. Whether I make an appearance at an event, or I’m at an interview, or at the mall, I don’t necessarily feel different. The obvious difference will be cameras flashing lights on the red carpet. I would say, I just do what I came for and remain myself. I treat my crown as an office that it is and carry out my duties to the best of my ability .

What are the challenges you have been facing regarding your new status as Miss Nigeria?

I have been Miss Nigeria for some months now and I haven’t necessarily met a situation I would term challenging. Unfamiliar situations are usually seen as challenges, but I know they are only new situations that sometimes take making an adjustment in an area or two.

Now that you are queen, what has changed about you?

Well, not a lot; to be honest. I’m myself, I grow everyday and in every way and I’m still approachable. I would say my words and actions are watched more now and affect people more now than before. This is given to the fact that I have gained popularity, therefore, I’m more careful about these things.

Are you in a relationship. Tell us about your love life?

What I like about this point in my life is that I still get to keep personal information personal Smiles).

Tell us about your pet project and what you hope to achieve?

My pet project is girls empowerment. It will be carried out under the Green Girl Project; a project the Miss Nigeria Organisation started three years ago, as the organisation believes in sustainable projects. With this move, I hope to see societies and ultimately, a country where her girls are more informed and better equipped to lead their best lives.

Who are you role models?

I have role models for different spheres of life. Some of my role models include Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and my dear mom.

What are your dreams?

My dreams can be summarised as wanting to leave a lasting positive imp