Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu

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Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Bianca Odinakchukwu Onoh
Title(s) MBGN 1988, Miss Africa 1988, Miss Intercontinental 1989
Major
competition(s)
Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria 1988, Miss Intercontinental 1989.

Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu (born Bianca Odinaka Olivia Onoh, August 5, 1967)[1] is a Nigerian businesswoman and lawyer, best known as the first African to win Miss Intercontinental. Formerly Nigeria's Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs [2] and the country's ambassador to Ghana,[3] she is now Nigeria's ambassador to Spain.[4]

Early life[edit]

The sixth child of former Anambra governor Christian Onoh, Odumegwu-Ojukwu was educated in Enugu and Yorkshire, but spent most of her childhood in rural Udi. She obtained her A-Levels from Cambridge Tutorial College, and soon began a combined honours degree in Politics, Economics and Law at the University of Buckingham, but transferred to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka as her father, who was from a family of lawyers, wanted his children to join his firm in Nigeria and insisted she concentrated solely on Law. Following her graduation she attended the Nigerian Law School which eventually led to her call to the bar.[5]

Pageants[edit]

In December 1988, Odumegwu-Ojukwu was crowned Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, but reigned for most of 1989, during which she represented her country in Miss World and Miss Universe, but achieved greater success at Miss Intercontinental 1989 [5] and was named Miss Congeniality at the now defunct Miss Charm International in Russia where she was also a semi-finalist.[6]

Ojukwu controversy[edit]

In 1989, it was revealed that Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu was dating former Biafran president and Ikemba of Nnewi Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a political associate of her father who was over thirty years her senior.[7] Their controversial romance was a national talking point in the early 1990s,[8][9] Odumegwu-Ojukwu declared later in the year that the pressure of being in the public eye had become unbearable, causing her to resign as Miss Intercontinental and stated that her main concern was completing her education as a law student. Her decision enraged pageant organisers Silverbird who continue to ignore her 1988 reign on the MBGN website.[10]

In 2012, following the death of her husband, the authenticity of his will, which left most of his assets to Odumegwu-Ojukwu,was questioned, with several family members describing the documents as "fake".[11][12][13] Odumegwu-Ojukwu has appealed to her critics to allow Ikemba Odumegwu-Ojukwu to "rest in peace", describing him as a man of honour and dignity whose legacy should not be destroyed, and claming that the will was drafted in 2005, with executors present at the time it was prepared.[14]

Career[edit]

After graduating from Law School, Odumegwu-Ojukwu briefly practised the profession before quitting, and divided her time between her home, her cosmetics business Bianca Blend and her interior decorating outfit Mirabella.[15] Although she had stated in interviews her disdain for modelling in the past, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu has fronted an advertising campaign for Bianca Blend. She also established the non-government organisation Hope House Trust, centered towards rehabilitating juvenile offenders in Enugu.[15] [16] In 2011, she was appointed Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs by president Goodluck Jonathan,[2] and in 2012 she was named Nigeria's ambassador to Spain.

Personal life[edit]

Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu was married to the Ikemba until his death in 2011; the couple had three children together. Of her marriage, she admits that while she was happy to be married to him, she would not encourage her daughter to marry the same way.[17]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Omasan Buwa
MBGN
MBGN 1988
Succeeded by
Regina Askia Usoro (Replacement)