Agbani Darego: The Pizzazz Queen
Agbani Asenite Darego was born on the 22 December 1982 in Lagos to a River state family. At two, her family moved back to Rivers’ capital, Port Harcourt. At 10, her family placed in a boarding school to protect her from seeing the sufferings of her mother who had breast cancer. Her mother passed away two years later.
With an interest in her the runway world, she decided to pursue her interest in modelling when she came of age. Despite coming from a conservative home, she auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition but did not scale through.
While this was on, she furthered her education at the University of Port Harcourt where she studied Computer Science and Mathematics.
In 2001, she contested for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria.
A few months into this, she contested at Miss Universe and became the first Nigeria to be among the top 10 semi-finalists. At Miss Universe, she set the pace by wearing a maillot instead of a bikini and still finished seventh.
She went on to Miss World and became Africa’s first Miss World and is the only Nigerian to hold this title. Immediately after this win, she became the second black model to land a contract with L’Oréal.
After her win, Darego moved to New York and enrolled at the New York University where she graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2012.
She went on to in on the pages of international magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Allure, Cosmopolitan; walked on runways for designers including Oscar de la Renta and Ralph Lauren and did advertisements for Christian Dior among others.
In 2010, she started a fashion reality show, Stylogenic. In 2013, she launched her denim line, AD by Agbani Darego.