18 year-old Shatu Garko a model from Kano State has been crowned the 44th Miss Nigeria, the first Hijab wearing winner, since the contest began in 1957. She emerged the winner after beating 17 other finalists at the beauty pageant on Friday night at the Landmark Centre in Lagos.
Not less than 1,000 ladies had entered the competition before they were pruned to 18. Garko succeeded Etsanyi Tukura, a native of Taraba State, who won the 2019 contest, as there was no contest last year due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Nicole Ikot emerged as the first runner up and Kasarachi Okoro was the second runner up in the contest.
In her words she said, “Winning this competition means a lot to me,” Garko, who loves horse riding said before being crowned Miss Nigeria.
“My whole life I have always wanted to be a Miss Nigeria. I’d like to thank Miss Nigeria and its sponsors. I would also like to thank my mum for supporting and loving me.” She also has a point to prove: that religion and culture are not barriers to following one’s dreams and achieving whatever a person sets out to achieve.
Shatu Garko was awarded the cash prize of N10 million, a luxury apartment, a car and ambassadorship.
Founder of Folio Media Group, the organiser of Miss Nigeria 2021, Fidelis Anosike, said the vision was to create national empowerment and a role model that would serve as an inspiration for the girl child.