Hijab-wearing model wins 44th Miss Nigeria beauty pageant

Florence Uwaeme

18-year-old Shatu Garko has won the 2021 Miss Nigeria beauty pageant that was held in Lagos state on Friday night.

Shatu Garko is a hijab model, loves horse riding, and is passionate about proving religion and culture are not barriers to following one’s dreams and achieving whatever a person sets out to achieve. She is the first hijab model to emerge as the winner of the most coveted crown in Nigeria. She is from Kano state, North-Western part of Nigeria

Despite being the youngest contestant, Garko beat 17 others to become the first hijab-wearing model to wear the Miss Nigeria crown.

The organisers of Miss Nigeria had unveiled the 18 finalists to battle for the crown in the grand finale on December 7 at the KIA Showroom, Victoria Island. But the eviction process began with over 1,000 ladies and was reduced to 120 who were later invited for a physical audition in Lagos then reduced to 37 including three wild cards. Contestants were further cut down to 21 and later down to 18.

Speaking at the event, the 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. Miss Nigeria’s Creative Director, former Miss Nigeria (2013), Ezinne Akudo also revealed that this year’s selection was quite demanding due to the sheer volume of entries.