Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Upgrade, the Pageant With a Difference

Upgrade 2013 was held two weekends ago in Lagos. THq was there and we told you about it, remember? Well, I was so impressed by the whole event that I caught up with the organiser Vanessa Ideh requesting an interview. I had to know more about the event.
 According to Vanessa, Upgrade is an annual seminar/pageant aimed at educating teenagers on the dangers of drugs (weed, alcohol, and tobacco), academic nonchalance, and character decadence; while simultaneously inspiring them to achieve all they possibly can even at a young age. The event is packaged as an interschool competition to spur the young and active who it is targeted at.

Mr Alcohol Free
Miss Academic Excellence
This year’s event which was entirely sponsored by the Paroche Reach Out Foundation (a memorial foundation aimed at touching the lives of both young and old for good), witnessed the conduct of a pageant with a difference and from it, the Miss Upgrade 2013 winner emerged. Telling us about the pageant, Vanessa says contrary to what people might think, it isn’t a beauty pageant. It’s a pageant aimed at putting faces to the values which Upgrade promotes. The pageant seeks to bring teen minds to a place of focus by battling academic nonchalance, teen sex and low self esteem through public speaking. This is why the contestants represented a core value. As such, there was a Miss Sexually Pure, Mr Drug Free, Miss High Self Esteem, Mr Alcohol Free, as well as Miss Academic Excellence amongst others.

Vanessa decorating Miss Upgrade 2013

The contestants were asked to come up with a speech that embodied the value they represented and they were judged based on the confidence they displayed, speech quality, embodiment of the value represented, and carriage of costume.
Miss Nonconformist of Oxbridge College is Miss Upgrade 2013
As a final word to teens, Vanessa says “You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing. What have your parents taught you? What has the Bible taught you? Follow those even if it makes you feel out of place. Leaders don’t blend in, they stand out”

Wow watch out for Upgrade 2014. It promises to be a bigger and better event with even more sponsors wanting to be part of such a laudable effort.  

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