Lola Abeni Adeoye is the new face of Nigerians in the United States. The Ekiti State indigene beat 18 other contestants to emerge the prestigious MissNigeriaUSA on 28th May, 2016 at the United States.
Lola, amidst tears could not control her joy when she was announced the winner. She later shared her victorious story on instagram.
Kindly read her long but inspiring story full of determination and perseverance. Enjoy!
”Saturday May 28th, 2016 was the manifestation of a dream continuously deferred. I competed in my first pageant in 2010. I lost. Since then, I have competed in and lost 8 pageants, usually by a few points, but nonetheless, I lost. When I decided to enter into my first pageant, I had a vision of myself as a Queen, a vision of grace, beauty, and a role model of what it meant to be a woman. However, looking back, I used to look for those titles, and crowns as the validation that I was all those things, and I did not truly believe I was those things just as Lola. As time went on, I battled depression because I felt inadequate at everything I did, because I unknowingly sought validation from outside sources, be it pageantry, grades, membership into organizations, and even relationships. When I hit rock bottom, I hit it. And hard.
It took me a long time, but I relearned how to live, without seeking validation from anything or anyone, but only from God and myself. I began a journey of unconditional self-love. I began to strive to embody the things that I thought all the add-ons I always desired gave me. I truly fell back in love with myself. I began to believe that I was all those things I thought a queen was, no matter what. That was in 2014. With this mindset and attitude, I just knew I was ready to compete in a pageant again in 2015, and this time I was sure to be good! Everyone that loved me was terrified that if I competed again, and lost, I would spiral into the same pattern again. Well, I did lose, and this time I was likely closer than I had ever been to the crown. BUT. I was happy. Genuinely happy. I thanked God for the opportunity and made the most of it and moved on. I didn’t feel less than a queen because I didn’t have the physical title. I even settled in my spirit that it must not have been in God’s will for me to ever become a titleholder and came to terms with that. So when Miss Nigeria USA came around, though I truly desired to win, I truly lived through each moment just seeking to soak in all the experience was meant to teach me. Little did I know, God said that I was finally ready”.
Big congratulagions to the queen.