A deaf lady, Lawal Olamide Sukurat has emerged first runner-up in the “Miss Obaruwa festival 2023”, a beauty contest dominated by hearing contestants.
Speaking to Inclusive News Network, Sukurat says self belief and ability provided the needed motivation to participate in the contest despite her hearing challenge.
According to her, previous experience at the Miss Deaf South West Festival helped her prepare for this which she would have loved to win.
Recalling the journey to stardom, Sukurat said: “I was a contestant for Miss Deaf, South West Association of the Deaf held in Osun state last year. Though, I didn’t win that competition, the experience was the catalyst behind my emergency as first runner-up in the Miss Obaruwa festival. If I have the opportunity I’ll contest again”, she remarked.
She says she became aware of the “Miss Obaruwa festival” while a student at the Federal College of Education, (Special), Oyo. There, she was introduced to the contest and advised to join by the Chairman, Remo Association of the Deaf.
“At first, I showed no interest. However my love for beauty pageantry prevailed and pushed me into giving my best. ”
Sukurat recalls that it was Mr Abiodun Oluguna, a Deaf Nigerian in diaspora, and former chairman of Remo Association of the Deaf who bought her the form.
Giving insight into what it is like contesting among hearing people, the first runner up says: “It is not easy being the only deaf among hearing people. I had to consistently wear good clothes and put on a smile. Luckily, I’d the services of a sign language interpreter, Ayomide Akinremi during the interview and presentation.”
Sukurat, in her gratitude to those who cheered and encouraged her during the competition said: “We so much appreciate your support. Many of you were desperate to see that a Deaf girl wins the contest. The emotions were high as I saw my supporters arguing in favour of the Deaf contestant. I appreciate your support, and can proudly say that, we the Deaf community of Sagamu have made history. This history will motivate other Deaf girls to participate in competitions with hearing people in the future”.
“We also want to appreciate HRH Oba Oyesola Akinsanya (Orungba II), Ewusi of Makun Sagamu for making it possible for a Deaf contestant to be included in this contest. To Hon Ayodele PJ, ‘thank you’ for gifting me a hearing aid”, Sukurat concluded.