Today on Moment of Truth with Barcity, we featured Abuja distinguished Pageant Producer who is also a clergy man.
Barry Avotu Johnson who is better known as Barry J shared his thoughts on Abuja Pageant Industry and the Association in general.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
Good evening, Mr Barry J.
Barcity: Its great to have you on Moment of Truth with Barcity, how has the year been so far for you and your pageant?
Barry J: The year 2017 is a great year ahead of us and we are expecting to ve a serious turnaround for us. We re ready to bring the change that the industry deserves at the moment. So we re looking forward to putting the industry in its rightful pedestrian for the next generation to follow. And for the finest girl pageants event, this 2017 the general public will see so much change in leadership and restrictions in structure of Operations.
Barry J: Basically we re injecting some new values into the event activities and it’s going to honestly add good values to pageantry in Nigeria. We re always known for values and standards so it will be displayed for other up coming pageants to see and follow. Just like when we started in 2008 we came on board with our crowning of multiple queens from one single stage which is been bastardized by other pageants today. And that we did to ve a spread of the event activities to other parts of Nigeria with a reflection on other areas, regions and sector. Am talking about our finest girl tourism queen, niger delta queen, democracy queen and our major finest girl international queen respectively.
Barcity: 2016 was a great year for your pageant, new queens were produced but up till now, we’ve not seen any of their projects? What’s going on
Barry J: The wrong activities of pageant queens in Nigeria has made our event re brand a new way to do things. Our queens ve been doing a lot in the areas of IDP support over the months. We ve decided not to publicly display all that because it’s not what we re cut out for at this time. And most of all every time we do put our queens projects on the media other up coming pageant organisers want to
Barry J: Do the same project and since we found out this has happened in a lot of times. We decided to do projects and don’t publish them untill the queen has handed over
Barry J: But we ve a huge number of our queens doing a lot in Nigeria. Our finest girl international winner queen joy Ogechi nwakwakwu is in lagos and doing so much for motherless children around d south west part of Nigeria. ,we also ve our finest girl tourism winners queen Juliet Okere who hosted d biggest IDP and charity children party on 1st October. And three other queens rep south south zone. Queen Sofia Saturday also hosted children and IDP too. And it has been a great year for all our queens so far. They ve tried and we know they will do more before they all hand over.
Barcity: Last election for Pageant Association Presidency was tough as you contest alongside Ejiro and others; Tell us more about it and your plans for the next election
Barry J: The last elections have come and gone so talking, about it won’t add anything to our event or my person. I only contested bcs I thought we should move d industry forward with d best hands. D pageant industry needs a very responsive individual to run its affairs bcs d body must be respected in the other side of life. With d level of insult d industry has suffered over the years it needed a more responsible elements to drive it’s ideas to d fullest. An, individual with so more respect for d industry. And not just one show boy. A schooled person with dignity and interpretation of self respect. A man with an A class attitude. D industry needs a pragmatic war lord so it’s activities can be respected as I said in d beginning. We ve to do it well dis time or lose it all forever. Moreover we don’t ve any official info for now if any elections is going to be conducted bcs we ve not seen any circular on this. So with this we re not going to say much about an election we ve not officially heard anything about. Truth is, that we ve to get in an positive elements of rehabilitation and reconciliation so the basic low levelled recourse of the association can be refined. D association has so much bad blood by its members. Bcs since d last elections the association suffered a serious fall out of credible. Members who fell out bcs they were not given the respect they needed as masters of the game over the years. So my cut on this is that d body needs a serious overhaul of its activities nationwide so we can all enjoy d fruit of our labour.
Barry J: And moreover d local media is not helping matters. All this mushrooms social media beginners will just take one thousand naira from one disgruntled elements of dis unity and and put up a story against some else. How can you do that. You will see all sort of nonsense on this and that social media. So this things need to stop so we can all work things out. The whole issue all started with very bad eggs getting involved in the business in abuja, Imo, Enugu, anambra and Bayelsa states respectively. They re the ones causing the disrespect of the industry over the two years so far.
Barcity: That’s wonderful! We learnt that CEO of Miss Ambassador for Peace is contesting, do you feel he is a better candidate than you?
Barry J: We need clean personalities to run for d presidency and not just one guy around because you have organised some editions of a local event. Leadership is not by force. I know most of d people interested in the presidency are guys who think they can use d association to do their nonsense business of disrespect and all that. So they should not be given at all. The number of events u have hosted has nothing to do with d leadership of such a body. What we need is distinguished personality who can drive the original idea of d reasons why we created d body in d first place, Wow am just heard now from you that his contesting. I have no beef with anyone who wants to contest for the body’s presidency. But my issues here is d right person. Am not expected to compare my self with any other individual who’s also interested in the same position, So his doing his thing. I don’t have an idea of his president love all of a sudden because he hasn’t told me about it. He’s a friend and I take him as a brother from the same state. So if he’s contesting there’s nothing wrong in coming to let me know about because I also went to inform him when I decided to contest two years ago. And I seemed his support to win which he said he withdrawn at the last minutes of d election for his own personal reasons. So the members re expected to make comparison and not me as a person. Although most of the time people vote the wrong people into office because of a bottle alcohol. But for me am a very responsive and pragmatic person who feels we still have a chance to correct whatever we have made stagnant over the two years we have watched ejiro presidency run with some successes in some areas of interest. Because u see every president has his or her priority and what he wants to do as a president. So whatever ejiro president had provided over the two years he ruled is what he as a person feels like doing for the association and I can say he has tried so far for himself and the body because it’s nit an easy thing to be the first president of association of pageant organisers who moat of the people there came into d industry because they saw it as an avenue to make fast money, Pageantry in Nigeria is dying as far as am concerned and it’s because of d lasciducical attitude of d CEOs who think it’s by calling a slim looking fine girl to make a queen. It’s more than that as far as am concerned. The way pageant has gone now won’t even encourage any mother or father to allow their wards to go into.
Barry J : It’s a very sad thing to hear and see that dis industry we built over some 16 years ago. Some guys from no where just came in and spoiled it all for us. Anyway its ok sha. It’s always like this in all sectors in a bastardized country where everyone does whatever they want without any control and respect for constituted authority.
Barry J : All I know and still preaching is that beauty pageant is not nakedness, it’s not prostitution, it’s not cheap sex, and it’s not pimping above all. This re my principles to forge ahead for a responsive industry for all of us. In pageantry business we ve a way of making money and it can not be told to just anybody we is organising one nonsense they call pageant. When u come from nowhere without wanting to serve u can never know the secrets of that business. So it is in pageant too. We ve come along way and nobody can ever stop us from doing it right. So do u see where it’s positive to get the right persons to be d president? Am asking you now as a Reporter.
Barcity: Yes I totally agree, my point is this. Beauty pageant has been turned to an avenue of modern day prostitution. How do you want to tackle this when you become the next president of the association?
Barry J : Anyway I don’t blame all these social media boys around abuja who use stories without any confirmation. It’s bcs of poverty they need d money to recharge their phones and show themselves in events as social media elements. Moreover every nigerian youth now is a social media person. Bcs we all ve phones to uplink whatever we wish to let d few 12345 people see from our blogs, I ve always said it in the past and now am saying it again. We need a none performing elements who’s not involve in whatever the trade is to be d new president or else everything is nonsense. They ve even made d models come and meet u face to face that they want to get pimped so they can make money for school and family. So it so bad dat I don’t think u can be voted in if one says that’s what u want to fight as president oh.
Barry J : But I think we hve all it takes to stop all that in d industry bcs we ve been here for so long and we know how it all started and we can check and balance it.
Although we already have a relationship agreement with a government NGO who’s job is to prosecute pageant or model agency companies who re design for such deals. D NGO already has an official list with evidence against everyone in d list on force sex, pimping and other money collection crimes but we ve told them to relax in that for now bcs this won’t help d industry at d moment. Maybe when we send it as a law dat it is prohibited then we can start prosecution of people caught in d act. And we intend to train pageant organisers on how to make money with their events and also get sponsorship for the registered events and again we shall officially logolise all pageants and register them in all the formats so everyone can be on a same page
Barcity: Great! We also learnt that you have more than one pageant, how true is this?
Barry J : We don’t have more than one pageant. We ve just finest girl pageants international with a four faced queenship, Nigeria is too large for queen to cover in just one year so we decided to run a national queen and other sector queens like tourism, niger delta and democracy.
Barcity: Wonderful! You’ve been named as a clergy man recently, what relationship does that have with your pageant?
Barry J : Yes that’s true that am now clergy, On the aspects of clergy and pageant. I love to let u know that d first pageant in the world was organised in Israel in the bible with queen esther which make pageantry biblical in nature, So it’s a good thing to host a pageant without any display of nakedness and dats why I told u from d beginning of this gist dat we ve reformed a lot in our event starting with this 2017 edition, God even used queen esther to redeem d children of Israel from bondage
There’s nothing wrong with hosting a pageant. We have a great man of God in lagos called rev Chris Okotie who’s d organiser of d queen esther event and a lot of great servants of God attend d event every year.
My only advise to my friends in d pageant industry is to be aware that whatever they do today will be recorded against them forever so it’s very important that they think properly before they do anything Most especially when it’s a public matter. So they would not be building huge problems for their children all I’m the name of living large in abuja. Bcs whatever u do today must be counted against you and you children tomorrow no matter what or who you think you are. Since u re not God money is not everything bcs it answering all things. I wish everyone the best that they can get out of themselves in whatever they find themselves doing in life and above all Jesus is very close in getting back to take us home so don’t forget to ve a second thought of loving Ur neighbours as u love yourself which is d mother of all God’s commandments. Stay blessed in Jesus mighty name. And finally I pray for every pageant organiser and their queens plus workers to receive the blessings of God in all they do in Jesus mighty name. Long live Nigeria and the pageant industry.
Barcity: Amazing! I totally agree with what you’ve said so far, any more thing you wish to say to the readers out there?
Barry J: Thank you so much for this opportunity to air my church mind of whatever area we ve talked about. And if you finally send this news to the public, I want everyone to know that I ve said whatever I ve said bcs this is the truth and the only way out of whatever nonsense we ve found d industry in at d moment. It’s nit time to put d blame on anyone. We re just finding a way to make it sweeter and better.