Hyeladzirra Zirra-Banu of Nigeria wins ECOWAS Peace Ambassador 2012 Crown
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Mar. 4, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
IT WAS celebration time for Hyeladzirra Zirra-Banu of Nigeria as she was crowned Miss ECOWAS Peace Ambassador 2012, on December 14, 2012. She emerged the winner after defeating 26 other contestants at the pageant held in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State.
Annelise Konaté of Cote d’Ivoire emerged as the first runner-up, while Keshia Ferguson of Ghana, came as the second runner-up in the annual competition. The new Peace Ambassador, who succeeds Fatoumata Diallo of Guinea Bissau, said her goal is to execute development projects working with ECOWAS and other partners.
Zirra-Banu, 23, who holds honours degrees in International Relations, Political Science and Communications, went into the competition as the reigning Miss ECOWAS Nigeria. She demonstrated a brilliant show of intellect, elegance and eloquence at the regional pageant which also featured traditional dances and a peace forum.
Zirra-Banu has a vast experience with international organisations and think tanks, including the Brookings Institute, Washington D.C. She has also demonstrated a passion for volunteering through organisations such as Habitat for Humanity and Amnesty International. She has served in her home state, Adamawa, Abuja, and Anambra, as well as in Michigan, Texas, Washington D.C., New York and Iowa, United States.
She is the CEO and founder of DorcaSapel Foundation, through which she executes projects that address development challenges, and as a DJ, model and communications scholar. She has also worked as managing editor for Face2FaceAfrica Magazine, (New York), editor and presenter for hellokpop.com (South Korea, USA, Australia), radio host on 93.5 Aso FM Nigeria, on-air producer for KWAR FM, and TV presenter on WTV8, USA. She enjoys reading books, photography, travel and music.
Banu-Zirra said becoming the ECOWAS Peace Ambassador would give her an opportunity to promote peace and champion youth empowerment initiatives in the region. “This is a dream come true for me to impact on the lives of our youths, children and women. I will use this period judiciously to reach out to people in the sub-region,” she said.
The ECOWAS PEACE Pageant, organised by Ghana-based 702 Productions, is the most prestigious pageant in the region, aimed at promoting the ECOWAS Youth Agenda and instilling the spirit of peace in the region
The event was attended by several dignitaries including Ambassador Erika Bennett, head of mission for the African Union, AU Diaspora Forum, Tele Ikuru, deputy governor of Rivers State and ECOWAS officials. Also in attendance was Joe Thomas, Grammy Award winner, as well as Nigerian artistes Asa and Brymo.