By Jimanze Ego-Alowes
First of all, let us restate a fact. Women are universally and commonly beautiful across ethnic divides and nations. It is near impossible to isolate the country and or ethnic group etc. that parades the most beautiful women per capita.
After having said this, the fact remains that in Nigeria Igbo women more than any others will be the face of the Nigerian beauty. The reasons are not genetic or physiological. And they are also not descriptively statistical. However, the fact of the Igbo being the most likely face of the Nigerian beauty is driven and powered more by sociology than anything else.
The details are as follows. The three big ethnic groups in Nigeria are Hausa-Fulani, Igbo and the Yoruba. At an average of 20 plus percentile each, the three groups account for 60 plus percent of the Nigerian population. That is, statistically they are expected to produce about 60 percent of the nation’s prettiest girls. And that number is likely to be evenly shelled out amongst the big three.
But life never runs smoothly like an okaba fleeing fast on the expressway. There are caveats, if not bumps on the road to anywhere. For Nigeria in the matter in issue, they are as follows. Of the three big groups, the Hausa-Fulani are 90% plus Muslims. And the Yoruba are split into two – 50/50 – Muslims and Christian/animist sub-groupings. And the Igbo are about 90% plus Christians.
Now, these religious choices come with their prejudices or gains. For example, to the Muslim it is haram to do beauty pageants. That is, for all practical points, there are no Hausa-Fulani in the race to be the face of Nigeria’s most beautiful women. And the next in line, the Yoruba, suffers this “deficit”. However, it is just about one half of the Yoruba percentile, their Muslims, that are so challenged. Thus, if the 60% chance is shared evenly amongst the big three sub-nations, the Yoruba being half Muslim can only take half of their due 20%. That is 10%.
Now, the Igbo suffer no such handicaps or inhibitions. The fact of this comes from their being Christians. Christians/Christianity, apparently with its Grecian heritage, are in love with their bodies. In fact the Greeks take the form of the human body as some divine and were fond of celebrating that with statues, etc. The Muslims are not very receptive to “images”. That is why there are no celebrations or depictions of the face/torso/image of their prophet as those of other religions. Additionally, for the Igbo, the female form is also taken as exhilarating. At least in a town, Nkwerre in Imo State, one women’s group goes by the praise name: okanmana ahu otor. Loosely, “Our female forms are fantastic in the nude”. And this saying can be “carbon dated” to before Aristotle. So, the Greeks are with the Igbo as unity in this.
The other helping hand factor for the Igbo is that qualification for competing is based on residency. And the Igbo boasts of the greatest “internal” diasporas in Nigeria. So, it is easy to find the Igbo scattered in sufficient numbers all over the 36 states and the Federal Capital. The implication of this is that the slot for Muslim “halal” Sokoto and the rest of the northern states are taken up by stand-in Igbo beauties who are resident in those places. Sometimes the old Midwesterners that is Edo/ Delta also muscle in as placeholders for these absentee beauties from the “halal” states. And it needs suggesting that even of this Midwestern input, the Igbo are still big ticket contenders. From Asaba up to Agbor, are essentially Igbo, whatever political correctness declaims.
That is in other words, of the 60% winning window due the big three – Hausa-Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba – the Hausa-Fulani and the Yoruba cede and thus donate their 20% and 10% respectively to the Igbo. For ease of calculations we hold it that the minorities are no longer in play. This fact of this it is meet to say does not distract from the import of the logic thereof.
That is to say literally that the Igbo with a 20% chance by numbers is granted a [20 + 20 + 10 =] 50% chance by default to become the face of the Nigerian beauty. In other words, the Igbo are contending at more than twice their weights and with no opposition against their game. That is the equivalent of possessing nuclear arms in a breakout war, where other contenders come poorly equipped like Boko Harams. Ahiazuwa.
Now, with the Igbo armed with a second to none internal diasporas, and a flesh and torso guilt free Christianity and sociology to match, the scandal will be that the Igbo are not the dominant face of the most beautiful women in Nigeria. To repeat it is not genetics or physiology that cracks the code in favor of the Igbo. It is intervening and competing state of sociologies. These sociologies are at work, Igbo women are merely in the play, in the game and in the zone.
The other fact is that no one sociology – of which religions are a part – as assumed here, is greater or superior. What is important is to acknowledge that differing sociologies come with discounts and premiums in market implications. And Beauty Pageants, whatever else they are, are like all competitive games, huge markets. By the way, the commonsense senator may have made his fortune hawking beautiful faces to whoever will look his way. And he is so sinfully rich.
Beauty costs a penny and more to sell and or to purchase. Our German consultant, Dr. Kam Haer, says to be married to a beauty queen is hotter than embracing snow.
Next, it is important to remark that it is not just the beauty business that is conflicted with the relevant sociologies. There is the example of Koran recita- tions which is nominally open to all Nigerians Muslims. We have kept an eye on the matter for some while. And nearly all the winners come from the North. Our supposition is that the North
has the numbers over and above all others. Yes, there are Yoruba Muslims, but at 50% of total Yoruba population competing against 90 % of a roughly equal Hausa-Fulani numbers, the Yoruba Koran reciters got no chance, all things being equal. And the history of the results restates this.
Why have we brought this to your reading menu? About many years ago, we read of some prominent Yoruba Nollywood types beefing over the outcome of the Igbo ‘’over-winning’’ beauty pageants. And they were beefing that the Igbo are co-opting and perhaps corrupting the process. In simple words the Igbo are bribing their way through to it.
Also there are also some Igbo who count it they are ‘’genetically’’ the finest faces in these shores. Well, both the Yoruba and Igbo partisans are wrong. The Igbo partisans are mistaking shift- ing histories and moveable sociologies, for immutable scientific facts. And the Yoruba are mixed up, not able to count the trees from the forests. Yes, all forests are forests, but not all forests come with the same number of poplars.
The important point is that what is at play is the numbers game. It is only that it is moderated or curated by our very moveable sociologies and history. And the fact of this happens across board. And we have written severally about it.
If you asked, I did say the first ‘’great book’’ I wrote is Minorities as Competitive Overlords. And it is all about the play of sociologies in marketplaces. The book explains how and why the minorities dominate and had to dominate the Nigerian media space. And you can recall that Channels/AIT/Silverbird televisions on one hand and This Day/ The Guardian/Vanguard etc. all are owned by South-South promoters. It is not that other papers like the Daily Sun is not blazing the trails and shining your day. It is that the logic of the marketplace demands that the minorities in a multi-modal society punch above their weights. In fact that they dominate the market in what we called the Brace Sector of the economy is a safety measure. It is a ‘’homeostatic working fuse’’ to keep the larger national markets well and alive.
Without this minority brace dominance and homeostasis the entire market will collapse. And men will blow up seeking wars, not profit. Ahiazuwa.
So, the important point is not just that the minorities dominate as a historical accident, but they have to dominate the marketplace as of logic, or you would have a destruction of the society and thus the markets. The sociology of market is a really big discipline. The beauty and beast pageant is just one of its little harvests. The bigger gain is that it helps us to jointly and severally understand our environments better. And this serves us best, certainly far above relapses to conspiracy theories and soon enough, consequential inter-communal chafing. Or even wars. The rest is in humor. Ahiazuwa.