Born and bred in Lagos, the current Miss Curvy Nigeria, Imo State indigene Sandra Anthony, a 2014 International Relations graduate from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in this interview with JOE AGBRO JR, talks about being bold with her body, her work with creating awareness for cervical cancer and other issues. Excerpts:
HOW did you hear about the Miss Curvy pageant?
I first heard about it through a friend. When I heard about it, I did my research on it and I noticed I had the feature for the competition and I registered. And I saw myself going through the auditions and the main event and I became the winner. That was in October last year.
Was that your first experience to participate in a pageant?
Yes, that was my first time. I’ve modelled for a plus-size clothing line.
Now, some people with big body love to slim down. Have you ever felt like slimming down?
Most times, I just want to get into shape, not slim down. I don’t really fancy very slim people. But sometimes, I want to reduce my tummy and all of that, but getting slim is not my thing. I just like the whole figure eight thing.
With what figure, do you get attention from men?
Yes, of course. It gets attention from everywhere.
Like when you’re walking, they look at you. Sometimes, you want to even cover up, so you wouldn’t get much attention. But when you’re ready to get the attention, you just let it out, like, ‘today, I want to get all the attention I’m seeking for when you go out dressing really really good.’
How do you react when people give you catcalls and you’re not in the mood?
Sometimes, it’s just good to be friendly. Sometimes, when they see your face, they’ll know that okay, ‘she’s not in that mood.’ But when you give them a friendly face, that’s when they can come towards you.
It’s also the view of some people that beauty pageants are just out to patronise women. How has your experience been like?
It depends on who you’re working with. My experience is not like that. The woman that owns the management is not like that.
Are you married or single?
I’m not married.
What do you fancy in men?
A very intelligent, smart and ambitious man is okay for me.
What about riches?
When you’re ambitious and intelligent, I think you will definitely be rich.
Tell me a little bit about the charity you’re driving
It’s the Sandra Anthony Foundation. It was started some months after I became Crown Queen. It was supposed to be my pet project over a year but I’m not looking at just a year. I’m looking at as time goes on.
Sandra Anthony Foundation is basically here to fight against cervical cancer. I’ve gotten three screening centres. I’ve gotten my professionals – the doctors, the nurses. I even have a free day that ladies can go for free screening which is on Fridays at Surulere, Lagos.
Have people been benefiting from it?
Yes, a lot. Some people call me and tell me ‘thank you for directing me to this place.’ I remember I met and took a girl there. Immediately she got there, she started calling her family members – her sisters, her mother – everybody started coming. At the end, everybody was like, ‘thank you for bringing us here.’ Things like that make me happy. And I’ve gone to different events where I talk to young students that they should come and they have been turning up.
Why did you pick to talk about cervical cancer?
People don’t know about cervical cancer at all. Most people know about breast cancer but people don’t about cervical cancer and it’s more deadly. When you have breast cancer, you see some signs but with cervical cancer, you cannot, except you go to the hospital to get yourself screened. And it doesn’t give you any effect until it is there. But when you go for your early screening and they see some signs of you getting this disease, they treat it fast, give you vaccine and all of that. But if you keep it for a longer time, the consequences is there.
Apart from being the current Miss Curvy Nigeria, what else do you do?
I was into interior decoration before even discovering I could go into modelling. I’m an actress too. I’ve done some movies, though I’ve not taken it seriously. I have a lot to do with my Foundation and I have to build it up real good.
What’s your view on feminism?
Most times, I think because of the way the world is globally changing, women do jobs that men do these days, women pay their bills, take care of themselves, take care of the family. So, they don’t see any need for a man to even come into their life.
Some women want to even give birth and they dint need any man controlling their life. So, I feel that is why this feminism is coming up. But we Africans, we’re always under men. Men are the head of the home, they always take care of the family. Even though you’re very, very rich, you also need a man to take good care of you.
So, will you like to have a man in charge?
Yes, I think so, because there is always a time when you get home and see someone you can actually talk to and you know you have a family, you’re building a home. I think there a kind of happiness that comes with it.
When do you see yourself getting married?
I don’t know. God’s time is the best.
What are your hobbies?
I like travelling even though I don’t really like flying. I don’t like going by road either. If I can just appear and disappear, I would tour the world. I like listening to music and reading books.
What is something weird about you?
I’m not a weird person. I don’t think I like anything weird.
A word for plus-sized people
Everybody has their different bodies with different things that fit. Plus-size ladies should wear what would fit them instead of looking for skinny clothes and it wouldn’t fit them. And most plus-size ladies feel shy in front of camera which is not good because you don’t even know where your luck is coming from.
So, you’re not afraid to flaunt your body?
No, not at all.
As a model, can you pose nude?
I cannot because everybody has what they work with. Some are bikini models. I have people I work with, so, they wouldn’t want that. You can’t see Queen Elizabeth showing her body. I was a model before I became a queen. And there are certain things a queen is not allowed to do. So maybe, when I’m done being a queen.
After your reign then, how far can show your body?
Just in a bikini suit, not nude.