By Amaechi Agbo.
In this interview with The News Chronicle’s Editor, Amaechi Agbo, Miss Christian Ambassador of Nigeria, Blessing Utanug Michalel, speaks about her joy in being on the throne, her pet project, the killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna and lots more.
TNC: Recently you were crowned the Queen of Christian Ambassador of Nigeria, How did you feel achieving this feat?
Queen Blessing: I am very happy about that because it has been my dream and it is a fulfilled dream for me.
TNC: Congratulations on your queenship
Queen Blessing: I give glory to God. Thank you so much.
TNC: Could you tell us about your beginning?
Queen Blessing: My name is Blessing Utanug Michalel. I am from Cross River State, Nigeria. I am from Bekwara Local Government, precisely. I am the seventh child from a family of eight. Educationally, I am an undergraduate, studying Computer Science at the National Open University of Nigeria.
I am called to preach the gospel; help youths to discover their purpose in life, manifest their vision and fulfill their destiny.
TNC: What does the CAN beauty contest aim to achieve?
Queen Blessing: It is not CAN beauty contest, it is Christian beauty contest. It is called Miss Christian Ambassador of Nigeria. And it is not organized by CAN, but endorsed by CAN. This is because CAN as a body has their vision, they are the largest ecumenical body in Africa and they centre around bringing people together, bringing the whole Churches together and fulfilling the scripture that says ‘they may be one’.
There is this NGO called Young Life Support Network. It is a christian-based NGO that came in to also contribute to the body of Christ by organizing a Christian beauty pageant.
One, to distract our ladies from going into the world and sacrificing their body to the devil and from all manner of things that happen in the worldly beauty pageant.
Secondly, they discovered that beauty contest started from the Bible when Queen Esther was crowned queen for such a time as that. So that shows that God had a mandate for Esther which was fulfilled in the palace and that was why the beauty contest was organized. It was not because of any other thing. The NGO deemed it necessary to bring it back to the church thereby distracting our ladies from going into the world and bringing them instead, into the church.
Thirdly, to raise young ministers in the body of Christ. So the Miss Christian Ambassador of Nigeria was organized by Young Life support Network but was fully endorsed by CAN.
TNC: How long is your reign?
Queen Blessing: My reign is for one year.
TNC: When was the contest held?
Queen Blessing: It was held on the 27th of October 2016.
TNC: What is your pet project like?
Queen Blessing: My pet project as a Christian beauty queen that represents the icon of oneness, just as the councilor that says ‘that they may be one’, is to visit the churches and communities to preach the message of oneness of body of Christ. And also to evangelize Jesus to those who have not known him.
Personally, what I am bringing to the office is centred around the soldiers’ widows. Our soldiers who went to fight for us but didn’t come back; we want to see how we can empower their wives. Their husbands went to fight for the freedom of the people but could not come back. We want to take Jesus to them as a comforter and as a hope. We will look at what we can do to empower them so that they can have a good standard of living.
TNC: Your project is quite extraordinary. How do you aim to achieve this? In other words, how do you plan to get in touch with the widows of the soldiers?
Queen Blessing: First of all, I believe I can do all things through God who supplies the strength. I am having a good intention and I believe I can work with the Nigerian military to get the statistics which I have started already. I will also write to the churches to come out and support this project.
TNC: Apart from the fact that you are the Christian queen ambassador, you have been a motivational speaker; encouraging the youths to become that which God has created them to be. What gives you the inspiration as a motivational speaker?
Queen Blessing: I will quote Jesus here, (laughs). Jesus said, ‘for this reason, I was born’. So my motivational speaking or preaching is in-built. In fact, it is just me; it is as I was. I am born for it and that is what composes me.
The inspiration comes from God; and the society we are born into alone is an inspiration. Because you can sit and see it with the eyes of your mind the environment you are in, things going wrong, going the way they should not go. So with that you can immediately respond to the eyes of your mind if things should be going this way which is not supposed to go like that, I think this way is better. And from there you will start thinking of giving people the kind of orientation that will bring out positive result.
So my inspiration is from God and that is what I am born to do.
TNC: Do you get sponsors in your motivational outreach?
Queen Blessing: I don’t think I need a sponsor or support in that regard. Just as I said before, it is my calling; it is what I am born to do. So the highest support I have is from God. And what is the support? The support is giving me the voice which is necessary and when it matters most.
TNC: Does it require professional training for one to become a motivational speaker?
Queen Blessing: Yes and no. people go for speech training to become a speaker: to be eloquent, to be good and excellent. But I normally say that I am an anointed speaker. I didn’t get any training for what I am doing. I didn’t go to school to learn it, but I was trained by God. I just found out and started speaking.
For me, my own case is different because I didn’t go to school to learn how to speak or to get inspiration from somewhere. I just found out and when I started speaking, people are connecting to my message and it is yielding fruits.
TNC: Before becoming the Christian Ambassador of Nigeria Queen, you have been a prolific speaker and recently you launched a book. What were you aiming to achieve by writing the book?
Queen Blessing: My passion for my vision, as I stated earlier, is helping youths discover their purpose, manifest their vision, and fulfill their destiny. Aside that, I have the passion to influence every stratum of life with God’s kingdom principles. So, I am a kingdom ambassador and with that I can reach out through writing which God has given the ability to do.
So I wrote a book on youthful effectiveness which is aimed at bringing out the glory of our youths which is hidden in their ignorance. Also helping youths achieve that which they struggle to achieve. That is why I wrote the book.
The book was not actually launched per se; rather it was unveiled by my local church. The official launching is this year.
TNC: Let us go back to the issue of beauty pageant, how many contestants did you contest with and what gave you the upper hand among them?
Queen Blessing: Well, the position I occupy now has been ordained even before the foundation of the world, according to the scripture. This happened in order to fulfill God’s Word, otherwise it does not mean I am the most beautiful, or eloquent.
In fact, I am not even the most spiritual. What happened was that I saw the contest online; a link appeared on my Facebook, Miss Christian Ambassador of Nigeria. When I clicked on it, I was like ‘wow, a Christian pageant!’ Then I decided to check what I can go for because I have always loved to work for God. I clicked on the link and read through and saw what I wanted; exactly what I wanted. So I applied. The form was N5, 000 and I paid for it. The screening, I scaled through; it was also an online screening. We did not see our organisers. In fact, I did not see my organisers. Everything was online; the application, and the screening.
I only paid through bank and filled my form online. I applied, was screened and luckily for me, I was called to the CAN secretariat for oral interview. When I came, they sent us back and told us that the pageant is going to hold on the 3rd of October. That was last year. After a while, I was called back again and I was told that the pageant was meant to set a precedent after other pageants. They told me that ‘we are not judging you by beauty, catwalk or whatever. We are judging people based on composure, etiquettes, the knowledge of the Bible and relationship with God’.
I was surprised when they told me that they have been following my post on Facebook and they saw what they wanted. They were monitory my posts on all my social media platforms which I never knew. They judging us based on how we react to and answer questions they asked us. I never knew all these. Then on the last day I was called to come to the CAN Secretariat to be scrutinized by the YOWICAN President. After some interactions, the next thing was that I was presented to the CAN National President, for crowning. That was how I was crowned the Christian Ambassador Queen of Nigeria. I was officially crowned by the CAN President on the 21st November, 2016 in his office.
TNC: What is YOWICAN?
Queen Blessing: YOUWICAN means Youth Wing of CAN. In other words, it means the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
TNC: Considering your position as a motivational speaker and now the CAN Queen, do you really have your private life to live?
Queen Blessing: (Laughs) The source of my life, I am still within the environment I function or live because what gives me life is the presence of God. So I am happy that everything about my life is still just within the environment I can function best.
For my private life, it is still the same circle of God’s presence. I am still very ok, I live as a normal person, there is no different me there, and me here. How I feel in my closet is how I feel in the public; on the stage as a motivational speaker, on the throne as the queen and in my closest as Blessing Michael, I remain just the same person.
TNC: You have been a public figure, how do you handle male overtures; men or rather, guys who have crush on you and then approach you for relationship?
Queen Blessing: Well, it is a normal thing for every young lady, especially when you are a public figure. But one thing I have promised myself is never to mix up my private life with my throne. Therefore, I handle them in God’s way. What I mean by God’s way is that I know what I am up to, where I am; things I should not do. There are things that I should not do or accept at a time. So I handle them in a way that they will not feel bad and they will not also want to distract my vision in life.
TNC: The desire of every young lady is to settle down with a young man of her dream. When is our queen planning to settle down?
Queen Blessing: (Laughs). Well, I am not God. However, hopefully after handing over my crown, I wish to.
TNC: In other word, somebody is on board?
Queen Blessing: I don’t want to talk about that (amidst laughter)
TNC: A lot of youths out there wish to be like you; they see you as their role model. What advice do you have for the youths out there?
Queen Blessing: My advice to every young person I have ever met is; you are a unique person, you have a unique personality; being a youth alone is worth living. Even if peradventure you didn’t cross to the other stage of life – I am not praying that anyone should die prematurely – but being a youth alone, is worth living. You need to discover who you are; discover your potentials within you. You are just unique the way you are and you will see yourself responding positively to the way you are. In everything you want to do or be, don’t try to imitate someone; don’t even imitate me who is talking to you because I will want to meet your person.
Your person should be unique enough even to contribute to my person. So what I want you to do is to find whom you are and build whom you are. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone else. What is going on these days is that our young boys and girls are trying to imitate the celebrities, especially the musicians. Now everybody wants to be a musician because Wizkid, Davido and so many of them made it as musicians and they are very young and rich. But the point is that, I do tell people, there is acquired destiny and fulfilled destiny.
TNC: How do you explain the two?
Queen Blessing: Thank you. Acquired destiny can flourish too, in the sense that I can have the gift of singing and I see someone singing, for instance, Tiwa Savage, is the queen’s goddess and I want to sing like her. So I imitate her by doing all she does. But what we do not understand is that there are a lot of requirements in acquired destiny and in as much as you meet those requirements, you are there. But that is not your fulfilled destiny. That is not what you are born to do. That is not the hunger down the inside of you even though you are rich at that. That is why you see so many rich people still longing and searching for what they do not know.
But fulfilled destiny is finding what you are born to do. Even though, you didn’t become so rich and well-recognised; may be a public figure or number one person in the world, but there is inner joy and fulfillment within you and there is satisfaction within you. But you can boldly say at any point in time when you are done, that you have finished the course and have fought a good fight.
TNC: Finally, the Christian community is mourning the recent killings in Kaduna. What is your message to the victims and the brethren there?
Queen Blessing: I have released a press statement on this in which I said that Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram are not threats to Christians rather they are an obligation. What I mean by that is, in spite of what is happening, they are never threats to the Christian community because there is a saying that the gate of hell shall never prevail. What we are expected to do at every point of time is to pray that those souls will win in the kingdom. My message to those who are affected and the families is that may God of all comforts comfort them and my prayer to the whole issue is that God Almighty will intervene and keep proving to men that he is king and the lord over all others. May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.
TNC: Amen. Thank you for your time, your Queenship.
Queen Blessing: (laughing) May God bless you, thanks for coming.