Agbani Asenite Darego popularly known as Agbani Darego is a Nigerian beauty queen, model and a former “Miss World”. She is best known as the first native African to win the prestigious “Miss World” beauty pageant held in China. She was born on 22nd December 1982 in Lagos in the western part of Nigeria to a family of eight children.
She is currently 34 years old. At the age of 2 years old, she relocated to Port Harcourt in River State in the southern part of Nigeria and was raised in D-line. She is a native of Abonnema, a small village in River State, Nigeria but was born in Lagos, Nigeria.
Agbani Darego attended Bereton Nursery and primary school. At the age of 10 years old, she was sent to a boarding school in a bid to shield her from her mother who had become very ill with breast cancer.
Agbani Darego’s mother died two years later when she was just 12 years old and the loss of her mother prepared her for the future in the bit to fulfill her mother’s wish. As a teenager, Agbani Darego longed to be a model and despite her father’s disagreement with that, she went further and auditioned for the M-Net Face of Africa Modeling Competition, but was not chosen as a finalist.
After completing her secondary school education, Agbani Darego proceeded to University of Port Harcourt in River State, Nigeria to pursue a Degree in Computer Science and Mathematics.
Due to her busy work schedule, Agbani Darego left the University of Port Harcourt and relocated to New York in the United States of America where she was signed to Next Model Management and Ford Models. Few weeks later Agbani Darego enrolled at New York University and graduated in May 2012 with a Degree in Psychology.
On 8th April 2017, Agbani Darego got married to her longtime lover, Ishaya Danjuma, the son of a Billionaire, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma in Marrakesh, Morocco.
In 2001, Agbani Darego contested for the crown of most beautiful girl in Nigeria hosted by Silverbird Television. At the end of the competition, she won and was crowned “Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria” (MBGN).
A few months later she contested for “Miss Universe” held in the United States of America and became the first Nigerian to be place among the top 10 semi-finalists and later finished seventh overall position. She was the only one to wear a maillot as opposed to a bikini during the swimsuit competition.
In November 2001, Agbani Darego created history by becoming the first native African to win the “Miss World” Beauty Pageant held in China. Agbani Darego’s victory was widely welcomed in Nigeria.
The prestigious award she brought to Nigeria made the Nigerian federal government headed by President Olusegun Obasanjo to honor her with the prestigious award of “Member of the Federal Republic” (MFR) which happens to be the highest awards and honor given to a celebrity in Nigeria.
Prior to winning MBGN, Darego featured in print commercials for boutique chain Collectables and following her stint at Miss Universe, she was invited by Naomi Campbell to participate in Frock ‘n’ Roll, a charity fashion show in Barcelona, Spain. After which she negotiated a modeling deal with Donald Trump’s Management to establish links with modeling agencies in America.
Shortly after her reign as Miss World she was represented by the London and Paris branches of Next Model Management and landed a three-year contract deal with L’Oreal, becoming the only second Black model to accomplish this feat after Vanessa Williams and was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.
Agbani Darego has judged numerous beauty pageants shows, fashion and modeling competitions including Miss World in 2014, Miss England in 2002, Mr. Scotland in 2002 and Elite Model Look Nigeria in 2012 and 2014.
In 2010 she launched a style and fashion reality show “Stylogenic on Nigerian television and three years later she launched her clothing line and collections which include jeans, dresses, sunglasses and bags.
Agbani Darego is currently one of the richest and most influential model in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $3.7 million.
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