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Why I went into auto repairs –Vanessa Chioma Iwuchukwu



Why I went into auto repairs –Vanessa Chioma Iwuchukwu

Vanessa Chioma Iwuchukwu is the new Face of Candy City, Miss Tourism. She is a budding entrepreneur who went into partnership with her dad to go into auto repairs. She tells EDWIN USOBOH why she’s passionate about championing the cause of bringing history lessons back to school through her pet project, TRACE and how she intends to handle advances from the opposite sex


What was growing up like?

I grew up in a family of seven and my parents lived in Imo State, I lived with them. I had my secondary education in Imo State and at 16, I finished. I wrote my jamb at 17, I’m presently in the higher institution.


What made you to join the pageant?

Well, a lot of things. When the contest started, everybody started discouraging me that I shouldn’t go because I wasn’t sure of winning but I never gave in because I’m a goal getter. I don’t think beauty pageant is all about beauty. There are lots of girls out there who are more beautiful than me and also contesting. But, I got to know about Face of Candy City, online because every day I check for several auditions online before I finally got this.


What will you say stands you out among your co-contestants?

I don’t really think is the beauty because at the contest we had 364 contestants and all of them were really beautiful; a lot of people lost out because it was highly competitive. Everyone at the contest was above 6ft and we were like three below 6ft, two of them left but I never did. Rather, I would say it is the confidence I displayed; I don’t have low self-esteem, I don’t fell less before anybody. I just believe in myself and believe who I am.


When you were pronounced the winner, what was running through our mind?

I was crying, because I never expected it. I am sure nobody expected me to be the winner because I was noticed at the camp.


Now that you have won, what has it done for you?

It has given me a lot of things; it has given me the platform to be well recognized. For instance, the project I am running right now is all about Tourism and is called TRACE and is going to touch a lot of people both in Nigeria and in the diaspora.


With the fame you have, how will you handle the opposite sex?

I think I should just focus on what I’m working on presently; I’m a lady and I should know how to handle it.


How do you intend to stay away from controversy?

They will come but I think controlling that should be your personal decision if you want that to get into you or not but sometimes when you don’t want it to get into you, people see you like a rude person, like someone who doesn’t socialise, but they don’t know that socialising come with a lot of things, that’s just it.


You are Miss Tourism now, definitely it will cut you off from some people; how do you intend to still carry your friends along?

I think as a beauty queen, I need to appreciate people, whether my friends or not. I will have to treat everybody equally, no one is too exceptional, and everyone is equal.


Define your style?

I love wears like evening dresses, short dresses.


Who are the Nigerian fashion designers that you like?

I like Swanky Jerry.


How do you unwind?

I prefer to chat, visit social media platforms, because I hardly go out.


What are you passionate about?

My passion is just to see people around me happy; I love children a lot too.


Tell us about your love life.

I don’t have a relationship; I’m just trying to get a love life.


As Miss Tourism, you will be exposed to a lot of things, are you ready to sacrifice for the fame?

Sacrificing for the fame is a different thing; I just need to do what I can and leave the rest.


To every glory, there is a story, what will you say was the greatest challenge you faced and how were you able to overcome them?

I had a lot of challenges during the contest, at that point, I was in Owerri, I had no means of coming to Lagos and during that time, we had issues in Imo State and coming to Lagos wasn’t easy for me, even while I was at the camp, I had no money. A lot of things happened.

What is so peculiar about your pet project?

The project is about discovering a lot of tourist centres in Nigeria and also educate us about our history, because a lot of people in Nigeria don’t really know their history, background; they don’t even know their root, where they came from. Right now, some schools in the country don’t even teach their students history lessons anymore. So, we are looking at this project (Trace project) addressing all of these issues.

If you bring out a Nigerian pupil and ask of his or her background, they don’t know it because they are not taught anymore. If someone can bring this back, I think it will do us all good in this country because people will know where they come from.


It’s a huge project you about to embark on. How do you intend to go about it?

Yea, we intend to start up in our little way first because I believe once the project starts a lot of people will be interested in partnering or sponsoring the project. It is a project that will be beneficial to every Nigeria and I am sure people would want to know more about their history. Also, I we intend to involve the government of my state, Imo State, Lagos State, NDDC boss, and a few other Nigerian who are willing and ready to support in their little ways.

So, what other things should Nigerians expect from you?

I’m an entrepreneur running an auto diagnosis Centre in Owerri called Autovance Repairs; it a family business. Is located at the modern mechanic village, the structure was built by us so it is very well planned.

As a model, what do you have to do with auto repairs?

I will say that for the past 22 years my dad has been into that, so we are kind of running a partnership now.

Looking back as a beauty queen and as an entrepreneur, what will you say is the secret of your success?

I think in life we just need to create an idea for ourselves, we don’t need to wait for the government. Some people look for job around when they are done in school; I don’t think that works for me, it never worked for me. As an entrepreneur we need to think of something new, anything can bring you out, just be determined. When I was doing Autovence, people were like how can I be doing men business but I told them there is no business meant for anybody as long as you can manage it yourself and being an entrepreneur doesn’t require much money, it’s just an idea, you don’t need millions to become somebody because there are people that have millions but they don’t know what to use it for, there are people who started business with N1, 000 and they are big today.

We have a lot of beauty pageantry springing up every day in the country. What is your advice to a young girl who wants to go into pageantry?

First, they don’t need to be too desperate; they should always follow due process because no one is exceptional when it comes to beauty pageant.

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