Here are five female celebrities who were at some point beauty queens.

Before becoming superstars and household names they were not just beautiful women but beauty queens.

Over the last six or seven decades, beauty pageantry has become of the most likely way a female celebrity is birthed. Yes, guys, these women go from pageant contestants to becoming beauty queens.

What follows next is mostly dependent on the team around these women or simply their talent. It is one thing to be a beauty queen with that infectious smile, amazing figure that can land you contracts at the New York Fashion Week but it also another thing to have a plan B in case those goals do not materialise.

Back home in Nigeria, we’ve seen some of these beauty queens rebrand themselves from the stereotypical category they are always associated with, to becoming popular and influential figures. Here are five female celebrities who were at some point beauty queens.

1. Ufuoma Mcdermott

Ufuoma Mcdermott stands out in this group because of the amount of beauty pageant crowns she has to her shelf. The Delta state born beauty and noticeably tall actor started her journey towards stardom in 2002 when she started taking part in beauty pageants.

After winning a number of them, she hit the jackpot in 2004 when she contested in the Miss Nigeria beauty pageant where she emerged 1st runner up. She went on to be crowned Miss Earth Nigeria 2004. She went on to represent Nigeria in Miss Earth 2004.

It’s no news that after returning to the country from that pageant that Ufuoma decided to join Nollywood. It is safe to say her sojourn to Nollywood has been one of the most successful shifts for any beauty queen. She has starred in numerous movies and even gone home with several awards. She is married to Steven McDermott and they are blessed with two beautiful children.

2. Stephanie Okereke-Linus

While several beauty queens made a shift to other careers after taking part in pageantries, Stephanie Okereke-Linus actually started acting as a teenager. The Imo state born actress took part in the 2002 edition of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria where she emerged runner.

It was no herculean task for the beautiful actress to go back to Nollywood. She became the toast of many producers as everyone wanted her in their movie.

Okereke has starred and directed many projects in Nollywood. She got married to Linus Idahosa in Paris, France, at a private wedding ceremony. The couple is blessed with a son.

3. Munachi Abii

Sentiments aside, Munachi Abii is probably one of the most beautiful women to have ever taken part in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant and won. The Port Harcourt born beauty queen took part in the beauty pageant in 2007 while in her second year at Benson Idahosa University.

It didn’t come as a surprise that she won the contest that year. Just like every beauty queen, she ran an NGO for a while but it was apparent that she was passionate about something else. In no distant time, Abii’s music career began to game more grounds than her crown as a beauty queen.

She has worked with several music stars in the country including PSquareJ MartinsWaje where she featured in her hit single ‘So Inspired.’ She appeared in rapper Suspect‘s video for ‘I No Send You.’

4. Regina Askia

Unarguably the most beautiful actress to have ever hit the TV screens in Nigeria, Regina Askia was a beauty queen just in case you missed that part of her profile. Askia was always a beauty at every stage of her life. While studying at the University of Lagos, she was crowned Miss Unilag.

It didn’t end there as she went to content for the 1988 edition of Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. She came second to Bianca Ojukwu nee Onoh. However, the following year after Bianca resigned, she was crowned the MBGN.

This was just the beginning of greater things ahead for her as she started modelling for different major brands in the early 1990s. Stardom came calling in 1993 when she starred in the popular TV drama series ‘Fortune.’ Regina Askia went on to become one of the biggest actors of her time. She presently resides in the United States of America with her husband and kids.

5. Osas Ighodaro

Osas Ighodaro might be one of the youngest on this list but she is one of the biggest celebrities in Nigeria at the moment. Another thing that makes her stand out on this list is that she won her beauty pageant in the United States of America. She was Miss Black USA Pageant in 2010.

The Pennsylvania State University-trained journalist moved back to Nigeria a few years ago to kick start her acting career and there has been no holding back. Ighodaro has starred in many major movies and TV series (Tinsel).

Her presenting skills are top-notch which earned the co-hosting gig at the 2014 edition of Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards. She was married to Gbenro Ajibade for about three years before the marriage crashed. They have a child together.