A total of 120 contestants is jostling for the 2020 Mr and Miss Nigeria International (MMNI) as contestants from 10 countries compete for Mr and Miss International Africa (MMIA).
The organisers, Brendance and Crusader Ltd. (BCL), gave the figures in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
Bredan Nsikak, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BCL, told NAN that the registration for the competitions, extended from May 31, ended on Thursday (June 25).
Nsikak said that the 120 contestants would participate in the audition for the MMNI contest tagged: “Rebirth Edition 2020”.
He noted that 2020 MMNI audition had more entries than the last edition which recorded 110 entries and produced Denis Idara and Peter Abah as the 2019/2020 MMNI.
“The registration for the two pegeants, which had been on and was extended, has ended today, and 120 contestants met the requirement for the MMNI audition restricted to Nigerians, and we have confirmed them.
“We will be having contestants from 10 African countries for the MMIA pegeant which the current MMNI King and Queen will be representing our country,” he said.
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The CEO attributed the increase in the number of contestants for MMNI to the COVID-19-induced restrictions which, he said, made more people to have time for the contest.
He added that no fewer than 25 aspiring contestants were disqualified due to age falsification, as the age limit was pegged at minimum of 18 years and maximum of 28 years.
According to him, the audition to begin on July 1, would be virtual since social distancing is still bein observed across the country.
“More contestants turned out this year, most likely because of the lockdown as they have more time; we screened out the overage and underage.
“Coronavirus is spreading; this is the reason we are going virtual for the audition starting next week, although there might be direct audition,” he said.
According to him, the grand finale is billed for October at the Muson Center, Lagos State, after auditions in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Imo and Benue which would hold in batches.
He gave the participating countries for the MMIA to include Ghana, Ivory Coast, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroun and host, Nigeria.