Inside the Private Life of Munachi Abii
EX-BEAUTY QUEEN MUNACHI ABII Mesmerizing in beauty. Eclectic in artistry. Shrewd in the enterprise. Unforgettable in memories. She came. She saw. She is conquering. With her enchanting, fluorescent eyeballs, she makes everyone stop in their tracks; her seemingly sculptured, captivating body shape fits the image of a princess. Nigeria’s most beautiful girl she was but the passage of time has not eroded her grace, goodness, and gumption. Munachi Abii is an enchantress. An alluring personality both physically and mentally. As a beauty, she melts hearts. As an artiste, TV presenter, model, and songwriter, she dazzles them all. Most recently, Munachi shares with Funke Olaode her latest mission as an ex-beauty queen in a beauty product enterprise
Munachi Abii. That sure sounds like an exotic name. The bearer is an eclectic personality. One of Nigeria’s many women of substance. In her blossom of youth, she captured the imagination of the world simply but sensationally. As she carried her elegant, graceful figure, with an enduring smile flashing on her pristine face and a shimmering crown sitting delicately on her beautiful tresses, the audience bowed in ovation to the newly-crowned most beautiful girl in Nigeria. She was just 20 years old in 2007 when fame and fortune struck.
Mesmerizing in beauty. Eclectic in artistry. Shrewd in the enterprise. Unforgettable in memories. She came. She saw. She is conquering. With her enchanting, fluorescent eyeballs, she makes everyone stop in their tracks; her seemingly sculptured, captivating body shape fits the image of a princess. Nigeria’s most beautiful girl she was but the passage of time has not eroded her grace, goodness, and gumption. Munachi Abii is an enchantress. An alluring personality both physically and mentally. As a beauty, she melts hearts. As an artiste, TV presenter, model, and songwriter, she dazzles them all. Most recently, Munachi has her hands in the beauty product enterprise
Munachi’s rise to superstardom is often understated -understandably so. She’s not an attention-seeking, media-obsessive celebrity.
Munachi’s hard work, artistic ingenuity, pristine beauty, and business acumen have always spoken for her. Her true beauty, as time and events have attested to, is not skin-deep. Beneath her supple, glowing skin, shapely body and effervescent face is a brain that separates her from the pack. She is the pick of the pack.
Even at that, she remains an unsung heroine. And that, maybe, is her own doing. She makes privilege look like a right.
That moment that she was crowned Nigeria’s most beautiful girl in Nigeria, Munachi admits, was a defining moment in her life. As her life evolves, it will also appear that the moment has remained enduring, overlapping other facets of her life even more than a decade after.
“The crown gave me access to take my dreams a step further. For that, I am most grateful,” says Munachi.
Yet, Muna, as she is fondly called, had always been rising before that moment of crowning glory. Before she became a beauty queen, she had been rocking the microphone as a rap artiste. Her mellifluous voice, swagger, and artistry ensured that she was not just your average young lady. Munachi was part of the Port Harcourt-based rap group, The Specimen A.
There’s more to her ingenuity. Muna also writes songs: J. Martins and Waje can testify to that. Back in the days, she featured in several music videos, most notably in the defunct PSquare’s song, Ifunanya.
It is on record that Muna was one of the female rappers to feature and represent Nigeria on the globally televised BET Cypher for the BET Awards in 2011, and in April 2012, Muna released two singles: Here To Stay and Down Down Low.
As a woman of substance and many parts, Muna’s creativity transcends just singing, rapping and writing songs. Her lungs are bursting with ideas.
“I still write and produce music,” she replies when asked if her foray into music had ended. “But my understanding of music has evolved to incorporate other things such as film and photography.”
Inasmuch as Munachi wants to stay a private person, she has often not been able to evade public glare. As an ex-beauty queen and an avant-garde rapper, it’s inevitable that she remains in public consciousness. How will she handle that?
“I’d love for Nigerians not to have any expectations when it comes to Munachi,” the former most beautiful girl in Nigeria says, adding, “and to just accept her, however, she chooses to present herself.”
As a youngster, born and raised in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, Munachi was encouraged and supported by her family to pursue her passion for music and arts. After obtaining her O level qualifications from the Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuloma, she studied International Relations and Diplomacy at the Benson Idahosa University.
Yet, life was not a bed of roses for Munachi. As she followed her heart and art, she had to contend with reality back then that the rap genre was not a Nigerian ‘thing’. But she stuck to her gun. In the end, Munachi became a source of inspiration to herself.
“The only difficulty I experienced was the lack of proper promotion,” she explains. “I believe that anything is marketable with the right promotion. ‘Nigerian’ or ‘non-Nigerian’.”
Munachi also embraced modelling and became the face of a multinational, Unilever. She signed an endorsement deal as a model for Lux, thereby following in the footsteps of Patti Boulaye and Nollywood diva, Genevieve Nnaji.
Unassuming as she appears, Munachi has not been able to steer clear of glitz and grandeur.
Munachi joined a privileged league of celebrities who have set up various enterprises in the beauty industry as she launched her range of beauty products called BerryWorks.
Munachi’s trajectory is like a beautiful tapestry. Munachi is the personification of reinvention. Her staying power lies in her belief: the belief that she can do it. And she does not just do it. She does it in style.
BerryWorks was inspired by her need to find a product good for her body and will not have collateral damage on her skin.
“Well, I felt it was a natural path to follow,” she answers regarding the reason she ventured into skincare.
“The beauty of it is that it is not restricted to my age alone. It is for every gender from age 18 to 45.”
Some skin care products have not stayed long in the market. The reason is not farfetched. The beauty market is a stiff and saturated one. As one of the new entrants, people are wondering if Munachi has got what it takes to get her fair share of and remain in the competitive industry.
“Oh yes!” says Munachi enthusiastically.
Why is she that confident?
She explains: “Because BerryWorks is 100 percent organically sourced and produced. It is the only skincare product in Africa that consists predominantly of berries and herbs. Our customers can follow us on Instagram @berry.works to place an order.”
For Munachi, the last dozen years have gripped and shaped her. She has ridden the tide with panache and perseverance. What is her staying power?
“My staying power?” she begins. “I don’t know about staying power.
“I just live my life one day at a time. Again, my mental disposition is to constantly choose peace and respect for all I encounter.”
Munachi also points out that her life’s trajectory is not a byproduct of coincidence. As a well-organized and thoughtful young woman, she has always dreamt of her moves.
She attests to that saying, “Nothing is a coincidence. Everything I am today, I (have) always desired to accomplish.”
Munachi says further, “Well, we live in an era where it is advisable to have multiple streams of income which means, it’s a great moment in time for multifaceted individuals such as myself to thrive.
“Munachi is an artist and as such, my passion will find its way through any spectrum of art it can pass through.” One of the hurdles Munachi had to cross was her desire to please everyone, leading her to give up at times.
Munachi recalls, “In the past, I concerned myself with timing and I was always anxiously pleasing people. In that mindset, I gave up many times. Now I follow what gives me joy and I share it with the world and leave the rest.
“When your actions come from love, you never quit. And at times, the experiences become documented as art.”
Fame and fortune are things she does not consider synonymous with her name. Even though many Nigerians know Munachi, she says, “I still don’t consider myself famous and I don’t think about it.”
She adds, “I stay private.”
In Nigerian society, women are often considered ‘incomplete’ without a man by their side. But Munachi’s response to the question, ‘Who’s her ideal man?’, was an intriguing “I only concern myself with myself.”
Well, what about how she wards off male admirers? Munachi answers matter-of-factly, “I ignore advances.”
So far, so good, Munachi believes her life has been. Nothing to change even if she had the chance to turn back the hands of time.
Munachi is a serious-minded lady. She hardly entertains frivolity. In society generally referred to as a man’s world, she holds her head high. She detests the idea that every success of a man boils down to hard work but every accomplishment of a woman can only be attributed to ‘bottom power’.
“I don’t pay attention to comments that don’t serve me,” says Munachi. With a fluorescent countenance, supple skin, Munachi’s skin radiates beauty. How does she stay beautiful?
In three words, she reveals the secret: “I use BerryWorks.”
An eclectic woman used to the klieg light, Munachi keeps things simple in style. When she is not doing her arts, she sleeps, eats. Besides, she does yoga when she can and she loves to laugh a lot.
Munachi is ending this year on a good note with her BerryWorks skincare products as she admits that life may pose its challenges, she will remain true to herself as she conquers her fears.