By Niyi Tabiti
In this interview with http://www.niyitabiti.blogspot.com/, Helen Prest Ajayi tells GISTMASTER the secret of her stunning look 29 years after she won the coveted crown of Miss Nigeria 1979.She also sought her opinion on whether or not it is true that ladies who engage in too much sexual intercourse age faster than the clock.
What are your plans for age 50?
I am looking forward to turning fifty next year. I intend to spend it with family and friends that I have met over the years. You know the people you meet in your life shape your life so i hope to get in touch with many people I have lost touch with. People say life begins at 40. That may be true for a man, but for a woman in actual fact life begins at 50. At 40 you're still grappling with raising children and juggling all kinds of situations.
If you're lucky and had your children a little bit early, lets say in your late twenties and early thirties like i did, in your 4o's they would just about be going into secondary school and if you had children in your late thirties like most women do these days they would be still be in primary school. So a woman really only gets to have breathing space to concentrate fully on her own goals and ambitions when she's in her 50's that's the reality of life on ground.
Do you think you have achieved all you set out to achieve at 50?
Not at all! You should never stop achieving 'till the day you die. Life is a work in progress.
What do you do to keep fit because at this age you still look stunning and irresistible?
Thank you for the compliment. Keeping fit and youthful is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. Once you are fully engaged in life, have an open mind, try new things, embrace young friends and old alike, keep up with technology and find humour in whatever situation you may find yourself in, you will keep young.
Having said that, I think the best exercise in the world is dancing and laughter. Laughter for the face and dancing for the body..I love to dance. What advise do you have for Nigerian girls?Be quietly confident in your abilities. Don't give up and don't give in.Whatever people may say or think about you, don't believe them.
You know who you are and you know what you're capable of. Don't let society pigeonhole you into being what you don't want to be. People tend to draw others back from things they secretly would have lovedto do but are not capable of or daring enough to do. Look at me, when I won Miss Nigeria in 1979, they said oh! Beauty Queens never do well at school. As far as I was concerned Ifelt that this was a discriminatory tactic against pretty girls that has been going on for years, even 'til today and I wanted to debunk that.
The covert implication of that message is 'If you are beautiful - you must be dumb!' Of course my winning not only disproved that totally. Not only was I a contestant as a law undergraduate, I did not take a year out, I combined my duties as Miss Nigeria with my academics and graduated along with my peers. I also graduated from law school went on to do my National Youth core service, then went on to obtain a masters degree in Law (LLM) from the prestigious Kings College University London. At least that put paid to the matter of being bautiful and dumb. I was then dubbed 'Beauty with Brains'.(that i also find condscending as if it is an oddity).
People also said if you were a beauty Queen you would never find a husband and probably not have children. Utter rubbish! Every man who'se a real man and has what it takes to be a man, want's to have a beautiful wife. I got married well before many of my peers and have three lovely children so that theory was debunked as well. In fact thereafter almost 90% of Nigeria's beauty queens are married with children.
My standing my ground inspite of stiff overt and covert opposition, enabled other young girls to follow their dreams and express themselves. I'm strongly of the opinion that people should be allowed to express themselves in their youth otherwise how can you be able to find your creative spirit? It is only in your youth you can experiment before the cares of the world have settled on your shoulders.As a Nigerian girl you should remember the only real weapon you have is your brain - so use iteffectively! We are now in the information age where mental capability rules.
In a global economy it is creativity that drives development ie creativity born out of mental activity. In the new global economy where brain power is the commodity that powers the world people pay for creativity and creativity is produced by those who can think. In addition to that I would say a mantra for good living would be, stay engaged with life, stay healthy, keep fit and above all look good!
Is it true that when girls have too many sex patners when they are young, they get old quickly?
What ages people is unhappines and dissapointment- not sex! Obviously too many sex partners at any age, let alone in your youth, signifies instability. It means that you have not been able to bond long enough with someone to experience a long term stable relationship and the fulfillment and joy that brings. Of course that's a recipe for unhappiness and unhappines is extremely ageing. The only advice I give to my daughters and which I pass on to you is, it makes tactical sense not to have sexual partners when you are young because it will only reduce your pool of eligible candidates when you are ready to settle down. By that time there would be no more mystery left in you for them to discover.
N.B-Readers can also link up with her website-http://www.mylifestylesolutions.com/