Although her family name opens doors of opportunities, Jumai Shaba has taken keen strides to leave a personal imprint. Shaba, host of this year’s Miss Nigeria Reality Show, speaks with Azuka Ogujiuba on her career in television and her humanitarian pursuits
What is your role in Miss Nigeria?
I’m the host of the Miss Nigeria Reality Show, a mentor to the girls and also a secret judge
What do you think of the new Miss Nigeria? Were you also into modelling?
Yes, I am a model, but not a runway model. I have been on several billboards all over Africa and in campaigns and adverts for Dstv and Multichoice for Africa Magic Entertainment on an campaign called “I am Africa”.
What is your relationship with Elohor Aisien?
Elohor Aisien is my friend and also like a sister to me. We went to university together in London. I love working with her because she is very disciplined. As a young woman, Elohor has inspired me in so many ways and has never given up on my dreams.
Your mother, Adebisi Amoke, now married to Dan Musa, was a successful businesswoman made famous by Bisket Supermarket, one of the biggest then in country. What does she do now?
My mom has always been a workaholic and she still is. She retired from the supermarket business a few years ago and ventured into importing and exporting fabrics. She is into property as well.
Has being her daughter put any kind of pressure on you?
Being my mother’s daughter comes with some pressure because she has been such an inspiration to me and many others. My mother has 19 foster children and is heavily involved in church activities and also runs an organisation called Babatunde Hope Foundation named after my brother who passed on a few years ago.
Her name has surely opened doors for you too, right?
My mother’s name has opened doors for business in many ways. But I haven’t used it to gain any advantage in the entertainment industry because I believe in making a name for myself on merit and through hard work. So I guess it’s safe to say that I’m paying my dues gradually.
Are you a fashionista?
I would say I am a fashionista, because I love fashion and I genuinely look forward to the whole process of getting ready – no matter where I’m going. Fashion has become a way of life for me, from my hair to my clothes and to my makeup.
What is your most memorable fashion moment?
My most memorable fashion moment was the dress I wore to host The FAB Awards. It was made by Toju Foyeh and the fabric was from Vlisco. That was a defining and very memorable fashion moment for me.
Which celebrity designer will you like to model for?
I love Roberto Cavalli, Lanre Da Silva Ajayi, Jewel by Lisa, Tiffany Amber, Deola Sagoe and iconic Ivanity
Who in the world would you like to dine with?
I would have said David Beckham, but I have already dined and wined with him when I interviewed him in London. The next on my list would have been Brandy Norwood, but I have interviewed and also spent time with her. So I would love to dine with Kris Jenner because I believe I could learn a thing or two from her, plus people keep comparing me and my sisters to the Kardashians.
If you had the opportunity to flip through a celebrity’s phone, who would that be?
I would love to flip through Beyonce’s phone; she has managed to keep her life so private.
Which celebrity do you think has a near perfect life style?
I would say Beyonce; she would have been more perfect if she talked more about God.
Which celebrity do you think has the sexiest body?
I think Halle Berry’s body is hot and I think Chris Brown is smoking hot.
Which jewellery designer do you think has designs that can stand the test of time?
Chopard. Their jewellery is timeless.
What outfit can you not be caught dead in?
I will definitely never be caught in bum short. Never ever. I’m so shy.
Who is Jumai Shaba?
I am very passionate about doing more for the needy and also passionate about creative writing and motivating people of all ages. I always strive for excellence in everything that I do. I love to sleep and have a sweet tooth. I have a big heart and I am passionate about everything.
How old are you?
I have always said age is nothing but a number. That said, my number
is the big 30.
What was your background like?
I was born and raised in Nigeria till age 13 when I moved to London. I come from a large family and I’m quite close to my siblings. I’m of mixed tribe. My mother is Yoruba form Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, and my father is Hausa from Minna, Niger State.
And your educational background?
I completed my high school education in England, graduated from Middlesex University with a Bsc in business information systems. After graduating from university in England, I moved back to Nigeria where I served my NYSC year in Abuja and worked for a number of blue chip companies as an information technology consultant. I am also a television presenter for Mnet. I’m a freelance writer and, also, recently opened my own fabric store at Bisket House on Allen Avenue, Ikeja.
When or how soon do you hope to walk up the aisle?
Honestly, when God provides me with a suitable partner.
What does the word love mean to you?
Love means family, friendship and loyalty to me. God is love.
What is your most expensive fashion accessory?
I have a diamond watch that is quite pricey.
What is your fashion fetish?
Bling. I love diamonds.
Why do you think women lie about their age?
I think women believe revealing their real age would make people disrespect them, perhaps. I also think they feel they would be more desirable if they say they are younger than they actually are. My mother told me never to lie about my age.
What do you consider the most remarkable part of your body?
I love my legs.
Which celebrity would you describe as a sex siren?
Kim Kardashian. Even with a baby bump she kept her style sleek and sexy.
What are your beauty products?
I am totally obsessed with St’Ives Apricot Scrub, olive oil, shea butter and Bio Oil.
What is your present Blackberry ringtone?
My ringtone at the moment is the Nigerian anthem.
Apart from your job, what else do you like to indulge in?
I love writing when time permits. I have written a few film scripts and also scripted a few game shows and many poems. I also love to travel and photography is a new hobby I’ve picked up. I also help out where ever I can with the needy and with orphans.
What would be your priorities if you were the president?
I would make education free for all our youth and also provide more centres that provide more job opportunities for graduates and also create opportunities for those who chose alternative routes as opposed to attaining a degree.