Edna Park, a salesgirl, was the first Nigerian to compete in Miss Universe in 1964. She was barely 19 at the time.
However, the Itsekiri native was best known for disrupting the evening of the Miss Universe show when she dramatically collapsed on stage.
This occurred after the finalists’ names were revealed, and hers was not among them.
Park immediately collapsed in tears and had to be carried off the stage.
When she failed to stop crying after two hours, she was administered sedatives by a physician and admitted to the hospital for overnight observation.
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At the hospital, she was consoled by Nneka Onyegbula, wife of the Nigerian ambassador, who reportedly stated, “All the judges are White and they aren’t really competent to judge dark girls’ beauty”.
When Ms Park eventually returned to Nigeria, she was surprised to learn that the episode had won her a lot of mockery in the Nigerian press.
Edna Park was the last Miss Nigeria to compete at Miss Universe. Rosaline Balogun, on the other hand, was the first official Miss Nigeria in Miss World in 1967.
Despite the fact that there was no pageant in 1969, Morenike Faribido (née Coker), a London-based secretary, was handpicked to use the “Miss Nigeria” title and represent the country at Miss World.