The emergence of 18-year-old Shatu Garko, an indigene of Kano State, as the 2021 Miss Nigeria is currently triggering reactions in the country.
Shatu Garko made history last weekend when she became the youngest winner of the Miss Nigeria as well as the first Muslim hijab wearer to win the beauty pageant.
She defeated 17 other finalists to become the 44th winner of the beauty pageant carting home the grand prize of N10 million as well as advertising opportunities, a year’s residence in a luxury flat and a car.
Along with her victory, fame and fortune comes the unwanted attention of Kano State Hisbah Board who has now invited her parents to explain their daughter’s participation in the beauty pageant.
In a chat with BBC Pidgin, Haruna Ibn-Sina, Kano Hisbah board commandant, said the invitation was to interrogate Garko’s parents over the participation of their daughter in the contest.
According to him, Garko’s participation in the beauty pageant was against Islamic tenets, adding that such an act could encourage other girls to do the same.
He said, “We (Hisbah) has confirmed that Shatu Garko is a Muslim from Kano State and her parents come from Garko LGA. Kano is a Sharia state and this is why we will not allow the matter to die like that.
“We will invite the parents to talk to them about the actions of their daughter and the fact that what she did is illegal in Islam. This is to make them know that she cannot continue that path and also stop other girls from copying her.”
He further cited several verses in the Quran and teachings in Islam to show Garko’s action is “illegal”.
“In Islam, it is forbidden for anyone to participate in a beauty contest. A lot of things happen in such a contest which is against Islam. For instance, there are usually a lot of people who usually expose their body during the event while such contests teach girls not to be shy and reserved,” he added.
Ibn-Sina also claimed that the organizers of such beauty pageants are at the risk of God’s wrath.
Beauty Pageants are frowned upon in the Northwestern part of the country. Recall that in 2002, the Miss World Beauty Pageant which was earlier scheduled to take place in Nigeria was moved to London after violent protests left more than 100 people dead.