Petit Ruth Michael is the reigning Queen Esther,the Bible costume pageant, held at last GRACE Programme of the Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos in December 2018. Her reign comes to an end on Sunday, December 15, 2019 when the 29 year – old GRACE event will be held at the Lagos megachurch of renowned Bible exposito, Rev Chris Okotie. The event would be chaired by the Minister of Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare while Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos is the Special Guest of Honour.
In addtion to the Queen Esther, the major highlight of this event is the KARIS award to be given to ex – Olympic bronze medalist, Nojeem Maiyegun who won the medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic. Maiyegun replicated this victory at the Commonwealth Games two years later.
To select the Queen Esther, a bevy of beautifully costumed ladies are paraded, wearing classical costumes identified with female Bible women characters. The lady with the most creative costume wins the beauty pageant; gait, poise and other criteria have nothing to do with the selection of the Queen by a panel of judges. The winner is usually rewarded with One Million Naira cash price. This year’s Queen may be given a car, according to Rev Okotie.
The KARIS awardee gets two million Naira and the four charities that traditionally get donations at the annual GRACE programme would get two million Naira each as well. These are, the Sunshine Foundation, Pacelli School for the Blind and Parcially Sighted,the Spinal Cord Injuries Association, and the Little Saints Orphanage.
The concept of the GRACE love feast was developed by Rev Okotie in 1990 as a platform to reach out to the less privileged with Christ’s love and compassion through the Household of God’s Corporate Social Responsibility, CRS.
The KARIS Award vision was later added and subsumed in the GRACE programme, mainly to recognize distinguished Nigerians who were unlucky not to be appreciated in their generation for service to the nation.
Past KARIS Awardees are Educationist, Dr. Tai Solarin, first female General in the Air Force, Commodore Habib Garba, Taiwo Akinwunmi, who designed the nation’s flag, late Gen Murtala Mohammed, Lawyer/activist, Gani Fawehinmi, etc.