Back in England two decades ago, popular daughter of billionaire businessman Olorongun Michael Ibru, Elvina Ibru won an unusual
beauty contest. She was crowned the Miss Big and Beautiful Competition UK. At her peak, Elvina weighed all of 210 kgs. Fast forward to today, the former singer now weighs 115kg and she’s oozing so much sexiness with her new figure.
Read Elvina excitedly talk about her massive weightloss journey with TheNation in a new interview, how a lot of Nigerian men wanted to father her babies and how much she hates being married. Interview seems long but is very interesting and quite revealing. I couldn’t cut any part out to make it shorter.
You won an international beauty pageant because of your big size, why are you slimming down?
I think Gloria, my elder sister, started it. Initially, she was the biggest amongst us all. She started losing weight first. Then I was getting bigger by the day. So two years ago, after Gloria inspired me with her gradual weight loss, I started telling myself that I could do it too. I guess what eventually triggered it off was that I had been big all my life but I never had any sickness or illness. It got to a point when I was beginning to feel sluggish. I felt I was suddenly trapped in my own body. There were some things that I had always loved to do, but my body was just not responding. So I was asking myself, what was happening in my body? Also I was feeling little ache at my back, and I just had a little son. So I asked myself how I was going to be enjoying and playing with my little son when I could not even lift my body.
So it was not really about being prettier or being more beautiful that I lost weight. It was more about my health. Though I never had health challenges attached to my former weight.
At my biggest, I weighed 210 kg and I am 5 feet 11. That is a very large person! But I didn’t have ailments like diabetes, cholesterol or hypertension except for the small ache at my back. I didn’t want a situation where I had to get to where I became unhealthy. So I had to nip in the bud, the overweight. I cannot now talk about my diet because I am not through yet. I still want to go down 16-20 more kg. That is the size I feel I should keep, not because that is what health experts say, but what I feel I want.
But do you mean that you are still intending to reduce further than this?
Yeah, but people are asking me why I want to do that, because my size as it is now is quite attractive. I feel better now though; I was weighing 210 kg then. Presently it is 115. So I have lost about 95kg. If I can get to 100kg or 95kg, then I will be very happy. When I get to that point yeah, I can share my diet recipe and perhaps help some other people who are in such situation that I have been. All my life, I have been struggling with weight. It is not easy.
But with your huge body frame, you won a beauty contest in the UK…
Yes (laughs), that’s a long time ago. Yes that was the Miss Big and Beautiful competition. But right now, I may be much slimmer than what I was before, but I know that I don’t see myself as a normal sized person, I’m still big. Though much more comfortable. To be honest, I don’t want to be too skinny either. I am still out there for the sisters with curves. Yeah, I am still an advocate for curves. I don’t want to be skinny; I just want to feel good and know that I am healthier. And having no health issues or having worries that the heart could give way any time. I am proud of what I achieved as Miss Big and Beautiful, especially at that time; I was the only African girl in the competition. Just for that alone was an achievement. Having curves is African.
So how have people been reacting to your new passion of losing weight? And do people still complement you that you are beautiful?
They still do, but some say I am looking a bit drawn, a little bit tired, I don’t know what they see. They say that before, I was very fresh, that I looked like a baby. However, most people say well-done, you are looking younger and healthier. So it’s a good feeling.
So people are still ‘toasting’ you for marriage?
Hmm, ‘toasting’ does not mean marriage at all. Whether you are thin or big, people will still ‘toast’ you (laughs). Even if you are not beautiful, guys will still ‘toast’ you. It has nothing to do with looks. But for marriage, this is one aspect that people see me as being very controversial.
I have never wanted to be married. And I do not want to marry presently, and I don’t want to ever get married. But like they say, never say never! I have never ever had the vision of getting married. I have never ever seen myself ever getting married. Even with Elisha who was a planned child, there was no marriage plan. Though his dad wanted marriage, I told him, I love you. I will have your child, you could even be the father of my children, but I am not marrying. I allowed him to understand that it wasn’t that I was against him, but I just didn’t want to marry.
Do you have any special reason for not marrying?
If I was born in America or Europe, perhaps I would have been taken to see a therapist. Honestly, I have never ever fancied marriage. They say most little girls have dreams of Prince Charming and their little cottage, a garden and a child or two. I have dreamt of children many times, but never of a little cottage with one man there. That is not for me. So maybe if I see a therapist, they will be able to sort out what is wrong with my brain.
It might be related to the fact that I am from a polygamous home. It might also be connected to the fact that my mom was somebody that I can refer to as having been perfect. She was sometimes sad, always had a few issues with my father and his wives. Maybe it has to be that. My mom was who I called a renaissance woman. She was beautiful, educated; she made my father what he became. She was hard- working, domestic, and when it came to being social, she was very social. She was a generous person, she had seven healthy babies. If it was to cook, she was right there, and when it was groove time, she was there and ready. So if a man was not satisfied with her, I don’t know who they will be satisfied with. I don’t know.
I have friends, girls who are married and to be honest, I don’t think that any of them can honestly tell me that they are completely happy with their marriages. So that makes marriage scary to me. So they ask me, ‘Elvina how come you are still looking fresh? And I reply that it is because I didn’t get married and twisted.’
What if another opportunity to have another child comes?
I wouldn’t hesitate. I have always loved children. A lot of people were surprised that I started late. They thought that by the time that I had Elisha, that I would probably have had like five or six children because, I had always wanted children. But you don’t just go and have a child for just anybody. One has to be careful. For instance, even though Elisha’s father and I are not together again, we are still good friends and he is a good father to his son. That is the important part. That is the joy of choosing a good father. Not going to have a baby because this boy is fine or this boy has money to spend, or this one comes from a good home. It is more than that. One has to be careful.
And the thing you should remember most is ‘what if anything wrong happens to the child. Apart from the obvious, my sisters who are very close to me are capable of being there for me. But anything can happen and he has to go and stay with his father.
Did you weigh all that well before you had Elisha?
Of course, do you know how many men wanted me to have a baby with them? They were many who wanted that. They were some who even just after two months in the relationship wanted me to have babies for them. I had to be careful. Elisha’s father has sisters that I am close to. So Elisha has a big family from all sides, not just from mine.
How is your son?
He is good; he is the best thing that as ever happened to me. His name is Elisha and there are so many things attached to that name. The literary meaning of his name Elisha in Hebrew means ‘my God my salvation.’ So he’ll grow up never to forget that without God he is nothing. Also, the name has a lot of meaning to me because before I had him, I had a miscarriage that I went through before I eventually had him. I was pregnant with twins, which meant double. So when he arrived, it was like God had given me double anointing back. You know God doesn’t cheat anybody. He gives you what you really need at the time you need it.
How about his dad?
His dad is fine. He is in Port Harcourt. We are not together anymore. But we are very good friends; in fact he got married last December to a very nice girl. So Elisha has a very beautiful, lovely step mom that I am very close to. We are trying so hard to be a unit, even though I am in Lagos and he is in Port Harcourt. But Elisha comes first. He is a good dad.
We heard somewhere that you in a relationship…
(Laughs) there is always talk of me being in something. Yes, talk about me being in one relationship or another. Frankly speaking, that remains my business. So it’s sweet sometimes when you actually sit back and hear all those things people are saying about my love life. But the truth is that, I keep a mystery to my love life these days. People make up their stories, and create imaginary characters around me.