I had a special feature on Fashion, Modeling and Beauty (FM&B) Magazine in the Comet newspaper of Nigeria and I want to share it with you. Enjoy.
Linda Ikeji: No regrets being a model
MODELING star, Linda Ikeji was relaxing with a friend five years ago when a radio jingle cut short their discussion. It was the SilverBird International Fashion Show jingles calling for application as a model.She and her friend debated whether to apply or not. Linda had just then been offered a university admission. It was thus a battle on the way forward for days.The love for the model job which has always arrested her attention from childhood, won the day.Indeed that timely decision has since shaped Linda’s modeling and entertainment career.
She was one of the models discovered during the show.Her name thereafter became synonymous with different brands.She is set to give back a part of what the society and modeling have offered her.She wants to be a publisher. In the next few weeks, her magazine Fashion Model and Beauty, will be on the newsstand.According to Linda, the eye-popping colour magazine is her contribution to the industry that launched her to fame and wealth.
She hopes the magazine will create a platform for international and local modeling and fashion markets to thrive. To the Imo indigene, the magazine “is a dream fulfilled” as she had always wanted to contribute to the fashion, modeling and beauty sectors.“This grand effort is a dream fulfilled as I have contemplated a long time ago of how to contribute my quota to the modeling industry”, she said.The glossy magazine will celebrate the nation’s topmost fashion designers, milliners, beauticians, photographers, style writers among others. It will be circulated in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Linda believes that the magazine will bridge the gap between Nigeria and UK in the areas of its focus. “This is geared towards keeping the two countries abreast of the current trend in each country”.Linda is optimistic that the magazine will add something new to Nigerian journalism. The glossy, colourful nature of the paper will create excitement in the industry. It promises aesthetic beauty and rich content to compete with papers in UK”, she said.
Embarking on such gigantic project of publishing such colourful paper will involve huge sums of money and lots of encouragement. Where are all these coming?According to her, several people have given her the push to soldier on. She recalled how she went through thick and thin to bring the vision to friction.“I never relented in working on the vision to achieve reality”.She confessed garnering sufficient experience to propel her to any height she seeks to attain.
Linda who said modeling is fun and excitement, stressed that the job has earned her respect among notable people across the world. the English graduate from the University of Lagos, who said she began modeling in her first year at the ivory tower, recalled how in the early years in the business, she received anonymous calls threatening her not to take one job or the other.She said her greatest assets are her pair of legs. Indeed, her legs have taken her to the highest pinnacle of a career, where straight, smooth legs are complements.
“Modeling is about having the right body make up to fit into the brand an advertiser wants to portray. You must fit that particular product, otherwise there will be a mismatch”. A daughter of Roman Catholic parents, Linda said her faith almost scuttled her desire to become a model. At the early stages, people in the church complained of the clothes she wore on stage, especially as some of the programmes were shown live on television. But she weathered the storm, believing that she was doing a job.
“My father gave me all the encouragement I needed, at the beginning, to forge ahead. My mother was not all that disposed to it. She had her reservations”Seven years on, she says one must be focused no matter the distraction.Linda had worked for top designers. The list includes Tiffany, Amber, Dakova, Labannella, Mudi, Mon-Ami and Kesse Jabari.She has also featured in many fashion shows, including Silver Bird Fashion Show 2001 and Ecofest. She has won the Model of the Year Award and PABHA 2001.
Linda has graced the billboards, posters, calendars, newspaper and TV advertisements of MTN, apple Cosmetics, First Atlantic Bank and MTEL, among others.She is the Chief Executive Officer of Black Dove Communication Limited, a flourishing event and modeling agency based in Yaba, Lagos. She has no regrets being a model because it has brought her fame, wealth and affection.“No, I cannot lie, modeling has brought me money and popularity. Anywhere I go, I am easily recognized in the crowd”.
She said her diversification into publishing will enable many people get jobs. This is my contribution to the society which has offered me a lot”, she said.She said she is prepared to settle down when the right man, who should be generous, comes along.She advised up coming models to be committed and focused in their vision, no matter the obstacles on the way.“Many people have a misconception about models. But that is not all to it. People just judge you on appearance. This is not fair”, she noted. She loves relaxing a lot, especially with her siblings.