by Yemi Olowu
Victor Kwen Akomaye is the current Mr Runway Africa 2011. The Cross-River State born model was also among the finalists for Mr Nigeria World competition in 2010. He speaks to YNaija on his foray into full-time modelling.
Tell us how you were discovered?
I was discovered during a casting for a competition called Runway Dreams Model Search formed by Data Okorodudu of JD7. I heard about the show but I didn’t go for it. However, three days later I went to one of their rehearsals and met with 19 other new applicants. The organizers decided to pick one person more and I was furtunate enough to be chosen. since then I knew I have a place in modelling, though I didn’t win the competition, I was among the top finalist.
How long have you nurtured the passion for modelling?
I’ve had passion for modelling from the age of 10. I Always wanted to walk in the middle of a box without fall off; I never knew I was working towards something I will be doing full time today, but it’s all God’s work (smiles).
Who are your inspirations?
I wasn’t inspired by a particular person but a lot of people who are doing well in their respective field of work.
Who are the designers you have worked with?
I’ve worked with Mai Atafo, Okunoren Twins, David Wej, JD7, B-side by Wale, Emmy Collins, James Brendan and loads of others I can’t remember.
After picking modelling as a career,what was your parent’s reactions like?
My family has always been supportive; they have always been there for me.
Do you wish to pursue other ventures in the fashion business someday?
I hope to be a fashion designer someday; keeping my fingers crossed though.
What are the challenges you face as a model?
A lot of challenges, like going for casting and not being picked.
What agency do You belong with?
I’m a confirmed Hues and Shades model and I’m proud to say it. They always see us through and cater for all of our needs in the industry.
What job has been your best yet?
The Arise fashion week has been my best job so far.
Can we know your statistics?
6ft:3 inches, shoulders 20, waist 33, trouser length 42, chest 40.
What is the best trick you’ve learnt from a make-up artist?
Always keep your lips wet.
Have you done anything as a model that you wish you hadn’t?
Shsss! it’s a secret can’t tell you, she might read this some day (laughing).
Your thoughts on the modelling industry in Nigeria?
I think we are not given the chance to be what we are, and we don’t have any support.
How often do you work out?
I only do seat ups and road walks, nothing much.
Any advice for aspiring models?
Aspiring models should always focus. Please, don’t give up. If you’re dropped, always stand up.
All photos from Victor Kwen Akomaye.