StyleEYE on Jimi Owobo Ogunlaja

by Yemi Olowu

Jimi, a Nigerian model who is now based in South Africa, has been passionate about his profession since his early childhood, and has featured for such brands as Virgin Atlantic, Sandton Magazine and Bank PHB. The G3 signed model speaks to YNaija, revealing his inspirations, business plans, challenges he faces as a male model and the biggest grooming mistake he’s ever made.

How were you discovered?

I was discovered in Lagos in 2003 by a friend (Bose Efunuga) who was aware of my undying passion for modeling.

How long have you had the desire to become a model?

I  have had passion for modeling ever since I have been conscious of life. It’s safe to put it that way. (laughs)

Who are your inspirations?

My mother was my first ever inspiration – she gave up entertainment when she got married to my dad. I am making sure her natural creativity in the entertainment world never dies.

Whats the support from your family been like for your modelling career?

My entire family has been very supportive morally and financially as my dad himself got me registered in my first ever modelling agency in Nigeria (Thanx Modeling Agency) where I had first modelling contract in 2004 (a Virgin Atlantic Billboard).

What other fashion ventures would you like to pursue?

I would someday love to be a show producer – organizing fashion shows and managing entertaining events, thereby giving young and aspiring models more opportunities and a great platform to showcase their individual talents.

What are the challenges you face as a model?

The general misconception about models being prostitutes or insignificant in the society, and also modeling being a very competitive profession.

What agencies do you belong with?

I am currently with G3 modeling agency south Africa (

What are the major jobs you’ve done?

My mjobs include, Samsung billboard, Cover model for Sandton Magazine, T.V.C, Energade drink, Bank PHB Nigeria, and lots more, including major fashion shows for top African designers in the past Africa Fashion Week 2010.

What are your statistics?

Height: 6″1, Waist: 32, Suit: 40l, C: 16 Eyes: Dark brown, Hair: Shaven, Chest: 40

What is the biggest grooming mistake you ever made?

Not wearing any underwear. (laughs)

What is the best trick you’ve learnt from a make-up artist?

I was advised to always stay clean shaved.

When do you use a style team?

A style team will be needed on my wedding day. (laughs)

Any advice for aspiring models?

All aspiring models must keep their dreams alive and never succumb to any negative pressure, no matter the circumstance.

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