July 16, 2013
#Nigeria #Interview | Model Jimi Ogunlaja Talks Modeling and Skin Bleaching

It is hard to miss this handsome face and chiseled body on runways. Being part of Africa fashion week, Cape Town fashion week and Angola fashion week, Jimi Ogunlaja is arguably one of the most sought after African male models right now. With an athletic build and smoldering glances, the Nigeria-born and South Africa-based model is indeed at the top of the game. Afroziky caught up with Ogunlaja for some good talk about modeling and skin bleaching. Read Below!

Which part of Nigeria are you from?

I was born in a small town called Iperu Remo Ogun State, Nigeria.

Being from Nigeria, why did you move to South Africa?

I moved to South Africa to explore more modeling opportunities and entertainment generally.

How long have you been in the modeling industry?

I have been in the industry for 10 years.

Did you choose modeling or it chose you? Tell us about your debut?

The relationship was mutual I must admit, I was accepted and given my first modeling opportunity in Nigeria.

A lot of people still think that modelling is easy. But what are the biggest challenges in this profession?

Well, modeling will be seen as easy because of the collective efforts of skillful creative people behind and on the scenes, but it never changes the fact that it is highly competitive and not lucrative enough in Africa.

Tell us a bit about Jimisterio Catwalk Academy.

Jimisterio Catwalk Academy is a workshop designed to transfer the trends and style of the fashion industry to the models, enabling the models identify ans maximize their potentials and teaches models how to walk the walk on the catwalk.

What are 5 dos and don'ts when it comes to modeling?

5 dos: be humble, be punctual always, be prepared, be confident, be original
5 don'ts: don't do drugs, don't party a night before a shoot, don't show up late for any assignment, don't fight or argue on a job, don't negotiate directly with the clients, let the agency take care of that.

What is an African Queen to you?

An African queen is strong, ambitious, confident, loyal, culturally endowed and has genus fear of God.

Have you heard? This year at the Dakar Fashion week, any model using skin depigmentation cream had been banned from participating in the event. Do you agree with this decision?

I quite agree with the decision considering its ability to discourage other models from indulging in same act.

What is your take on skin bleaching and its implications in African societies?

I totally disagree with skin bleaching. It only exposes a model's insecurity on self acceptance, if you can't appreciate your own natural skin.

Have you encountered any case of skin bleaching in male modeling?

Honestly, I haven't encountered any case of skin bleaching in male modeling or just never paid attention to it. I have worked with a lot of dark skinned models from across the globe and our pride is because we are darker.

Follow Jimi Ogunlaja on Twitter @jimibold

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