Akorede Ajiboye: Stylish model on the runway
Since Akorede Ajiboye, popularly known as Princess Koko, was introduced to modelling at the age of three by her mother, she has not looked backed. She has continued to feature on runways and big billboards across the country.
Explaining how she became a notable kid model, she said: “I started modelling as an infant, according to my mum. She said her friends pressured her to take me to auditions because of my beauty and long hair. My first audition was for an MTN advert. I was just four months old then, but unfortunately, I was not picked.
“But my mum never stopped, she kept taking me to auditions. She went from Dano to Maggie and so on, until God answered her prayers and I was picked in one of them.”
The six-year-old model disclosed that she has participated in different runway events, including the Getaway Fashion Show and the Lagos Kid Fall Fest, among others. She explained that she has modelled for Debonitas, Teddies Kiddies and Toyel Couture, aside being the face of Kids On Mainland Africa (KOMA) and appearing on the billboard adverts of Mouka Foam, T-Likes and is currently a Glo Ambassador.
On how she combined her modelling job with her studies, Princess Koko said it is quite tough. She said she has been able to combine both so well with her mother’s help.
“My mum is a genius, when it comes to handling such issues. She knows what should top my priority list and when to draw the line. She placed education first, while other things come after. With her planning, it has become easy for me to do other things with each not clashing with the other,” she noted.
The kid model said challenges will surely come, but the individual has to persevere to overcome. According to her, the challenges start right from the audition stages, where thousands of kids are invited to compete for a very little space.
She noted that from this number of children that often come for audition, one or two or three are picked, which is challenging. But since she has been taught to never allow anyone to intimidate her, she always put in her best and leaves the rest to God.
Princess Koko, who revealed that she has been making some money from her modelling job, said she looks up to Naomi Campbell and the mum, Valßerie Campbell, as well as Wizkid and Tiwa Savage, two Nigerian celebrities as models. She disclosed that when she is not modelling, she would either be reading, writing, dancing or acting.
“I love reading and writing. I read almost everything I come across. And when I am not doing that, I will be on stage dancing or acting. I love playing dress up a whole lot,” she said.
Looking into the future, she said in the next five years, she aspires to be a great model within and outside Nigeria, making waves on international runways, while still continuing her studies.
With three awards — Kidpreneur Ambassador Award; Africa Most Stylish Kid of the Year from Starkidz Award; and the latest from Child Summit in Ghana to her credit — the young model advised other kids to follow their dreams and never doubt themselves.
“Never look down on yourselves and do not allow anyone to intimidate you, because there is always a spot and time for everyone. I started with auditions, but today, I get calls for direct jobs. Different companies and organisations are now calling me to model or do adverts for their brands. So, dream big and never give up,” she said.
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