Tuesday, 28th November 2023
To guardian.ng

The Models’ Edit; Beyond Striking Poses

The word ‘model’ is gotten from the Middle French word modelle, which can best describe a person with a role to promote, display or advertise a commercial product mostly in the line of fashion. Models also serve as a visual aide for people who are creating works of art or muse for photographers.  to pose…

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The word ‘model’ is gotten from the Middle French word modelle, which can best describe a person with a role to promote, display or advertise a commercial product mostly in the line of fashion. Models also serve as a visual aide for people who are creating works of art or muse for photographers.  to pose for photography. Modeling, just like every career, has different sectors which include fashion, glamour, fitness, bikini, fine art, body-part, promotional and commercial print models. Models are an essential part of media and are featured in a variety of media formats.

I’m aware we mostly have a vague idea of who a model is, and the introduction serves mostly to reiterate the value of the modeling industry not just to entertainment, but as a significant member of the economic industry. Top models in the world include Gisele Bündchen, Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne, and Gigi Hadid to mention a few. According to Forbes, the least a top model makes is $4 million per annum. In Nigeria we have people like Oluchi Orlandi, Agbani Darego, Mayowa Nicholas whose mark in the modeling industry is more significant internationally than it is in Nigeria itself. As for the amount top models make in Nigeria, be rest assured it is nothing compared to what their colleagues earn in other parts of the world.

Two years ago a group of Nigerian models came together to speak up about the treatment models get in the entertainment industry using the slogan ‘Models not Mannequins’. They flooded social media with key players in the game standing up for an industry that has been clearly underrated.

For this editorial, we enlisted today’s key players in the industry to echo the voices of models in Nigeria as well as show how valuable they are to the economic industry. Occupying a space with Uju Marshall, Toyin Oyeneye, Olamide Ogundele and Temisan Emmanuel, who represent veteran models and young models who are making their mark in the industry, we come to realize the work, time, energy and passion that models endure to create the quality content we appreciate.


Toyin remains one of the leading kids on the block; having been featured in magazines such as GQ South Africa (Cover), Vanity Fair, Elle, Cosmo, Mania, and Genevieve Magazine. He has worked with brands such as Nivea Men, Adidas, Spree, and Ackermans. He has also been a muse for photographers such as Kelechi Amadi Obi, Obi Somto, Jerrie Rotimi, Travys Owen, and Lakin Ogunbawo to mention a few. He is signed to Beth Model Management Africa and Ice Models Cape Town.


Hi Toyin, introduce yourself.

My name is Toyin Oyeneye, I’m a model, and a budding entrepreneur.

How did you get into modeling?

I started modelling at the ARISE FASHION Week 2012. It was my first experience with fashion entirely. I was told about the audition by a friend and I was so nervous because it was my first time at a casting of that magnitude. I didn’t know what it was about till I was selected as part of the final 60.

What are your hopes for the Nigerian modeling industry?

That it only gets better. Even the international scene gets better in one way or the other. Looking far back before I even started modeling and looking at the industry now, a lot of things have changed. The young people are doing interesting stuff and populating the creative industry unlike before. So, it can only get better.

What are your long term plans as a model?

To be besties with Karl Lagerfield (laughs). To be actually successful, because I don’ think I am successful yet


Everybody loves Uju Marshall. She is a damsel on the runway and can convince you to familiarize yourself with any campaign, look book and photographer she works with. Uju is a creative at heart and has worked with major brands like Maki oh, Lisa Folawiyo, Orange Culture, Lanre Da Silva, Tiffany Amber, Gozel Green, Stanbic Bank, Union bank, Sleek, House of Tara, Lakin Ogunbo, Nataal, and L’INSENSÉ Magazine. Uju is a freelance model at the moment.


 Hi Uju, introduce yourself.

Hell, my name is Uju Nwobodoh Marshall. I’m a model, and generally, I’m a calm and easy going person.

How did you get into modeling?

I had no plans whatsoever on becoming a model. I was a very shy girl growing up. Actually, I wanted to become a geologist, something that won’t require attention. Then my friends in school and my neighbor convinced me to give it a try and here I am. My first break came when Denrele Edun introduced me to Data Okorodudu for one of her fashion shows and every other thing followed.

What are your hopes for the Nigerian modeling industry?

My hope for the Nigerian fashion industry is constant growth, where foreign investors can invest in the industry. Where more jobs can be created through the industry to the extent that the fashion industry will have a big impact on the Nigerian economy.

What are your long term plans as a model?

My long term goal is to become a photographer and have a beauty company.


Olamide has been a blazing storm in the modeling industry. She became a popular face through the LFDW 2015 campaign and has only risen from there. She is currently signed to Few Model Management Nigeria and Boss Models South Africa. She has featured in magazines like Elle S.A, G.Q Magazine South Africa, Mania magazine, and Complete Fashion (Cover). She has been featured in look books such as Truworths Fashion, Seven Dejana SS16, Deola Sageo, and Komole Kandid. She has also been in campaigns such as Face of LFDW 2015, and a TV commercial for Naira Box. In the course of her career, she has also served as a muse for top photographers such as Lakin Ogunbanwo, Jerrie Rotimi, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, and Ogoh Clem.


Hi Olamide, introduce yourself.

My name is Olamide Olufunsho Ogundele, I am 22 years old, a graduate from Joseph and I am with Few Model Management Nigeria.

How did you get into modeling?

I was actually scouted at night. I was walking in my estate and this car drove by and the occupant asked if I was a model and I was introduced to Few Model Management.

What are your hopes for the Nigerian modeling industry?

I feel like there isn’t much difference because there is always tension for models everywhere but here in Nigeria, I know people are really trying to keep things professional and I believe we should work more on that.

What are your long term plans as a model?

(laughs) I am just going as the Lord leads. Let’s just see what happened in three years and we can say more.


Temisan is a bubbly soul and a very opinionated young blood whose dream became his reality. His journey to the modeling industry started from his sitting room when he was 15 years old. Temisan has worked with leading brands like Lagos Fashion and Design Week, Orange Culture and Maxivive.


Hi Temisan, introduce yourself.

I am Temisan Emmanuel; I am final year student of the University of Lagos studying History. I am from Warri and I am the first of six kids.

How did you get into modeling?

I have always wanted to be a celebrity. I like the celebrity life and wanted to get into acting. In S.S.S.1 I told my grandmother I wanted to do creative arts, and I found modelling and I started learning how to walk from my sitting room which scared my grandmother because she thought I had joined a cult. I applied to Unilag at 15 and I knew a couple of models who have been in the industry and I joined BETH and I wasn’t active until I joined Few Model Management and my career became serious. It’s not been easy but I love what I do.

What are your hopes for the Nigerian modeling industry?

The hopes are plenty but I feel like we are really behind. It’s getting better. I tell people we are the last on the food chain. My hope for the modeling industry is that it gets to a point where it can be called an industry, for now I just feel like it is an association of people. I want it to be called an industry where people can be proud to say I am a model, I make money from modeling, I am fulfilled, I am successful, I like what I do. Not like I have to move out from Nigeria before they make it as a model. Models are not playthings for people, they should be respected people and they should get their money’s worth.

What are your long term plans as a model?

The average life span for a male model if you are so great is to be 5 working years. I am into a lot of things; I sing in church, I have always wanted to act, I have worked as an intern in fashion. I think I would look into fashion after now. I want to run a business. Modeling is not long term for me but I think I would do TV after a while.

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Creative Team

Photography: Jerrie Rotimi

Makeup: Jumoke Tychus for Eyesome Beauty

Styling: Henry Uduku

Hair Styling: Beauty Ace7


Female Pieces: Maju

Male Pieces: Henri Uduku