‘I’ll reach out to vulnerable kids as GFAFP Ambassador’
The Global Face Africa Fashion for Peace (GFAFFP) Ambassador 2022/23, Miss Zelma Tatua, has disclosed that reaching out to vulnerable kids would be among her pet projects during the period of her reign.
“The idea is not only to give them food to eat but also to donate clothes and have positive talks with as many of them as possible. I am more particular about abused and traumatised kids. So, I look forward to working with the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) as they handle most of these cases,” she said.
The 14-year-old Bayelsa State-born student, who emerged winner of the prestigious pageant recently, also said she wants to use fashion to pass the message of peace, hope and love to the world.
The GFAFFP is organised by the Africa Fashion for Peace, an organisation that is involved in different fashion shows, modelling and charity events. Miss Hopez, who is a model and a fashion designer, manages the Nigerian chapter of the organisation.
Speaking with The Guardian on the modalities for the pageant, Tatua said there were invitations and adverts for casting, adding that those who were picked were groomed for a few weeks at Transcorp Hilton Abuja and were sent to the runway for the official AFFP fashion parade.
“After this, Models were advised to join the online contest for the Face of African Fashion for Peace. The person with the highest number of likes and shares becomes the Global Face for AFFP. I entered the contest, got the highest vote and was announced winner,” she said.
According to Tatua, her mum prompted her to join the contest, adding that winning it makes her feel very happy because “I didn’t think it was a big deal until people started calling to congratulate me.”
Giving insight on how she developed interest in the pageant, she said: “Since I was about nine years old, different people would walk up to us at malls and at different functions and ask if I were a model or if I would like to be one. We always laughed it off and thanked them. But last year, we seemed to be getting those kinds of comments a lot and my mum decided that perhaps I should give it a shot. That was how we got here. So my parents are very supportive of me.”
On whether she would enroll for more pageants in the future, Tatua responded: “At the moment, I’m not looking for any pageants because I want to focus more on my pet projects. However, even though I’m not in search for one, if I hear of any pageants coming up, I will definitely love to enroll to see how far I can go. I want to use fashion to pass the message of peace, hope and love.”