ALLURE COVER: OLAMIDE CHIEDOZIEM – EYE ON INTERNATIONAL MODELLING
A student of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Olawaiye Olamide Chiedozie’s dreams found direction and purpose when he participated and won his category in the 5th season of ”Dare2Dream.”
The 19-year-old model has gone from being a model in training to being signed to MyBooker Models, a modelling agency he got after emerging winner, plus his recent international modelling deal with two international agency IMG London and Independent, Milan.
Speaking to Olamide Chiedozie, the model and student, he takes us through his journey from not knowing , to being overwhelmed with knowledge and opportunities.
How did you start? Tell us about your journey?
I started by getting scouted by an agency in Benin- Gemian Model Management. I travelled down to Benin sometimes from Akure where my school is, and sometimes from Lagos where I’m based. I did my first show, Evol and that’s how my journey started.
What were the challenges you faced in your quest to be a model?
I’ve had to travel a lot within Nigeria this year. I have gone for castings without being selected, and I always have to work on my body and skin, making sure it’s right, at all times.
How did you find out about the competition?
The CEO of my former agency, Louis Aruya sent the details to me and asked me to be there at Benin for their auditions.
How was it like being among other youths like yourself in the ‘D2D’ camp?
It was exhilarating; an experience I’ll never forget. I got to be among great minds and genuinely good people. We were learning together and also rubbing minds.
What major mental shift have you had since ”Dare2Dream?” How did you see life and how do you see it now?
I’ve learned always to see things in the best way possible. I don’t see failure as a threat, but as a stepping stone and at the same time, work very hard not to accept defeat; always give everything your best. What is worth doing at all, is worth doing very well.
What were some of the things you learned during this competition and how has that formed you?
I learned that life is full of opportunities and you shouldn’t let anyone pass you by, so I live by that principle now.
Since your decision to be a model, who were some of the people you’ve considered role models and who are your role models right now and why?
Well, I’ve always looked up to Naomi Campbell, Alton Mason, and Victor Ndigwe from Nigeria. Alton Mason especially, because of the waves he’s making as an African American, despite all their achievements, these people remain humble and kind.
What’s the most memorable moment you had in the ‘D2D’ camp?
We had just finished rehearsals at Terra Kulture for the main event, and all of us ‘dreamers’ came together in one big embrace, and then we prayed together. I’ll never forget that moment.
Who would you say is your most significant influence in modelling?
I’d say, my parents. They’re not models and knew next to nothing about modelling, but their support from the beginning has been mind-blowing and is among the reasons I keep striving to push forward.
You’re just starting your career in this industry, and you already have an international agency managing you. How does that make you feel and what does that mean to your career?
I feel blessed. I am so thankful for Mr Uchenna- my manager and the CEO of Mybooker Models, for taking an interest in me, and for getting me signed to IMG London and Independent Milan. It’s a massive move for me as a model.
How would you describe yourself before and after ”Dare2Dream?”
Before ”Dare2dream,” I was a boy that had a dream and didn’t know how to go about chasing it. After ”Dare2dream,” my dreams are gradually falling into place; so I’m blessed.
Tell us the Nigerian and international designer whose pieces you look forward to walking on the runway.
Orange Culture, Mai Atafo, Emmy Kasbit, Kinabuti, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Chanel, Nike, and others.
What do you think about the Nigerian modelling industry and what vibe are you bringing that is unique to you, that would make every designer want you to wear their brand?
It’s a growing industry, and we are still learning a lot, but there’s a lot of opportunities. I don’t know; I keep believing and striving hard.
What’s the big plan you have for modelling and after modelling?
I plan to succeed in modelling, academics (as an industrial designer). I also plan on going into acting.
BY LINDA ORAJEKWE