By Lolo Ayaba
In a conscious effort towards assisting models stay relevant as well as help reposition the Nigerian modeling industry, a modeling organisation known as Meet the Models Evolution Series, held its maiden competition in Lagos.
The event held on Saturday at the Glitz event center, Lekki, Lagos, saw 11 contestants jostling for the ultimate prize.
Despite starting four hours behind schedule, the activity packed event had people from all walks of life in attendance.
The event which was organised in partnership with a Coded World in Milan, had 1300 contestants who initially entered for the competition.
However after the rigous screening process, only 11 contestants within the ages of 15, 18, 16, 23 and 25 made it to the finals.
Apart from the winner who goes to Milan fashion week, and gets signed on to an international modeling agency in Milan, there are consolation prizes for two other contestants.
According to the convener of the event, Grace Renner, the Evolution Series is an empowerment program. The idea is to bring together young girls and minds, empower them with the necessary skills required in the industry.”
“This is the first edition of the series. It used to have a TV show where we interview models, we have some 29 episode.”
“To do this we had to camp the 11 finalist for a week. We brought in professionals in the different fields, like Ubong King and others to train the girls. So we are having models now that are more empowered than they used to be. The idea is to catch them young. The platform is to make them better.”
“It is a winner gets all competition, there are no runner ups, but we have some consolation prizes for two other contestants. There are other opportunities, we have established this as the first of more opportunities to come.”
Aside the prizes, there are opportunities that will be awarded these models within and outside the country.
During the screening process we looked out for potentials. We were not particular about experience. We didn’t want experienced models we were looking for the ones that were trainable. That is what we did with Emmanuel Osha an experienced catwalker trainer.
While screening for potentials, we asked whether this person has the looks, the shoulders, the body, everything put together.”
Talking about the current state of the modeling industry in Nigeria, Tenner noted that it is still very backward. “We need more innovative programs like this to reposition the industry.
Celebrities have taken over the industry. We don’t have any problems with that, but we just feel that they should allow some of the models to express themselves. What we are doing with this show is that we are trying to get attention to models. So we are hoping that with this show we are able to correct alot of issues like getting modeling back into the modeling industry. And to ensure that models get fair treatment from stakeholders because you go for auditions and the treatment is so bad. We are trying to expose them to the international market to see how they can help fund more people, get them empowered so that they even fund themselves. So we are working on their minds too.
Even without sponsors the event was a huge success.”