#YemziGirl Interview July, Jacqueline
E: Please describe what you do, where you're from (and your age if you feel comfortable)...
J: I’m a model and a marketing consultant. I am Nigerian and 24 years old.
E: I first saw you at AFWL last August and then on two occasions this year hosing. How did your modelling and presenting careers take off?
I started modelling when I was 18. As a tall girl, growing up I was told I should model so I always had it in mind that I would try it one day. Just before uni I took an interest in it and started building online portfolios to network and collaborate with other creatives. I was asked to model for a fashion show at my university and from there I started going to castings and applying to jobs to get myself out there. From then people started recommending me and I was getting booked for jobs. In 2014 I won Miss Africa GB (then Miss Black Africa UK) which is a pageant and charity awards, and that gave me my first opportunity to present awards at events. I also gained experience through hosting games nights with my friends and hosting their birthdays and events which allowed me to build up my confidence.
E: You are 6ft and regal, have you always carried yourself with confidence or is it something you had to learn?
J: Aww thanks! I’ve always said I wasn’t going to be one of those tall girls who are ashamed of their height. God made me this way so why would I slouch or try and hide? I just think when you're tall you just have to own it, if you don’t and you slouch, people will notice because you stand out already. My parents always told me to sit well and carry my head high too.
E: That's some great advice from your parents, I certainly noticed you for all the right reasons at AFWL. Do you prefer to model or host?
J: I definitely prefer modelling as it’s my first love and that’s how I started off, but I really enjoy interviewing people and getting to know their stories too. I love to meet people and understand why they do what they do.
E: Do you have any exciting projects coming up which you can tell us about?
J: I’ve got lots of shoots that I’m excited to release I’m just waiting for them to be published. I’ve been working with creatives internationally too which has been amazing as I love to travel so you’ll see some new work from me soon.
E: What has been the biggest challenge for you in life so far?
J: I think it has to be; coming to the realisation that you won’t always be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay, as a model you’re a brand and you have to create your own identity. You just have to trust the process and believe there are opportunities out there that are looking for what you have, sometimes you just have to put the work in to find them.
E: Please share with us your top 3 tips for a career in front of the camera...
J: 1. Believing in yourself and what you have to offer.
2. Always be professional when you start out; it doesn’t matter how young you are or how inexperienced, if you act professionally, people will see that you take your career seriously.
3. Practice practice practice; whatever you do you’ll never be perfect first time so keep practicing and always be prepared to learn new things to help you improve.
E: How do you unwind?
J: Hmm that’s a funny one because people tell me I never rest. Just going out to eat with my friends, and chilling with them really. If it’s after a long day l love playing some worship music to clear my head.
E: Our Nigerian Afrobeats stars are taking over the globe with their sound. What songs are your playlist, Afrobeats or otherwise?
J: Yes o! I’m loving Issa Goal and Soco. My 2 favourite genres are Gospel and Afro beats.
E: Your favourite colour and what's its significance to you?
J: I don’t really have one, but a colour I’m wearing a lot at the moment is mustard. I just love the way it looks on black skin. Also depending on the lighting, mustard can look like gold and I love gold because it symbolises royalty, it’s also very bold and it makes a statement.
E: Are you more of a plain or printed type of girl?
J: I’m more of a plain girl but I love colours and in summer I prefer prints.
E: Imagine you are heading to a dinner date tomorrow, what would you put together from the Yemzi collections for the occasion?
J: I really like the silk chiffon kimono I’d probably wear it as a dress with some heeled boots and I’m good to go
E: And finally, your favourite quote?
J: “No one is you and that is your power”
it just reminds you to never underestimate what you carry, use your differences to your advantage.