In an interview with Readers247 reporter, the international run-way king unravelled his journey into the fashion world, how he clinched two crowns as Mr. Ideal Nigeria and Mister Africa International in one year and his big dream in the modelling industry as he professes juxtaposing his civil Engineering profession alongside modelling business.
Readers247: Unpack your biological background?
Ans: My name is Emmanuel Umoh From Abiakowo Ebughu in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. I was born and brought up in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State.
I schooled at Monef Kiddies School from there to Christ the King then I moved to Bright Future College and I finished my Secondary School in Federal Government College, Ikot Ekepne and proceeded to studying Civil Engineering in University of Port Harcourt.
Readers247: what has been happening in your life after your first Degree programme in Uniport?
Ans: After my graduation from the University of Port Harcourt, I went fully into modelling.
Readers247: Where did you draw your modelling inspiration from?
Ans: I took to modelling as a hobby. I needed something to be busy with while waiting to push my engineering career forward and this was 2013 because I have the height and the body build. Since then, it has been from one success story to the other and I emerged Mr. Ideal Nigeria and Mr. Africa International respectively all in 2019.
Readers247: When did you emerge Mr. IDEAL NIGERIA?
Ans: In May 2019 to the glory of God and with the support of my parents, I emerged Mr. Ideal Nigeria in a keenly contested pageant.
Actually, someone told me about the pageant, so I did my research and I went through the history of previous winners and found out it was legitimate and a credible platform so, I decided to join the contest.We had about over one hundred entries across Nigeria and we did auditioning in four different cities in Nigeria including Port Harcourt and Lagos and we were screened down to 50 contestants. Following the online voting, top thirty-seven representing the 36 States of the Federatiin with FCT included emerged from there we went on to camping activities that last for about five nights and the main event was on 5th of May, 2019 in Lagos which took the form of stage performances, questions and answering sessions where top Sixteen emerged then down to top Eight, top Five, the best three were selected then emergence of the Winner which happened to be me.
Readers247: At that decisive moment, what was the feeling like, being the youngest of it all to emerge Mr. Ideal Nigeria in a contest of over one hundred contestants?
Ans: (Smiles) It was a very emotional moment as I didn’t see it coming. I saw myself to be placed amongst the best five because even my first runner and second runner ups were really strong guys in the camp and in online activities I didn’t really see it coming to me, so when it happened, it was very emotional, it took me awhile to actually assimilate that truly I emerged the winner of the contest.
Readers247: What is the office of Mr. Ideal Nigeria all about and its contributions to the development of Nigerian youths?
Ans: Mr. Ideal Nigeria has been in existence for about ten years, this year’s contest will be making their eleventh edition. It’s all about getting young and aspiring youths- actors, models, entrepreneurs, train them, work with them and avail them the platform to excel in their fields of interest. For instance, if you want to be a model, the platform opens you to fashion shows that are available. You may not necessarily need to go for casting, all you do is send your C-Card to them through their official email if they like you you get picked. So you stand a greater chance than going through those tedious processes same goes to actors, It opens ways for them for auditioning and it also offers scholarships to royal academy owned by Emem Isong here in Lagos. Even busineswise, if you come up with a business strategy, the platform equally sponsors your business in form of Grant.
Readers247: So, how has the journey been as Mr. Ideal Nigeria?
Ans: Since my emergence, I have consecutively travelled to Ghana twice, then to Dubai I couldn’t go to South Africa because I was in Dubai so I couldn’t send my passport for processing. I have walked in Ghana Menswear Week, Accra Fashion Week and other fashion shows. Then here in Nigeria, I have walked in Africa Fashion Week. So, since I am in line with modelling, they actually created a platform for me I also did a few commercials for Publicity for some magazines and billboards shoots.
Ans: Bassically, as Mr. Ideal Nigeria, you get a secure pass or a free ticket to represent Nigeria in Mr. Africa International. so I had just approximately six months to prepare for it. We had other contestants from different countries other pageants came from different countries that have prepared for it for like a year or two. It was almost the same procedure with Mr. Ideal Nigeria although Mr. Africa International we dealt with the profile – what you have done so far for your country with the previous title you are holding.
The contestants came from thirty different countries but due to Visa or financial issues we were down to twenty two with a camping activities for some nights, then followed every other procedures, then first week of December we had the final show where I also emerged Mister. Africa International.
Readers247: With these rapid and uncommon feats, who do you attribute your success story to?
Ans: I dedicate every progress I have made so far to God, but for him I wouldn’t have gotten this far. I have been the youngest so far to attain this position within the shortest time, so I give God all the accolades. I equally appreciate my parents for laying Godly foundation for me, availing me with good educational background, instilling morally acceptable lifestyle, yeah, my parents did most of the foundation laying for me and I sincerely appreciate them for that. Ofcourse the rest of my family members – my siblings, my aunties and uncles and even my friends for their supports are immeasurable and also to the management and my Manager they helped me out in building my profile, I thank them all for their various contributions and supports.
Readers247: so, how do you marry your two crowns, Mr. Ideal Nigeria and Mister Africa International – each being a single year tenure reign?
Ans: Since I won Mr. Africa International in South Africa six months into my reign as Mr. Ideal Nigeria, I had to hand over to one of the Royals and focus on Mr. Africa International.
Readers247: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a model?
Ans: I foresee a great super and household name model both locally and internationally
Because presently, I am planning on walking on Paris fashion week, South Africa Fashion Week so, if i will be able to achieve these and lots more within this period as Mr. Africa International, I know I will be able to achieve even more after handing over to the next royal.