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Q & A With Sunkanmi Abayomi On Obtaining Visa As A Nigerian Model

  • A modest introduction of yourself.

My name is Olasunkanmi Abayomi. I’m a model, singer, and songwriter, a graduate of University of Lagos. I started modelling in 2017, my first runway show ever was Lagos Fashion Week. In 2018, I was discovered by my mother agency via Instagram, and I currently have placements with agencies in New York, Paris, and Milan. Before I started modelling, my skin tone was always a topic, and something my friends joked about because I was obviously darker, but now it is the real deal, and I’m glad because these same friends pushed me towards greatness. Asides modelling, I am a singer, and it may sound very cliche but it is what it is; I started singing from the church choir, and music became a part of me and helps me express myself in different ways. I believe I’m an optimistic person and I love to spread positivity everywhere I go, ‘You’ve gotta have faith’. my motto for life would be “what you believe is what you become”.

Don’t take roles if your spirit doesn’t agree with it. Know what you want and have a mind of your own.

  • What inspired you to go into modelling?

I would say modelling found me. Some of my friends in school then told me about modelling and pushed me to go to the casting for the Elite Model Look Nigeria in 2017 where I made top 50. That made me truly believe that I have what it takes, and that’s how it all started.

Model Olasunkanmi Abayomi.
Photographer Adebayo Jolaoso for Models Talk
Assistant photographer Taiwo Disu
Stylist Fayosola Aina
Design Justicon

  • Do you have any hidden talents you would like to share with us?

Before modelling, singing had always been a part of me and will always be. I sing irrespective of the mood I’m in, either happy or sad! It helps me express myself.

  • Should we be expecting any single soon

Taking it a step at a time, so a single soon .

  • You’ve taken on some daring roles in your career, can you tell us what runs through your mind when offered such roles?

Daring roles? Daring is relative, and I don’t think I’ve done anything too daring yet; I just stay happy and enjoy myself while shooting according to the mood board.

  • The Stella McCartney project by Nadine Ijewere was a special one, how did it all come together?

What happened was the project’s Casting Director, Dafe Oboro, sent my picture alongside other models for the project, and luckily I was selected.

  • Can you let us in on what the narrative was for that project?

It was to capture the beauty of blackness, and putting together random things, and pieces from Stella McCartney to create artistic images. The stylist of the project was Ibkamara, and he is known for creative styling, and every single person that worked on that project made it worthwhile. It was a pleasure working with such great talents.

  • Do you have any song on repeat right now?

I have no particular one at the moment. I listen to whichever one I feel like depending on my mood.

  • What would you say is your career high point?

I haven’t even started. [laughs]

  • People have certain dreams of what modelling would be, did you expect something different from what you’ve had?

One thing I’ve come to understand about modelling is that jobs come and go, and you can’t always get every job because the industry is quite competitive, so I always give it my best whenever I get the opportunity.

  • Modeling can be tasking sometimes, what’s the most challenging thing you’ve faced?

There are so many disappointments and heartbreaks in modelling, but the most challenging thing I’ve faced as a model had to do with my Nigerian passport, getting a visa is a major challenge now for Nigerian Models.

  • What is your proudest moment so far in your career?

I am always proud of myself, and thankful for every opportunity I get, but I guess the proudest would be the just concluded Arise Fashion Week; walking the same runway with Naomi Campbell, and other top models in top designers. It was a memorable one for me.

  • What would you like to change in the industry if you were given a chance to?

Models are often seen as the least in the hierarchy of the fashion business especially in Nigeria, therefore making it uncomfortable for a model to call him/herself a model because you’ll be seen as unserious, so I look forward to seeing models being treated with respect, and not getting underpaid for the services we render.

  • For newbies who are afraid to take on certain roles, how would you advise them?

Don’t take roles if your spirit doesn’t agree with it. Know what you want and have a mind of your own.

  • Is Models Talk meeting up to what you would expect from it?

I’m impressed and soonest Models Talk will be a voice to reckon with.

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