Nigerian model Kosiso Madukwe is a graduate of Electronic Engineering and is signed to Zahara Model Management. Presently, she is pursuing a masters degree in Digital Electronics and planning to start her own fashion accessory brand sometime this year but when it comes to modeling she doesn’t take it for granted. “Modeling so far has been an eye opener and an amazing platform for personal growth,” she tells us on Skype. We sat down with the 24 year old to talk about her favorite Africandesigners that no one in the world can ever guess, and the beauty secrets she swears by for looking and feeling younger.
KOSISO: How did you get into modelling?
Zen: After graduating from the university, I moved to Abuja, Nigeria, auditioned for Zahara Modelsand got signed. My first job was a look book shoot for a designer.
KOSISO: Who are the African models that inspire you daily?
Zen: The models who inspire me are Aamito Lagum, Lineisy Montero, Maria Borges andAdeola Ariyo. They inspire me because they redefine what beauty means. To me, they are fearless.
KOSISO: How did your parents react to the idea of you wanting to become a model?
Zen: My mom did not mind “as long as you don’t go there and start wearing pant and bra”. My dad is still in the process of fully welcoming the idea.
KOSISO: What are some of your best moments as a model?
Zen: Being on the runway is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s like “Hey look at me, I’m a masterpiece wearing a masterpiece.” Also, seeing that a picture of me inspires people even in the littlest of ways comes with an amazing feeling.
KOSISO: What lessons have you learnt from being a model? And walking on the catwalk?
Zen: There is nothing better than being yourself. We all bring something unique to the table. Do not be afraid of standing out.
Kosiso pictured here at the 2015 Lagos Fashion and Design
Week wearing this gorgeous red dress from April by Kunbi
KOSISO: Speaking of runway modelling, do you have any designer brands you would love to walk for someday?
Zen: Yes I surely do. I would love to walk for Lanre Da Silva Ajayi (LDA), Zac Posen, Taibo Bacar, Balmain.
KOSISO: Your personal style is …………….
Zen: Minimalist and comfortable except in accessories. Please pile those on.
KOSISO: Describe African fashion in your own words.
Zen: African fashion is the perfect medium to tell the world our story and do away with the stereotypes. So far, we’ve been doing an amazing job. It is so diverse yet unifying at the same time. It is bold and fierce.African fashion is made in Africa by Africans.
KOSISO: Who are your favorite African designers?
Zen: My favorite African designers are Maki Oh, Grey Project, Brother Vellies, Ejiro Amos Tafiri and many more.
KOSISO: Do you have a favorite travel destination or weekend getaway?
Zen: I would love to go to South Africa and France
“Don’t sit around and wait for someone to discover you,” says the
KOSISO: Any beauty secrets you would love to share?
Zen: Stop frowning. Nothing you put on your skin is as important as what you put in your body. Drink lots of water. The ozone layer isn’t what it used to be, cover yourself in sunscreen.
KOSISO: Do you have any career goals through this next year or big projects you are working on?
Zen: Yes. I am working on editorials for some magazines. I would really love to walk in NYFW andSAFW.
KOSISO: What’s your advice to those who dream of going into modelling?
Zen: Always do your research. Don’t sit around and wait for someone to discover you at a mall. Rejection is part of the business. When you get a lot of negative comments, do like Taylor Swift and shake it off. If you are here for the money, all you will get is frustration.