In Conversations: Onyeka Nwelue talks to Yinka Bode-George


He is a model. Billboards in North America have his face all over. Brands have him as an Ambassador. He has worn designs by top designers. His father is Olabode Ibiyinka George, the famous Nigerian politician. We simply call him Bode George. 
And his name is Yinka Bode George.

He is Yoruba, yet, he speaks Igbo, because his mother is Igbo. All these things have nothing to do with what he is doing at the moment, but it’s always better to blow one’s trumpet for them once in a while, as Yinka is not one known to do such things for himself. He is very laidback and this has made a lot of people say he is very arrogant and distant, yet, he is one of the most jovial and down-to-earth people I’ve met.

Yinka and I have known for quite some time now. He is very articulate, speaks softly and always wants to use the right words for everything. It is funny that he doesn’t like to talk much about politics. He doesn’t want to be misunderstood or at least, misquoted. However, he is as focused as few young people who have found their calling and are determined to achieve personal success.

I talked to Yinka and he has these things to say. Read up:

I am very age conscious. How old are you?
I am 25.

What have you been doing with your life?
I work as a Model with Elite Model Management. I am also a Business Development Manager with a HR research and advisory firm to fortune 100 – 500 companies.

It is very interesting how passionate you are about modeling and you are very well known in your circle in Canada! How did you get to where you are today? What is the voodoo?

I’m really very passionate about design; I love the fashion industry and being a brand Ambassador through modelling. It has been and still is a lot of hard work, persistence. There is no voodoo; it’s all about having an amazing marketing plan.

Recently, you’ve been winning awards in Canada and your face appears on billboards across North America. Can you tell us about it? I mean, if you can give us details.

I’m really grateful and thankful to be honored in that way. I received for the 2nd time through the African Entertainment Awards Canada. Best African Male Model. Some of my current ad campaigns include 3F clothing, Hakim Optical, Many Sears Ads, and Magazines from Perfecto Magazine, In Toronto Magazine, The GRID TO, and being recently asked to Model for Sir Elton John’s Fashion Cares that included designs from Dsquared. I am also getting ready for Toronto Fashion week which I’m super excited about.

Many young people in Nigeria know nothing about what they want in life. I mean, how do you think they can discover themselves?

The first process is finding out what they enjoy doing. I believe you can turn your passion into a career. A lot of parents force children to study what they believe is right for them and I believe that should not still be happening.

For some time now, I thought that university education elevates man to the highest order. I mean, I still find it appalling that many graduates haven’t even invented themselves and have nothing to do. What is your take on this?

The truth of the matter is experience is becoming the key to higher positions in companies. A way to achieve that is, to build your working experience while in school. It gives you an edge over someone that did not.

Are you an emotional person?

I am super emotional.

Nigerian models are many. The market, which I should say, the Modelling Market, is a bit saturated and you see models walking round the streets and nothing to do. How do you make yourself unique as a model?

A lot of models are starting to all look alike; models need to create an identity that can be done through style, and being very picky on the kind of shoots or work you do. Remember staying exclusive to the best is the key in this business.

Are there laws that protect the rights of models in Nigeria? How strong are these laws?

There are international laws that are very strong mostly if you are backed by a major agency or management.

I may need to get personal with you. Are you in a relationship? If not, why? If yes, is it distracting?

I am in a relationship and it is not distracting. It compliments my life.

I hate to ask people this, because it is very cliché. What advice do you have for young people who want to be like you?

Don’t want to be like me, be BETTER! I hope to only inspire to be greater and not make the same mistakes that I did.

What is your take on the political system of Nigeria?

As many people know my father is in politics, I try not to have an opinion on politics in Nigeria.

Do you see yourself as a youth activist? Just like others?

One thing I do promote is living a healthy lifestyle; I’m crazy about nutrition and exercise. So I do help a lot of people understand the importance of staying healthy and taking great care while they are young.

You’ve travelled to so many countries and you’ve met different Nigerians. You’ve met quite interesting people. Do you agree that Nigerians should co-exist in one nation?

I don’t agree Nigerians should definitely travel the world and experience other cultures.

Who is your favourite Nigerian musician?

I’m feeling Wiz Kid right now, I have heard a couple of his songs and I am quite impressed.

How do you unwind?

I’m a home buddy, I love watching movies while cuddled up in bed.

 

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