Sunday, November 19, 2006

Venantia Otto

Venantia Otto the 2006 winner of the Nokia Face of Africa modeling competion that took place at Sun City in South Africa is focused to empowering rural women by having her own talk show.

This 18 year old who gets her inspiration from succesful models like Tyra Banks says that she "...excited about the opportunity to model and believes that modelling is about hard-work, focus and personality..."

Born on 22 October 1987 in Namibia and from a family of five children, Venantia attended primary school at "...Mandume Primary School, where I did grade 1-7 and attended high school at Cosmos high from grade 8-10. In 2004, I was crowned Miss Cosmos..."

"...One of the first things that we noticed about Venantia was that she has a tattoo on her left arm – in a similar position to that of Angelina Jolie. Hers is of a rose. Venantia explains that she got the tattoo at the very young age of 16, ''I just did it for the experience.'' Venantia had to hide it from her parents and when they found out about it, they were not happy. It turns out that tattoos aren’t the best thing to do spontaneously as she has decided she will try to remove it in the next few years – a cautionary tale.

Like all the very impressive Nokia Face of Africa contestants, Venantia was the epitome of cool during the night of the Final. She says they started rehearsing their sequence a week before the final and went through it everyday from morning to night – the practice showed on the night.
But wasn’t she nervous about whether she would win or lose? Venantia says that her nerves had faded away from the time that she was chosen to be in the top 10.

Venantia might have taken the title, but who did she think would be the chosen one? She picks Mirash Davies from Ghana. Mirash was notably popular with the magazine editors during Nokia Cape town Fashion Week. It seemed that they liked her `editorial’ look, as compared to the more `commercial’ looks of girls like Venantia and Mulenga. This is a debate that rages on in the modeling world. Venantia is diplomatic as usual saying that African beauty is inclusive while international beauty standards try to make very the same – tall and pretty.

The daughter of a nurse mom and Civil Servant Dad, both her parents were there to see their daughter’s triumph. Venantia says they reacted with great excitement whilst her own reaction was just pure shock.

The high school pupil is jetting off to New York (and so is her piece from Shimansky) sometime in October to create her portfolio and be launched into the world of high fashion by representatives, Elite Model Management. But she knows that although New York might be huge and scary compared to Windhoek, she has former winner Oluchi to keep an eye out for her, '' She said she’ll see me when I get there,'' says Venantia. She adds that this journey gives her an opportunity to mature into adulthood and make a name for herself..."

Some excerpts are taken from a profile article in Face of Africa.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Duro Olowu

The blog Africaincorp writes about Duro Olowu a new talented Nigerian fashion designer of Jamaican/Nigerian parentage. He was dicovered by Vogue's Sally Singer and Julie Gilhart, of Barneys.

Photo courtesy of Duro