Africa is unique due to her diverse culture and most especially her rich fashion style. In recent time, African fashion came close to extinction as a result of constant influx of western lifestyle and fashion trend. However, a group of African patriots took it upon themselves to carry on the burden of ensuring that Africa’s lifestyle and fashion continues to thrive despite threats for generations.
This group of people haven written their name on the corridor of fame and sands of time are known as ‘Face of Fashion Africa.’
The group which is domiciled in Nigeria ensures that African norms, most especially African fashion continues to be relevant in Nigeria and other African countries. They do this by crowning a queen each year mandated to carry on the project of spotlighting African culture on the globe.
In an exclusive interview with totktok9ja, we had a chat with this year’s queen, Miss Christina Uyai, she shares in details her duties and the challenges she experiences as royalty.
Christiana Uyai is a graduate of Bluecrest University Accra Ghana, she studied project management (PM) from the prestigious institute. She is an entrepreneur who has worked with various brands and celebrities within and outside the country.
Introduce yourself and give us a few background of yourself.
My name is Christina Uyai Bassey Edem, I am popularly known as Uyai which is my tribal name, I am the Face of Fashion Africa 2018, I am from Cross River State, Nigeria. I am a model and second to the last born in the family of six. I studied project management at Bluecrest University Accra Ghana, Ghana. I was born and brought up in Abuja, though I’ve based in Ghana for years.
What is Face of Africa Fashion all about?
Face of fashion Africa is a beauty pageant showcasing young African women who projects Africa’s culture from different African Countries. It’s a platform that celebrates the beauty of Africa which includes different African foods, culture, languages as well as attires. The beauty pageant promotes Africa fashion basically, considering the fact that the western fashion seem to be taking over the market. Face of Fashion Africa tends to checkmate Africa fashion and make sure it doesn’t go to extinction.
The Face of Fashion Africa Project took it upon itself to make sure that African culture and fashion most especially trends for generations.
What do you benefit from being the Face of Fashion Africa?
Well, there are lots of benefits attached to the crown, apart from the cash price; you get to have access to celebrities which ordinarily you’ll find difficult. The crown also takes you to places you wouldn’t imagine not to talk of the connections.
How is it carried out?
Contestants for the crown have to be between the ages of 16 to 30. An audition is done online and the Top 30 contestants with the highest likes are picked to go to camp. In the camp, those selected will be drilled, trained and taught a lot of things.
As the queen of Face of Fashion Africa, what are your duties?
My first duty is to be a good leader and role model to the other queens under me, carry out pet projects designed by Face of Fashion Africa Project such as skill acquisition projects initiated across the country which provides empowerment to women and the youths. I supervise and ensure that the project goes as planned.
As the queen, I also indulge in other humanitarian services, like visiting and reaching out to orphanages, prisons and less privilege.
I have visited various States in Nigeria. Recently, I was in Kano and then Bauchi to reach out to the less privilege, giving them food stuff and relieve materials. We also orientate them and make them feel loved and cared for.
What can you say about the Nigeria Fashion industry?
I would say Nigerian fashion industry is evolving which is a good thing. Also our African attires are been infused into designs being created nowadays with the current campaign for “buy only made in Nigeria goods” initiated by the present administration, people now feel confident wearing Nigerian made clothes.
What motivates you when carrying out your duties as the Face of Fashion Africa?
I would say it’s my team members, friends, family, and my in-depth passion to bring out the best in people. I have this strong passion and dream of seeing the progress of people around me.
Also meeting up deadlines, achieving set goals, mentoring others around me, coming up with creative ideas to improve the project, all these really motivates me as well.
What are your challenges in the course of discharging your duties?
Well i have the challenge of few sponsors, you know reaching out demands a whole lot of funds, though I usually find a way around by God’s grace.
Aside being the queen, what other things are you passionate about?
(laughter) I do a lot of stuffs apart from carrying the duties of my crown, I am a dancer, model, entrepreneur, I sell female jewelries, cloths, bags and accessories.
Also I work with a contemporary speed painter at Artways Studio; my responsibility is to handle social media marketing and schedule events for the company.
I also consult for Isys Drain PR Company; they handle talent management, content development, digital marketing etc.
Which Brand and Celebrity are you looking forward to working with in the nearest future?
I would like to work with Ubi Franklin, I love his passion for what he does, he is a go-getter, his drive for productivity is high and I admire that. Would also love to work with Mercy Johnson, I love her simplicity and she’s hardworking.
Not forgetting Joke Silva who happens to be my mentor, she’s one lady I admire so much, she’s hardworking, and her drive also for productivity is amazing.
What’s next after your tenure as queen?
After my tenure, I will keep on doing the humanitarian services which I am passionate about, through my foundation ‘utee foundation.’
‘Queen Uyai’s Project Hope’, is one of the projects of ‘utee foundation’, which is aimed at putting hope on the faces of the children, teenagers, youths, women and men across Nigeria.
There is also ‘QUEP’ which means ‘Queen Uyai Empowerment Program’; it is a skill acquisition program that will impact lives.
What is your advice to upcoming models who wish to follow your path?
My advice to you models would be put God First, always train, and put your best in what you do always, do some research about your career and get a good modeling agency.
What’s your advice to Nigerian youths general?
Keep up the legal hustle you do to survive and let’s be advocates of peace and not violence.
What would you like to tell your fans?
Thanks for looking out for me, I really appreciate you all and love you all, just be yourself and be real.
Finally what’s your advice to the Government?
The Government, hmmm, I would like to plead with them to create conducive environment and reduce the rate of insecurity and unemployment in the country. They can do this by investing in the young entrepreneurs.
You can follow Queen Christina Uyai
By: Abel Wealth