Mister Africa International is one of the most prominent,male modeling pageants in Africa.
We speak to Ayotunde Fabamwo,one of the organisers of the pageant, who gave pur ears information on why the pageant was formed.
He also explains to us why the pageant is dominated by east,north,south and west African countries and not Northern Africans.
We also get to find out why the pageant was moved to Africa from Uk.
TR:We are on another year which means another big task for you as Mister Africa international organiser. How was the 2019 pageant to you?
AF:It was a great year for us to be honest ! We had Burundi , Kenya and São Tomé debut and it was amazing .
Although sadly cos of visa issues we were unable to have countries like Tanzania , bostwana and Zambia but all the same the 16 counties who made it were wonderful
TR:How do you manage to host such an international event,what’s your secret of success?
AF:It’s God and a great team !
My team are the most hardworking people I know and they are so innovative .
These days it’s the innovative ones that rule the world and am grateful to have such a wonderful House of twitch family
TR:Previously Mister Africa International has been hosted in Nigeria,what has been the main reason of hosting it in Nigeria. And are they any plans this year of changing the location?
AF:We like to move the Mister Africa International event around to enable us promote African business’s that sponsor the event.
After 5 years in London we decided to move the event to Nigeria to begin our new goal of promoting Tourism in Africa . Nigeria is a beautiful country and the national directors loved Lagos . That being said we will be moving to different countries
TR:What made you to establish the pageant?
AF:From an early age my mom had always taught,me that it is important to grow in life and help make a difference in the world and I wanted to do just that
Pageants create an avenue for youth empowerment .
I noticed that we had such great talents for international pageants but we never really did well in them so we decided to start one for Africans to give the winner the same opportunity an platform
TR:How has the pageant changed the lives of the community of Africa?
AF:Yes it has .
With the Mister Africa International (MAI) project we have visited many countries including South Sudan , Angola , South Africa , Ethiopia , Tanzania , Nigeria , Ghana on skill acquisition projects most notably is the building of schools in South Sudan by Mister Africa 2016 Akol Dok .
TRMany people always wonder,most of the candidates in the event are from East,West,Central and Southern Africa but not Northern can you tell us why?
AF:It’s simple , pageants are not big in Northern Africa because they have too many challenges and no funds to push them , however that is about to change soon
TR:Last year most of the candidates didn’t show up due to the issue of visa which Nigeria needed candidates to have. How ever now the visa is scrapped,do you believe it will mean more candidates will show up this year?
AF:Yes definitely if the event is held in Nigeria
TR:You are also a patron of Mister Ideal Nigeria what sets this pageant different from other pageants?
AF:Mr Ideal Nigeria is part of a large Chain of Mr Ideal pageant (Zambia , Botswana , Uganda , Gambia , Namibia ) that provides a platform for young Africans to start their own social entrepreneurship projects .
TR:What’s your take of Africa’s male modelling industry?
AF:It’s evolving but surely has provided opportunities for many Young people making Africans to earn a living.
TR:Briefly can you tell us about yourself…..
AF:I grew up in the little town of Akure , South Western Nigerian.
I attended university at Ogun state ( Babcokk university ) before leaving for England to study at the University of Southampton.
I have worked with major brands all over the world including HSBC U.K. , Basingstoke sports trust , Globcom Nigeria , Eject seats Southampton
By Rubaya Tapiwa