Magazine article New African

Tyra's Next Top Model Struts into Africa

Magazine article New African

Tyra's Next Top Model Struts into Africa

Article excerpt

Next Top Model is a worldwide phenomenon bordering on a cult in the fashion and modelling world. From all corners of the earth--Afghanistan to New Zealand, Canada to Kazakhstan, many countries are producing their own versions of the world's most famous reality TV fashion show, created in 2003 by former supermodel, the gorgeous Tyra Banks, who also hosts the show with an eloquence and supreme poise yet to be matched.

Although Ghana and Nigeria have had a go at some form of Next Top Model shows, their versions did not set the African fashion world on fire nor match the marvel that is Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model (ANTM). Hence, last month, Africa was given its first real chance to cut it in this leading and addictive fashion show, which Tyra's Bankable Productions syndicates worldwide.

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The West Africa's Next Top Model, which began scouting in December, will follow the same format as ANTM. Models from the West African region will compete for the title and for a chance to start a lucrative career in the modelling industry.

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The winner walks away with a handsome cash prize, a modelling contract with a major agency, will grace the coveted front cover and spreads of True West Africa magazine and she will also endorse numerous deals within the fashion and other industries, nationally and internationally.

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For many Next Top Model "addicts", its success largely depends on its presents--by and large, Tyra has been a hard act to follow. So far in all the international versions, no presenter has managed the Tyra magic.

The West Africa's Next Top Model has come up with Nigeria's international supermodel Oluchi Onweagba a its answer to Tyra. Just like in the original American format, Oluchi will be assisted in picking the best contestant by a judging panel of experts who are yet to be confirmed.

Is she the right choice? We think she has the credentials: at just 17 years old, the naturally beautiful 6ft 2in Oluchi won the first series of M-Net's Face of Africa contest in 1998. The international model management agency Elite awarded Oluchi a three-year modelling contract soon after, and a whirlwind life as a highly sought-after fashion model began. When she moved to New York City, where she now lives, she began to make an impact on the international modelling, fashion and catwalk scene. She has since graced the covers of Italian Vogue, ELLE, Untold, and Surface magazines, and been featured in NYLON, Marie Claire, Allure, and many other magazines around the world. …

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