Ngozi Anyiam Ferrari is the C.E.O and Operation Director of Wave Models Management.
Wave Models Management is a Port-Harcourt based modelling agency determined not only to produce stars in the modelling industry, but also to be able to give account for and take care of them for as long as their career lasts.
Mrs. Ferrari, as she prefers to be called, sat down with EveAfrique for the most recent issue of our magazine to tell us about her journey both as an ex-model and a C.E.O, the challenges she faced, balancing being a wife and mother with her business, and a lot of more juicy facts about herself!
Read the interview below to be inspired!:
- Hi Ngozi, or should we address you as Mrs. Ferrari instead?
Both are my names but Mrs. Ferrari preferably.
- Ferrari is not a Nigerian name, do you mind telling your readers where you are married from and for how long you have been married?
My husband is Italian and our marriage will be two years by January 2017
- You are a beautiful woman and a former model, do models have to be seen as beautiful before they can practice their career?
Thanks for the compliment. Well, it all depends on your interpretation of beauty but I also know that high fashion modeling requires girls to have well defined facial structure, good skin , good height and of course very good personality.
- What other criteria is there for determining that a woman can model? Why do we always see skinny ones and not the fleshy type? Africans are not known to be so slim?
Modeling is actually of different types ranging from Editorials, Commercials to high fashion and others. For high fashion which is our major, the basic requirements are heights and as I said earlier, clear skin, good facials and a maximum body sizes of 10 except for plus size models which makes room for sizes 12- 18 and even more. And so for editorials and commercials, models can be whatever, slim, fat, tall, short, old, young, and light and or dark skinned. It all depends on what the client and or the product requires.
- Some people have described models as beauty without brains, is this description objective in your view?
Definitely not. We have seen young people who have grown from being models to becoming strong entrepreneurs. So no, models are not just beautiful. We have lots of intelligent and focused people in the industry.
- Ferrari Ngozi is the founder of Wave Model Management which you describe as the foremost model agency based in Port-Harcourt. What makes it the foremost?
The modeling industry in Port Harcourt or would I say, the South-South was nothing to write home about. But upon inception, we were able to right some wrongs, shape the industry and of course set new standards and today, we can beat our chest and say, we have an industry here in Port Harcourt . Now we have modeling agencies that also go by industry standard and it’s a thing of joy. I mean Wave Model Management set the pace!
- You are also the creative director of Top Model Nigeria, What is this organization all about?
Top Model Nigeria is an annual modeling competition which serves as a platform to discover new faces. It is open to young girls who have potentials in modeling. Through this platform, we develop and position them to have a better understanding of the modeling industry. We also have affiliations with Top Model Worldwide London and of course Top Model of the World. So every year, we send to girls to London and Germany to represent Nigeria at these international model competitions both of which are good platform to expose them to the international market.
- You were also a model for 7 years, during which you had the opportunity to participate in high profile fashion events both locally and internationally tell us about your experience?
It was a very interesting experience for me. It was everything- a learning process and a lot of fun too! I loved every bit of it! The Dubai Fashion Fiesta, the fashion Internationale London, Top Model of the World in Germany and various local shows like the Nigeria Fashion Week and Port Harcourt Fashion Show which of course launched me into the industry. I’m really grateful to God for the experiences. I appreciate Mr. Lexy Mojo Eyes for most of the experience that aided me in opening Wave I got from him. I also appreciate Mr. Raymond Ukaegbu of Supreme Magazine for the platform given to a lot of us through Port Harcourt Fashion Show. Of course, my families and friends for their support over the years and to the one man who have loved and supported me wholeheartedly, my husband.
- Would you encourage your daughter to take after your choice off career?
I would encourage and support my daughter in whatever career she chooses for herself because a lot of succeeding factors depend on that. And if she even decides to go into modeling, it would be easier for me to guide her. I mean she wouldn’t ask for a better manager. By the way, as a model agent I have had parents call and hand over their teenage children to us and I tell you what, those kids are the ones who don’t derail or get distracted because they wouldn’t want to abuse the trust and support of their parents. So yes! I would definitely encourage my daughter if she decides to pursue a career in modeling.
- Were you truly on CNN, MTV Base and Spice Fashion Channel at any point in time in your career? Tell us about it.
Yes I was. CNN’s African Voices was in Nigeria in 2010 to cover the Nigeria fashion week and I was about the only model that was interviewed. It was really an exciting experience for me. MTV Base and Spice TV also covered couple of fashion shows I participated in.
- What was your experience like as a delegate to the Nigerian Top Model of the World event in 2011?
Being the Nigerian delegate to top model of the world 2011 was a wonderful experience. One that I will always cherish for the rest of my life and though I didn’t win, Top Model Nigeria was the outcome of that experience.
- What do you think of the fashion industry in Nigeria, past and present?
Impressive! The industry has evolved and is still evolving. We are not there yet but definitely not where we were in the past. Modeling agencies of industry standards are springing up by the day unlike in the past when we had just one modeling agency. Nigerian models are getting international placements with household names across the globe. Fashion designers are hungry for brand exposure and so are fashion photographers, advertising agencies are not left out. There’s been tremendous growth really but then again we are nowhere near our contemporaries in other countries but I will say we have evolved and still evolving. Slowly but surely!
- We understand you were also a broker, why did you give it up?
Well, I would say, I took up the job because I’d always known I was going to run a modeling agency and so it was a learning process for me.
- What are those particular needs of your client you take delight in satisfying? Aside from the high fashion.
Aside our high fashion models we also have a special booking division set up to run alongside the model agency to source prestige commercial opportunities for clients beyond the fashion industry. This division includes Advertising, Event staffing, and Promo models. (Ushering and Brand Promotions and activations) We take the extra step to train models in this division before any job to ensure that each model understands each event/job and what tasks expected of them.
- Tell us more about some of the important discoveries your agency has made.
With barely five years of being brought to book, Wave Model management have discovered and developed girls who have gone from being plain Janes to being Top Models. Apart from discovering, we also manage the careers of already established models. The likes of Inara Isaiah, Ajero Celine, Mudi Gift, Akinjiola Funmilayo, Marcus Precious and Deborah Ezeh are all products of Wave Model Management.
- How do you support your models to achieve their dreams?
We strive to provide quality representation for our models; we develop close and personal working relationship with each and every one of them while taking into consideration, their individual strength and personal circumstances. This we believe will maximize potentials and help achieve their dreams.
- Is the modeling business only lucrative for the agency, do models in Nigeria earn enough to live on?
Well, the success of every agency depends on her ability to get bookings for her models because, if the models aren’t working, the agency aren’t making no money! Models do earn enough to live on in some parts of the country but sadly, we haven’t attained that level here in Port Harcourt but hopefully we will get there!
- Let your readers who are interested in the profession know what to expect if they take up modeling.
Deciding on the type of modeling you wish to be will help you answer the question as to whether or not you qualify. If you wish to be a high fashion model, you must be from 5ft,9 inches tall for girls and 6ft for guys, have good facial structure and proper statistics. However, young people should always know that the modeling industry does not lack pretty girls neither are they short of cute boys, there are lots of them. Your personality really matters. It’s a peoples’ industry. Nobody wants to work with any model that’s been tagged “bad”. So decorum is of essence.
- What do you know for sure?
I know for sure that Wave Model Management will in no time, be an international success story. Top Model Nigeria is here to stay!
Below is her contact info:
Operations Director:/Wave Model Mgt.
National Director:/Top Model Worldwide/Top Model of the World
Organizer:/Top Model Nigeria