Nigerian models are least paid in the world -Geraldine Obi
Geraldine Obi is a chemical Engineering graduate of Enugu State University whose passion for modelling and acting has no equal. Borne out of the desire to actualise her childhood dream of achieving fame in life , Geraldine started her modelling career while still an undergraduate. Presently the reigning Miss Abia, she has featured in a couple of movies to her credit. Our reporter ran into her while on location in Asaba, Delta State capital,where she speaks on her modelling and acting career, life prospects and other issues.
How is the acting and modeling profession?
It's fantastic, I'm coping well.
How long have you been acting ?
I started acting since 2007.
I'm a model, dancer, singer and an actress.
Which one of them comes first?
I started with modeling before I veered into acting. I have been into modeling as far back as when I was a student in Enugu state. I was combining my education with my modeling career at the same time. But I went into acting after graduating from school. In 2006, I won Miss Nollywood in Enugu chapter. Winning the crown marked the beginning of my journey into Nollywood. And today, I'm still here.
How many pageants have you done so far?
I have been into pageantry for a while now. My emerging Miss Abia is actually the sixth modeling job I have done.
But this particular pageant that saw me emerging Miss Abia in 2009 was organised by NTA in conjunction with Silverstone communications. They crowned all the queens in each state, and we hope to meet at the Queen Nigeria pageant where each of the queens from the various states came together to select the over all Queen in Nigeria. That memorable event came up last December.
What does it mean to be Miss Abia?
It gives me an edge over my contemporaries. Her excellency , the wife of the State Governor crowned me as Miss Abia. Though, the competition has no monetary reward, she willingly gave me the money to start off a project.
So, have you actually started any project now?
I'm trying to see how I can help in the area of creating awareness concerning the deadly disease called malaria. I discovered that malaria is one of the killer diseases in Nigeria.
I have a relation who suffered from malaria parasite, and later gave up the ghost.
While I last on the throne, I want to leave a legacy. That's why I chose malaria eradication project as my charity project.
How do you fund the projects?
I pay courtesy visits to corporate organizations, government parastatals and all that to raise fund for my projects and also create awareness from the public about malaria eradication.
And what has been their responses?
Thank God, some people are responding very well, while few others are still making promises and pledges.
How do you combine acting with your modeling career?
It's not really an easy task but I'm coping. I have been combining my new status as Miss Abia with my acting career, in addition to involving myself in other things that has to do with modeling. I have to relocate to Asaba because of my passion for acting.
I run in between going for my courtesy visits in Abia state and my acting jobs. I thank God for everything because the joy of the Lord is my strength.
Have you endorsed any product or brand yet?
A months after I won Miss Abia pageant I also won Miss Rock and Roll Globacom in Osun state. So they signed me on a contract to use my pictures for adverts on GLO recharge.
So how many movies have you featured in so far?
I really cannot recall now but I have done quite a couple of movies like Hidden treasure, Fire King and my first movie was titled, “Laptop”.
What is your perception of the modeling industry in Nigeria?
The modeling industry here is thriving, but we still have a lot of work to do in this area to make the industry meet international standards.
What challenges have you faced in the modeling industry?
One of the challenges in modeling in Nigeria is the issue of money. Nigerian models are not paid well especially those that have not hit the international scene.
Can you say that what you are doing now is a dream come through?
Yes, I have always dreamt to be a famous person. Despite the fact that I read Chemical Engineering, my dream has always been to be a famous person who will be in the public eyes.
And you do not think you will some day return to practising what you studied in school?
For now, I am enjoying what I am doing because it is something I have passion for . It is only God that knows what tomorrow holds for me and so, I leave all in his hands.
Being a ravishing beauty, how do you handle men?
Even when I was in school, most of my friends were male students and so, I have learnt how best to deal with the male fans. Handling my male fans is no problems at all. I know how to turn them down politely. I do not believe in being rude to people to make my point.
So who is that special man in your life?
No, I do not have one for now
You mean beauty queens and models don't have boyfriends?
(laughs) not really…
What's your kind of man?
I love a good-looking man, wether they are short or tall don't count. I love men respect women and are God fearing.
What do you do to keep fit?
I eat the right thing at the right time and I watch the way I eat because I don't want to blow up because it will affect my career.
Story by Aramide Pius