I jumped over a sewer, but fell into it – Tracy Achigbue
From a tender age, Tracy had been into main stream modelling. Now 19, she has worked for top brands. In this chat with Hazeez Balogun, she speaks about her journey into the field, the succeesses recorded and the challenges of the profession.
You have been modelling for a while and have been used to advertise many products; yet many do not know who owns the face?
I know. Many people look at me and tell me that they know me from somewhere. I only laugh because I know they have seen my face in one advert or the other, but cannot place it. My name is Tracy Isioma Achigbue, I am 19 years old and hail from Emu-unor Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State. I am from a humble home of eight and I am the last of my family
I attended Women Affair Nursery and Primary School Asaba, then, A.G.G.S Secondary School Asaba, Delta State, then University of Abuja. I am still there.
I started modelling when I was very young in life. That is why even at a young age, I have achieved a lot as a model.
How was growing up for you?
Growing up was fun. I have sisters who were always there to lead me and play with me, and four brothers who always look for my best interest. I grew up with my parents, Deacon and Deaconess Emmanuel David Achigbue. They were very supportive when I started modelling at a young age. It is like they knew, I had it in me. From primary school days, I used to go for fashion competitions, as at then we called it fashion parade.
How do you keep fit?
I have always had a passion for being on various brands. To do this, one has to be in proper shape. Being in shape is the key. I watch what I eat, I work out almost everyday. But the key is that you watch what you eat.
Many top models say that modelling is not as easy as many think, is this true?
I will yes and no. It is not easy in the sense that you have to abstain from a lot of things. There are some kinds of food you cannot eat. There are some places you cannot enter. You know that as a model, you will be representing brands and brands do not want their representative seen everywhere. So, those are the hard parts of modelling.
To me, I will say that it is not difficult at all. It only depends on the perspective. I have been doing it for a long time now, and it has become easy for me. I know how to strike poses, and also know how to make the camera happy. It comes to me naturally. I think nothing is too easy or too difficult but if you have the passion for it, it would be easy.
How often do you get jobs as a model and will you say it is lucrative?
Lucrative, in Nigeria? I will say no. What we earn here is peanuts compared to what our colleagues earn in America or Europe. But if you get a lot of jobs here, you can get by on the little you get.
I won't say I get jobs too often. I get jobs as they come. Some of them I turn down if they clash with conflicting brands.
What do you do aside modelling?
Well like I told you modelling is not really as lucrative as the outside world. So when I finish school, I may get a good job, that is if I am not a super model yet. Asides that, I am also into baking, make-up, singing and dancing. I do not like to be idle, so I am always learning how to do things.
Tell us about embarrassing moments you have had.
I have had a lot of that in the course of my jobs. My most embarrassing moment was a day I decided to abandon the lady-like etiquette and tried to jump over a sewer. Guess what? I fell right into it. I smelled like crazy. I will never forget that day.
Which models inspire you?
There are a lot of them. The one I admire most is Oluchi. I like her grace and style. Also I like how she grew to fame. From such poor background and how she started and her rise to fame. I also like Agbani Darego.
Tell us about your love life
I can proudly say I have a relationship. A lot of people come with advances, and I am never ashamed to tell them that I have a man. It's not easy telling men off, but I am used to that now. I know I am not the finest woman in the world, so I do not let it get to my head.
Does your man get jealous
No, he understands my work, and he too is used to it. I guess, he is even happy to know that despite the fact that I get many advances from men, he is the one I want. He totally supports me and he is behind me the whole nine yards. I thank God for him