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I ASSIST YOUNG GIRLS ACHIEVE THEIR DREAMS – ELIZABETH AISIEN, EX-BEAUTY QUEEN

By NBF News

Elizabeth
She was once a beauty queen. She emerged Miss Nigeria UK but later returned home to set up a modelling agency where she grooms young girls to become good models. Elizabeth Elohor Aisien, CEO, Elite Modelling Agency, last week unveiled the models that made the final selection in the Elite model competition. The former beauty queen, who recently had a quiet wedding in Lagos, talks to Blockbuster about her modelling business, how she met her husband and other personal issues. Enjoy:

Growing up
My growing up was fun. I grew up with my mum. My mum raised me to what I am today. My mum always loves modelling, she loves Naomi Campbell, and she's always glued to Fashion TV. My mother is the whole thing behind me. She's always pushing me. Some times, my mother would ask: Are you sure you are not going to be a model? She's glad today that I run a modelling agency.

Why I set up Elite
I was once a beauty queen. I was once Miss Nigeria, UK and I used to come back home on holidays and everybody will say come and model for me, and I was like come and model for you for what? When I was in London I had an agency I used to work with. By the time I started looking for modelling agencies to work with, I realized there was none. I was so disappointed, this was in 2004. So, I went back to London, did a bit of work and decided to come back and start off modelling to help a lot of our young ones. My main reason of doing this is to help. It is not the money, if you look at it, you don't make much from it, most of these girls that come to my office cry that they want to become models. That is what we've been doing, trying to make their dreams come true.

Selection process
I'm very particular about attitude. Some of these girls you see here today might not make it to the finals. I'm very particular about attitude and it comes about with qualities. The height, the looks, and the way they speak matter a lot. We don't want them to represent Nigeria in a bad light because already Nigerian modelling industry has a bad image. We have a lot of people that are doing 419 in Nigeria regarding modelling.

Oluchi and I
Elite is the biggest modelling agency in the world. They boast of most of the top models in the world today like Naomi Campbell, Tyra banks, and Oluchi after winning the Face of Africa, it was Elite that took her to the next level. Elite is really quite big and we thank God today that we are in the third year in Nigeria. Tracy, our first model is currently in New York doing very well.

Challenges
Some people are not happy to see you doing well. They want to bring you down and you have people that are supportive no matter what. I don't look at such things. If I know someone is trying to bring me down, I try harder and I work harder.

Experience as Miss Nigeria UK
Miss Nigeria UK brought me out. Then I was really shy, I couldn't wear bikini. I was really shaken but I met a lot of people and it created part of the business that I'm doing right now.

How I met my husband
I met my husband through a mutual friend. As a girl, you have to do all those 'shakara'. I believe you really get to know the person you want to marry and know if both of you could go along to understand each other. I decided to say yes to my husband because I knew he was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with. These things are natural. You meet someone and you know this is who you want to be with for the rest of your life.

Simple and classy
I love dressing up, and I love shoes. I'm a shoe freak. I just buy and buy and I don't wear. Only recently, I went to a shop and my niece said the one you bought few weeks ago, have you worn them? Everyone has got his/her style. I like anything that makes me feel comfortable, anything simple and classy. I'm a simple person. My favourite colours are: black, white and green.