Mr Ideal Nigeria is regarded as one of Nigeria's most empowering male pageants.
It has inspired every contestant who has entered its doors to pursue a long-term career in entertainment and other fields of specialization.
Its core values include youth empowerment and the creation of a healthy community in which great minds can thrive. The winners have gone on to compete in Mr Africa International and other international male peagent competitions, walk the runway for major brands both at home and abroad, and receive endorsement deals. This week on #TheSpotlight we speak with the reigning king who is also an Elite Model Finalist, Anthony Okechukwu.
Here’s what Anthony A.K.A Tabansio, tells us about his career so far:
Can you please tell us about yourself and what you do?
Hey, thank you for having me.
My name is Anthony Okechukwu and I am a 6.3ft tall, brown eyed, light skinned Nigerian. I am Originally from Agukwu Nri in Anambra state but I reside in Abuja. I am a graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Ghana, an award-winning model, a pageant king, a humanitarian and an entrepreneur. I am the second of two boys born to my parents. I love fashion, travelling, cooking and connecting with people
Define creativity in regards to the modeling world?
In my opinion, Modeling is a form of art that involves bringing to life creative designs or ideas both on the run way or in photographs, interpreting concepts and telling stories with the movement of your body, your face and most importantly your eyes. it requires having total command of your entire body and emotions which is projected to the camera to produce a required result.
You are a model, Mr. Ideal Nigeria, and an entrepreneur; do these get burdensome? Also, what are the creative ways you manage all these roles as one?
I would not say its burdensome, I take each day as it comes, One step at a time. In a way they all complement each other so it works.
What do you love the most about all the things you do?
The fact that I get to travel, work with amazing people to create magic while getting paid. It’s all surreal.
Work can get overwhelming! When you’re not on the runway, at photoshoots, or running your business, what do you do to cool off and have fun?
I have a lot of amazing friends so we get to chill, goof around and create tiktok videos, see a movie, learn a new skill or I cook uno experiment in the kitchen, I love food by the way just wanted to put that out there.
Let’s go back to the moment you were made the final shortlist for the Elite Model Look
It felt great, to be a finalist which was not an easy feat judging by the number of people who auditioned for a spot on the show. Being on that stage, having that experience That alone was enough encouragement to keep going.
What are some of the favorite brands you have worked with and why?
Don’t make me do this, honestly there are no favorites, they are all creative and unique in their own ways. I would not pick one over the other
People say, “You can do many things at the same time and be a success at all of them” Would you say you’re a Jack of all trades, master of all? If yes, why?
Oh no I wouldn’t say that I am a jack of all trade, I do my best with the resources available, take each project one day at a time and learn with every mistake to do better. Honestly in my opinion perfection doesn’t exist just Gods grace.
As Mr. Ideal Nigeria, please share a motivation to budding creatives who aspire to wear the crown someday?
There is no short cut to success, you have to do the leg work and pay your dues. Its not going to be easy initially but eventually it will pay off.
What is the symbolic meaning behind O! Expression?
O! is the short form of my initials Obianozie Okechukwu, inspired by my social media handle Tabansio. Generally, O! EXPRESSION as a brand is an outlet for me to explore the creative side of myself.
We need to see more men wearing headpieces! What is the level of impact you envision your brand having on men’s fashion in Nigeria, especially when addressing certain norms in fashion deemed ‘strange’?
Yes, we definitely do its good for business asides this in my opinion there is nothing wrong with a man deciding to cover his hair either for fashion or personal reasons it’s perfectly normal and anyone that thinks otherwise well peace be unto you.
I have never been one to follow or adhere to the societal standards of normal and you will be seeing a lot of that reflexed in my brand and products. I am super excited for you all to see all I have planned.