Oluchi Orlandi earns her living by her gorgeous and graceful straddling of the runway. And she is determined to help other budding African models up the rungs of international modelling and fashion.
That is why Oluchi, collaborating with New York-based LuLu Productions and Never Machine Productions, procured the “very-expensive” franchise of creating Africa’s version of America’s Next Top Model.
Also, the reality show has gone almost round the world with versions like Australia’s Next Top Model, Asia’s Next Top Model, Canada’s Next Top Model. And the list goes on. It is only natural that it comes to Africa. No matter how much it costs. It is Oluchi’s way of repaying Africa’s gift to her.
Those were some of what she and her team shared with journalists at the pre-audition press conference for Africa’s Next Top Model at the Federal Palace Hotel Lagos on Monday.
Oluchi, the executive producer and host of Africa’s Next top Model along with Casting Director, Maria Arringnton and Line Producer, Dirk de Waal told journalists that asides the minimum height requirement of five feet seven inches, they would be looking for originality, grace, beauty, intelligence and proportion in the choice of the ladies who would make the final 12 for the show, billed to be shot in Cape Town and other locations in South Africa.
“We are sticking to the mother franchise,” a very excited Oluchi said. “We are using exactly the same modelling standards.”
“It is still the American version with a lot of African spice,” Arringnton added.
Continuing, Oluchi said the unique thing about the reality show is its pan-African orientation.
“We want to showcase all African fashion, so we’d feature continent-based fashion leaders: top African designers and photographers like Kelechi Amadi Obi from Nigeria…”
She also explained that the show would educate its audience on the huge efforts that designers invest into creating lovely designs.
“For example some designs take more than three months to create,” she said, smiling down at her own green-and-white-patterned dress.
She said her team is looking forward to seeing a large number of girls turn out for the audition in Nigeria on Tuesday, considering what they have experienced in South Africa, Maputo and Kenya with Ghana having the least turn out so far.
“We had more than 800 girls in Johannesburg. Kenya was great with girls even coming in from other countries. We are expecting a huge turnout from Nigeria,” Arringnton added.
“We have also got about 1000 email applications from girls who cannot make it to any of the audition locations. We are trying to give everyone a chance; let the best girl win.”
The winner would receive a one-year modelling deal with DNA Model Managers, in addition to a cash prize of $50,000.
Cape Town, in fashion-conscious South Africa, was chosen as the location for shooting the pioneer edition of the show, as in Africa, it is the go-to place for fashion; and the South Africa Tourism Board was one of the first to indicate interest in the partnership.
The show would air in the last quarter of 2013, on Africa Magic stations.