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INTERVIEW: U.S. Based Basketballer, Actor and Fitness Model, Olumide Onajide Talks The NBA, Fitness Dos & Don’t, Stereotype, Feature on “Billions”, and More…


INTERVIEW: U.S. Based Basketballer, Actor and Fitness Model, Olumide Onajide Talks The NBA, Fitness Dos & Don’t, Stereotype, Feature on “Billions”, and More…

Born in Paterson, New Jersey on April 12 , 1994, Olumide Onajide is a model, fitness enthusiasts and Graduate student at Rutgers University.

Even without any agency representation, Olumide was able to  accomplish been featured on Essence Magazine during fashion week, Click Magazines Nov/December 2017 Issue and lastly had the opportunity to walk his first runway show with Celebrity Designer Stevie Boi for his SS18 “NOIR” collection, which gave him coverage on magazines such as Harpers Bazaar, Elle Magazine, Amica Magazine, Impression and more.

To be able to accomplish these things without any agency help is truly a blessing.

With the amount of competition in the world, in addition, to being in a connection based society where people get opportunities based off knowing someone within the industry and also not represented by any agency at the moment, Olumide is still working towards his dreams of being a successful model.

He has also taken the step to go into the movie scene and has gotten work as an extra in Showtime’s hit TV show “Billions”.

Olumide’s goal is to make a name for himself this 2018. Checkout my exclusive interview with him below:

Hey Olumide! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello Everyone, my name is Olumide Onajide and I am born and raised in New Jersey in the United States and I am 100% Nigerian. I am 23 years old and I’m a Graduate Student, Fitness fanatic and a Fashion and Fitness model looking to create a name within the industry.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
An Average day for me during the weekdays usually consist of me waking up 7am to work out and then after I go to work from 9 to 5pm and then go straight to my night classes from 5:30 – 8:15pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

After class I am typically researching for new modeling opportunities and setting up photoshoots for weekends to build my portfolio to use to go to castings.

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
The school I attended was Rutgers University and I had graduated with my bachelors in public administration in 2016 and I am currently in Graduate school studying Healthcare Administration and set to finish in May 2018.

How were you discovered and what inspired you to go into modelling?
I began modeling in 2015, but took it serious in 2016 and have been networking and trying to get signed with big agencies such as Wilhelmina, Ford Model, MSA and VNY. What inspired me was the ability to express myself through the art of modeling.

You are an alumni of the Rutgers University’s men’s basketball team. What was the experience like playing basketball in college?
My experience playing college basketball for Rutgers University-Newark was phenomenal. I got the opportunity to play with some of the best talent in the country and also had the luxury to play in the NCAA tournament.

Since you played basketball in University, why didn’t you go pro by playing in the NBA?
Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but it’s not guaranteed that every athlete will make it because the competition is ridiculous. I have considered playing overseas, but there are many risk and your contract is not always guaranteed.

Tell me more about your love for fitness/modelling and how you use it to communicate through your everyday life?
My love for fitness modeling is greater than I can imagine. As a fitness model, I receive multiple request from people to train them and give them a workout plan. This makes me feel good because I am having a positive impact on people within my environment.

What will you say motivates/inspires you to stay dedicated to what you do?
What motivates me with modeling is to see how much I’ve been progressing since I’ve begun. In addition, the happiness that comes from being able to express how I feel the photography and show the world is what keeps me motivated.

What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to being a fitness model?
1. Eat Healthy
2. Stretch Daily
3. Drink a gallon of water per day
4. Inspire others
5. Be Positive

1. I do not take any supplements
2. Do not lift heavy all the time
3. Do not neglect any muscle of the body
4. Do not give advice that I do not personally believe
5. Do not hate on other fitness models success.

What do you do to stay in shape, do you go to the gym?
I work out at the gym 5 times per week and usually do full body workouts. I like to switch things up between calisthenics and weights. I would like to consider my workouts pretty extreme at times.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?
My personal and professional life has not been too hard to balance. I am a pretty good multi-tasker, but I am also at the stage where I must continue to focus on my dreams and get to a platform where I can actually enjoy my personal life.

How would you describe the modelling scene in the United States, when it comes to encouraging new talents?
The modeling scene in the United States is very difficult. There is a lot of competition, which is why one must do a lot to stand out. In terms of encouraging new talent, the industry overlooks a lot of good candidates who would be a good addition to their agency. I often feel overlooked, but I do not let that affect my goals.

What do you consider the most common stereotype about the being a model?
I think the most common stereotype about models is that we are arrogant and not humble.

What aspect surprised you the most once you started as a fitness trainer?
What surprised me the most was the positive feedback I have received from people I have trained one on one.

Looking back to when you started as a model, is there anything you would like to change about the industry?
As I continue to grow and create a name for myself in this industry, the only thing that I wish could change is the amount of opportunity for African Americans to succeed within the model industry in the U.S. I believe that I am going about the appropriate steps to reach my goal, but there are a lot of barriers that i must overcome.

Which brands, clients, designers, models, etc, have you worked with?
I have had the luxury to work with celebrity designer Stevie Boi who is the founder of the luxury eye wear line called SB Shades. In addition, I have worked with fashion stylist Dapper Afrika and have modeled on channel 12 news for celebrity rapper,actor and entrepreneur Knero Lapae. Recently this year I was published on the November/December issue of Click Magazine, which can be purchased at Barnes & Nobles or ordered online.

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
I would like to consider all of my accomplishments as a big success towards my modeling career. If I had to choose, it would be modeling in New York Fashion Week for celebrity designer Stevie Boi, which gave me publicity by being featured on big time magazine companies such as Harper’s Bazaar, Amica and Elle Magazine.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
It has always been my dream to work with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Philipp Plein, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, Jeremy Scott. As for musical artist I want to work with Chris Brown,Davido,Tyler The Creator, Asap Rocky, Kanye West and Pharrell because they are fashion influencers and are already considered fashion icons.

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge as a model is finding the right agency that can help represent me and guide me towards becoming as successful as I am destined to be. In addition, I often feel like I am overlooked a lot in this industry.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
1. I am a huge Anime fan.
2. I am probably one of the nicest/funniest guy you’ll ever meet.

You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
In today’s age social media is a huge necessity in order to create a platform for yourself. Social media is considered a secondary job for me because it’s an easy way to bring exposure to myself and get the recognition from those that I would like to work with in the industry.

You are Nigerian, but currently based in New Jersey, United States. How is that working out for you?
Was born and raised in New Jersey, but I am a 100% Nigerian. Both my parents were born and raised in Nigeria and have taught me to love and embrace my culture and to never forget my roots.

What will you say are your must visit travel destinations?
My must visit travel destinations would be;
1. Italy
2. Japan
3. South Africa
4. Spain

Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
5 things to take seriously on your style choices would be;
1. Wear the right colors that go with skin complexion.
2. Avoid spending lots of money on clothes because of the name brand.
3. Keep Style Simple
4. Focus on looking good then looking different.
5. Be Yourself

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as simple and clean. I like to wear button up shirts and plain v-neck shirts with nice tapered/slim fit jeans. I usually get these looks from Zara or H&M.

What style genre appeals to you the most?
My style is more of a Vintage,Urban/ Preppy look. I am normally open to wear any style that fits how I look, but I like to keep things simple.

Name your 5 must have accessories/essentials?
5 accessories that is considered a must have are;
1. Shades
2. Watch
3. Cologne
4. Brush or comb
5. Jewelry

What are your favourite fashion trends?
I don’t really have a favorite fashion trend because I like to start and follow my own trends.

What is your favourite dish?
My favorite dish is pounded yam with egusi soup and jollof rice and chicken.

What songs are currently on your playlist?
The songs on my playlist are the new 21 savage, Migos and metro boomin mixtape called “Without Warning” and Yo Gotti album called “I Still Am”

Apart from fitness, modelling, what other projects are you currently working on?
Apart from fitness and modeling, I am also looking into acting and discovering new ways to market myself better within fitness.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
I am not even close to where I need to be with modeling and fitness, but I will encourage others to stay focused on their dreams and to not let any negativity deter them from pursuing their goals.

Any specific plans for the future?
My plans for the future is to be living my dreams as a full time model and to be able to pay off my 100k school debt. I also want to be at a point where my parents won’t have to worry about paying rent or other bills because they have sacrificed so much for me and they are the main reason why I am on a mission towards success.

Any final words?
I just want people to remember the name Olumide Onajide and to look out for what the year 2018 brings. I am coming full force and nothing is going to stop me from shining.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?
Instagram: @Airnigeria30
Facebook: Olumide Onajide
Snapchat: Airnigeria30


Asuquo Eton founded, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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