You have seen her face in magazines, on the runway and in lookbooks. Makida Moka’s name is not a strange one in the fashion world and neither is her face unseen – the young model has been steadily climbing the fashion industry ladder since she won the Face of Sleek beauty competition in 2009.
With a few years of modeling experience gathered, Makida Moka share with FAB Magazine all that she has been up to and all that she had planned. Born in Cairo, Egypt and growing up in Lebanon and Lagos, the fast-rising model is on her way to great things and she reveals that there is an acting career in the pipeline.
Read her exclusive chat with us below!
FAB: Why modeling?
MM: It was just something I stumbled on to, because it wasn’t anything I wanted to actually do. I know people will be like ‘Oh my God, I always wanted to be a model and be in lots of fashion magazines!’ but no. it was just something I stumbled on to at a bored time of my life. Basically I was really bored and I didn’t know what to do and I had some free time. So I was listening to the radio one day and I heard about the Face of Sleek competition, this was in 2009, and I thought that okay since I had some free time it wouldn’t be a bad thing to just do. So I did it, and I won the competition, and I have been modeling since then.
MM: I would say that it wasn’t so hard, but then I think it is the fact that I tried as much as possible to be out there so that people would remember and recognize my face so that if they were doing something and they were looking for models they will say “Oh ok, let’s find Makida”. So I wouldn’t say it was hard but it was constantly being out there and letting people know that I’m available and I can do stuff. I also think it is favour from God also because if you are in your corner trying to do something and you don’t have favour from God you’ll just be in your corner and nothing will happen
FAB: What are some of the biggest names that you have done anything for, apart from Sleek cosmetics?
MM: I’m mostly a fashion model so I’ve done the big fashion shows here in Nigeria – Arise, Lagos Design & Fashion Week, Music Meets Runway – I also did a fashion diversity fashion show which was part of London Fashion Week in 2010 and that was a cool experience.
MM: At this very moment I’m just chilling *laughs*. Because I’m on holiday off of school. I thought I was going to be doing a lot but I’m not so I’m just chilling basically. But there is stuff supposed to be happening but it’s taking a while so I didn’t plan to travel because I thought I was going to be working.
FAB: Stuff like what?
MM: Well I recently started acting, so there is that in the pipeline. There are a few things I’m supposed to be working on this year.
FAB: What are you studying in school?
MM: I’m doing communications – Mass Communications, like PR, advertising and broadcasting.
FAB: When did you start?
MM: In 2011. I’m doing like a fast course.
MM: No Actually. I wouldn’t have. I feel like the fact that I went into modeling it made me change my mindset basically and it made me think of other stuff that I could be doing with it as well. I’m happy that that happened because I just sit down and think back, because I wanted to do Geology and I feel like I would have been bored out of my brains. I would do the work and try to pass my exams and get good grades but then I would have just been like “Gosh, what am I going to use this for”. So I’m happy that I went into modeling and my mind was expanded. Basically it broadened my horizon and helped me see other things I could be doing with my life and it’s exciting, it’s a happy thing.
FAB: You mentioned that you are doing a bit of acting – the norm now in the entertainment industry is for one person to be model, actor, singer and more. Is that the line you are going? Can we expect a song from you in a few years?
MM: *laughs.* At the moment I have no major plans for that. I’m just seeing where things are going because I never really thought that I would start acting. I would say that I am still testing the waters. But I don’t think that there is a song in the mix there somewhere and anyway I don’t think I’m a good singer so I wouldn’t try to embarrass myself.
FAB: As a model, do you think you will ever have plastic surgery or any work done on your body?
MM: I don’t think so.
FAB: As a result of your profession, what if someone says you need bigger boobs?
MM: Well that’s their problem isn’t it? *laughs* I haven’t had any problem so far with my size so I’m hoping that it wouldn’t be any problem later but I don’t think I will go under the knife for any reason.
FAB: What inspires your day-to-day outfit?
MM: I would say comfort. Because I don’t like to wear things that are really tight or massively form-fitting because the weather is hot and I just need nice breeze to be blowing. I think I’m mostly a comfort person so anything that is not too tight and a bit free. I like shorts and short skirts as well. I also like free shirts – like see I’m not wearing anything that is tight.
MM: Mostly I style myself because I just see something that I want to wear or something that looks nice, and then I ask the designer if I can wear it to wherever I am going and most of the time they agree. Most of the time I style myself, like I just get things from my aunties’ wardrobe like her jewelry and her shoes.
MM: No I don’t keep them. There are sometimes that people make stuff for me to wear, like the Ituen Basi newsprint dress I wore to the Africa Magic 10th Anniversary – so they made that especially for me and I got to keep it which is really cool because the print is amazing. But most of all you wear stuff and you send it back.
FAB: What is your favourite fashion item?
MM: I don’t know…I actually don’t know *thinks* That’s hard, that’s actually quite hard.
FAB: Ok what’s your fashion fetish?
MM: Hmmm…I like these beads I wear on my arm. I actually used to wear like a lot of them, like 13 or 16 at some point, with my wrist watch. So everybody knew that – and I always wear them on one hand, because I write with my right hand and I don’t like anything disturbing me when I am writing so I wear it on my left hand. So yeah, I like to wear these. A lot of them.
FAB: Do you have any African celebrity crush?
MM: I don’t know actually. Can I say the ones that are not African?
FAB: Yes you can…
MM: Ok. I really like John Legend, and Usher. I’ve been trying to marry Usher for a long time now.
FAB: Back to fashion, what would you never wear?
MM: I think those shorts that show your bum. Those really really short ones that show your butt cheeks – I wouldn’t wear them on my own, but if I had to wear them for a shoot, I might but then I would try to see if I can’t because really, half of your butt cheeks are out and it’s not very nice.
FAB: What are three things you always leave the house with?
MM: My phones. I have to carry a bag even if there is nothing in it. I have to wear clothes.
FAB: A typical red carpet night, how long does it take you to get ready?
MM: I’m typically very late for these things. My grandma, my aunty and my mum are like “Aren’t you supposed to be there at this time? Didn’t they say it is for 6’o clock?”, and then at like 5:30 I’m still trying to do my eyebrows when I’m supposed to be leaving. So yeah, it takes me a while but it’s because I don’t start getting ready on time. But it takes me like an hour and a half to get my hair sorted and my makeup sorted, close to two hours.
MM: Some – I like Ituen Basi, I like Bridget Awosika, I like Grey. I also like Orange Culture even though it’s menswear but I love the creativity behind what Bayo does. Who else do I like? I like Tiffany Amber, and I love Jewel By Lisa as well because it’s very sparkly and I love all things bright and shiny. Those are some of the things I can think of, off the top of my head.
FAB: So what’s going on in Makida Moka’s love life? Is there anyone of interest the world should know about?
MM: I’d rather not say
FAB: So there’s someone?
MM: I’d rather not say
FAB: Because you are probably not saying to avoid saying the wrong answer to an important person…
MM: *laughs* No comment.
MM: Well I don’t exactly have a lot of products that I use because you have to find what works for you and stick with that because if you use too much it can cause problems, so I exfoliate and moisturize basically. Sometimes I steam my face as well, when I wear lots of makeup from a shoot or production or something. I make sure I steam my face to get my pores open and to get all the makeup out. So basically it’s just exfoliation and moisturizing and trying not to stay under the Sun too long.
FAB: Thank you so much for chatting with us, it has been fun!
MM: Thank you too