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Superstar Yvonne Nelson Covers the Latest Issue of Blanck Magazine |TV Presenter Idia Aisien Featured

 

With back-to-back blockbusters, a thriving movie production company, a growing fashion empire and an ever-rising militia of IG followers, Yvonne Nelson has earned her place as one of Africa’s iconic personalities. It would be great to talk about clothes, shoes, bags, and all the fashionable niceties that come with being in the spotlight, but Yvonne is certainly not here for them, at least not today. The world and its dynamics are changing rapidly; she knows she has a part to play and is more than determined to do her best.

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Sitting to a chat with the Editor-in-Chief Franka Chiedu She shares in detail her trials, tribulations and triumphs during the time leading up to and after her #Dumsormuststop campaign as she calls on other celebrities to use their platforms for the greater good of the masses who support them daily.

In a continent where many would rather focus on their personal success rather than incur the wrath of the near authoritarian government, she carried her #Dumsormuststop protest beyond the shores of social media down to the streets of Ghana – marching from Legon Campus down to Tetteh Quarshie roundabout with more than ten thousand army of disenchanted citizens – keeping vigil for a course that is dear to their hearts. She talks about it here…

“Last year, I started a campaign tagged ‘Dumsor Must Stop’. One evening, the electricity in my house went off and when this happens in Ghana we refer to it as DUM – SOR, translated as lights off. A term Ghanaians coined to describe the consistent lack of power supply. I couldn’t sleep that night; I was sweating and fanning myself – I decided not to use my generator because the cost of fuelling it was unbecoming. Yes! We do make a little money here and there but it can’t all be ploughed into fuelling the generator. What about those people who can’t afford a generator? Vexed in my spirit, I went on Twitter and tweeted #Dumsormuststop – I woke up the next day and I realised it was trending. Everyone was tweeting using the same hashtag and talking about how they were also frustrated with the situation. At first, I thought it was a joke and it will soon fade but will only realise that it wasn’t and it trended for like a week. The next thing, I got a call from BBC for an interview which I granted and after that interview the issue went global. A lot more people started paying attention to the development. But then, I knew talking about this on social media would not do much to inspire change. The people responsible are not always on social media. I needed to do more. So, I made plans to show up in person – to let people know how serious I was about my concerns.

I called up a few friends and colleagues – a handful of them responded positively at first, but half way through the process, some of them got calls from the powers-that-be and pulled their support. I’m going to reiterate this at this point – the protest was non-partisan! I don’t care about politics or political affiliations. I was only speaking my truth based on my personal experience and conviction.

We faced a lot of challenges and road blocks; but despite all, went ahead to set a date to organise a vigil. The government thought we were working against them, which was rather sad. To think that we live in a country where speaking up against injustice is perceived as being antagonistic. They label you an opposition and a rebel.”

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Wild at heart (Idia Aisien)

Also in this issue is a special editorial feature with Nigerian TV poster child Idia Aisien as she dishes on her rising status, her inspirations and drive.

Young, inspiring, with a promising start. TV poster child Idia Aisen is set to conquer the world of presenting. With a keen work ethic and an unflinching quest for success, she shares her story as she dazzles in a nature inspired editorial by Ryan Bater. Words by Franka Chiedu.

 

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Tell us your story, how did this all start?

I was at a job interview in Brooklyn, New York, when a friend called and asked me to come straight to Jovani Headquarters in Midtown; I explained where I was and she asked me to forget about my interview. I was in NYU completing my Master’s degree at the time and needed a job badly.

I looked around and realized I could take a chance on something I’ve always wanted or work in this office, and wonder everyday what would have happened if I went to Jovani. In minutes, I was on the train making my way to Midtown, Manhattan. After arriving at 34th street, I practically ran the rest of the way.

I walked into a showroom that looked like heaven, and it was filled with so many breath-taking dresses and busy clients from around the world placing their orders. This friend of mine had told a buyer –who was one of Jovani’s biggest retailers in Nigeria—that a girl she knows wants to model more than anything in the world, and the buyer asked her to invite me.

When I met the buyer, she asked me to try on a red dress, and I hesitated, but she insisted. A talent scout also objected, because I was not a model. When I walked out of the changing room with that dress on, I was hired on the spot. And the rest is history. I went on the model with them for over a year, and the amount of exposure I got allowed me to book a lot of other jobs concurrently.

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Tell us about your journey so far, starting from the beginning of your education and career?

I studied Journalism at American University in Washington, DC, and then moved to New York to study International Public relations at New York University. I started modelling professionally in New York during my Masters, then got a job at an investment bank after school that brought me back to Nigeria. That’s how I switched to television and the rest is history.

What’s your take on competition and how do you plan to stay relevant through the years?

Partnership is the new competition, so rather than always looking over my shoulder, I love to collaborate with young inspiring women. There’s also a lot of “hype” without substance in the entertainment world, which inevitably fades people out with time. I think when you truly have something to offer and you are consistent in your work, it’s hard for people to forget about you.

If you could turn back the hands of time what would you change in your past?

I wouldn’t change anything at all. I used to say I wish I had been more prepared to move back home to Nigeria last March, but as hard as it’s been I feel like God knows exactly what He’s doing and where he’s taking me, so I just must trust him.

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A beautiful issue to say the least. The 8th edition of Blanck explores activism and the collective power of raising our voices. From riveting fashion editorials to inspiring and mind awakening articles; the issue is both creative and educative.

The Projector Editorial

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Geometric Beauty Editorial

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‘Neutral State of Mind’ Editorial

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Finish reading Interviews in Magazine download The Blanck App to read.

 

Cover Credits (Yvonne Nelson)

Photography by Danny Baldwin

Styled by Ihunna Eberendu,

Make Up by Bunmi Ogedengbe,

Hair by James Catalano,

Story & Creative Direction by Franka Chiedu.

 

Credits for (Idia Aisien)

Photography by Ryan Bater.

Words by Franka Chiedu.

Styled by Ihunna Eberendu,

Make Up by Pauline Briscoe,

Hair by Regina Meessen,

Photography Assistant Joshua Ferdinand Street

 

Credits for Cover 2 (The Projector Editorial)

Photography by Ryan Bater

Hair by Regina Meessen

Make Up by Sian Duke

Styling by Hayley Durrant

Photography Assistant Joshua Ferdinand Street

 

Credits for (Geometric Beauty Editorial)

Photography by MCMedia London

Hair: by Bianca Laurent

Make Up by Bunmi Ogedengbe (Neonvelvet)

Creative Direction by By Franka Chiedu

Model Jasmine May

 

Credits For (‘Neutral State of Mind’ Editorial)

Photography by MCMedia London

Hair by Bianca Laurent

Make Up by Bunmi Ogedengbe (Neonvelvet)

Styling by Ihunna Eberendu

Model Jemila King

Creative Direction by Franka Chiedu

 

 


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