Like every other young man with a hustle in the ever-bubbling, fast-paced city of Lagos, David Uwakwe is on a quest to succeed. Not just survive, but also make it big, in the big city.
David is a singer, model, fashion entrepreneur, and nudist, who lives in the Lekki part of Lagos. We had a chat with him about how he balances all facets of his life, his hustle, as well as keeping fit.
Temphas: How did modeling start for you, and is it something you do out of passion or because you can?
David: I started modeling professionally 7 years back in 2013, but before then I always had the passion to be a model, participated in any fashion events even while I was in high school, then I got an offer to be in a fashion magazine cover and I was excited about it even though I wasn’t getting paid for it then and I needed the exposure so I joined the agency that handled the magazine cover and that’s how it started. It was quite challenging but where ever I went to, I was always admired and told I would make a good model so that kept me going.
Temphas: What’s the best part of modeling for you?
David: The best part of Modelling for me is commercials! I always wanted to be seen on billboards and magazines.
Temphas: What’s the one thing you’d change if you could, about the modeling industry.
David: One thing I would love to change if I could in the industry is the value given to models! I feel they are not appreciated as much, most models feel you have to either sell your body or have a particular connection to achieve their dreams and that they cannot be great with just talent and creativity.
Temphas: Tell us about your brand, El Mejor Concepts, how you started, and why.
David: I started the brand El-mejor Collectionz three years ago when I just finished college, but before then I was running a part-time program which gave me the chance and time to learn fashion designing and tailoring, so I started the brand El-mejor afterwards. It is a Spanish word for “The best” and being that I was never satisfied with what I saw in the industry, I felt I could make an impact if I started my own brand.
Temphas: What’s the most challenging part of being a fashion entrepreneur?
David: The most challenging part for almost any brand would be raising capital especially when you’re just starting out; because you need to be of a certain standard to represent properly and to be able to meet up with your customers’ expectations. That requires capital.
Secondly would be time, especially when you have other aspects of your life to attend to. You don’t want one to affect the other so juggling these different facets of your life might be a challenge.
Temphas: What’s the best part for you about being a fashion entrepreneur?
David: The best part of being a fashion entrepreneur is me being a business owner, and also being able to showcase my creativity and get appropriated for it.
Temphas: You do sing, but you don’t seem to be interested in going commercial yet. Talk to us about that.
David: Yes I sing. Music has always come first for me.
I come from a music background, I have been singing from a very young age. I always partook in music competitions as a child, had my band after college and we went for events to perform. I regard myself as a performing artist and a songwriter, and yes, I’m not commercial yet because I haven’t released my own songs yet which I’m currently working on, so yes I have plans for a music career.
Temphas: You seem not to mind being in the nude on social media. Tell us how you have such confidence.
David: So for me, nudity is art – an expression of one’s self, and I’m comfortable with my skin and body. I have always had confidence in myself and don’t care if anybody thinks otherwise. I got more attention from it and that’s fine for me.
Temphas: Do people come at you on social media due to the explicit content you have? How do you typically react to them?
David: So the art in nudity can be misunderstood. Some people get the wrong impression and see you as a sex object, while some get the message I pass across.
I haven’t really had bad experiences or messages about my explicit content, instead, I get kudos for being bold, so if you see me as a sex object and you come at me for that reason, I just don’t pay attention.
Temphas: Has online nudity helped your business in any way?
David: Nudity in a way has helped in my business especially in my modeling career because more creatives, photographers, etc want to work with me, so yeah. It does get me more attention.
Temphas: What would you say is the first step in getting to love one’s body?
David: The first step in getting to love one’s body is loving one’s self first!
Temphas: What’s your routine for keeping in shape?
David: My routine for keeping in shape is a daily workout, dieting, and knowing what suits my body.
Temphas: What’s your life’s philosophy?
David: To live a creative life, you must lose the fear of being wrong and become a better version of yourself!