#INTERVIEW| MY SEXUAL HARASSMENT EXPERIENCE MADE ME START MY MODELLING AGRNCY – JULIET EZEIGWE
Ezeigwe Juliet Chioma is a Blogger, Vlogger, Model Coach and Scout, Content Creator, Speaker, Budding Producer, Publicist and a Women and Girl Child Advocate and TV host. A graduate of the Federal Polytechnic Idah, Kogi State, where she studied Science Lab Tech, final year student of Olabisi Obasanjo University(Part Time), studying Mass Communication. An alumni of Paradigm Initiative and CVL young entrepreneurs. Jules is not only passionate about modelling but envisages a modelling industry where we have just smart and Top Notch Models, away from the negative opinion people have about modeling and she has been using her platforms to advocate for this, She recounts one of her personal experience as a model, when the director of a modeling agency asked her to go to his room and take off her cloths, to ascertain if she was good for the job, and how she declined the offer with tears in her eyes and made up her mind at that point to have her own agency devoid of sexual harassment and high respect for models.
She also has a deliberate interest in advocacy for abused women and girl child, which makes her organize both online and offline events to help educate people on abuse. She is the convener of #HelpAnAbusedWoman, My Child, My Hero, Youngster Support Initiative, and the Walk against Abuse. The serial entrepreneur and advocate shares her story and journey so far in this interview.
My childhood inspires what I do today, especially in the area of women and child advocacy. Growing up in Ajegunle, where we hear and see the constant beating of women by their husband, boyfriends hitting their girlfriends and a lot of sad tales of little girls getting raped by men old enough to be their fathers. I remember us going into our new neighborhood; I saw a lot of teenage girls get pregnant outside wedlock, I was really surprised, and I went about asking people why it seems young girls get pregnant here. The answers they gave made me cry. Poverty, rape, lack of personality development etc, and then I resolved to start up my NGO called Project F.A.W.A.
D Meet me
I am Ezeigwe Juliet Chioma, the first of 2 amazing girls to my parents. I loved and longed to be a model since when I was a teenager, because I loved the girls that modeled for the Orange drugs company then, but unfortunately for me, I stopped growing tall after my secondary school. Lol! For a long time, I was angry with myself, I decided to give it a trail again in the year 2015, and that was when I think I made the mistake of my life, that made me who I am and becoming. I had put my picture on the Sun girl page, and I got a lot of offers from people, to model for them. But the one, I can’t forget, was when the director of a modeling agency, asked that I go to his room and take off my cloth, so as to ascertain if I was good for the job. I declined the offer, looked at him very hard with tears in my eyes and said, give me 2 years I would have my own modeling agency devoid of exploiting young ladies and guys. 2 years down the line, I am living that dream. I love traveling, talking, writing, teaching and inspiring people, especially young ones with my story. I think, I am a social media addict, but the beautiful thing is that, I make money from it.
Inspiration behind Da Jules Media
The inspiration behind it, was when I attended entrepreneurship training at Paradigm Initiative, I went there like every other person that attended, but one of the facilitators did something for us on that day. He asked that we write down what we would love to achieve in the next 5 years, I wrote mine down, and today I am doing practically everything I wrote down. We were formally Da Jules World, but alone the time, we gained clarity and today we are Da Jules Media. I will say the inspiration behind the brand is to discover empower, celebrate, and encourage small business owners and models, with a deliberate interest in women and girl child advocacy
What Modelz Hangout is all about…
Modelz Hangout is an annual event , organized by Jules Modelz Academy where Aspiring, Upcoming and Professional models from all walks of life come together to discuss and share their experiences, peculiarities and the unique challenges they face in the industry. During this event, we have speakers, facilitators and panelists that take these models through the journey of Modeling, Fashion, Health and Fitness, Etiquette, Self Discovery, Personality Development etc.
As the name implies it is a hangout where models connects and gets useful information and insights on how to take their career to the next level. I plan to go into filming and areas pf producing and writing scripts.
One challenge I face most importantly is getting funds to run the business. Seeing that we are just new to the business, lots of people may not trust us enough to get models for their brands. One challenge we are currently facing is getting sponsors for the production of our short movie.
What sparks my interest for advocacy…
Hmmm! What sparks the interest is the environment I come from., fact that I was sexually abused as a child and I won’t want anyone to experience abuse. Another incident I remember vividly while growing up was when an okada man raped a three old girl in his compound, I was devastated, it brought back ugly memories. There and then, I resolved to be a voice for abused women and children.
Projects and activities
I do a lot of project, and the beautiful thing is that, I am so passionate about them all.
Jules Modelz Academy: We are fueled with the Paroxysm to Discover, Groom, Empower, Promote and Celebrate young talented models, bringing out the best in them, providing them with bigger platforms to exhibit their talents. We also celebrate and promote Modeling Agencies/ Fashion Shows/Events. Our projects under this are. Modelz Hangout, Modelz Meet and Greet, Modelz Day Out, Teens Modelz Academy and Jules
Project F.A.W.A: is a nonprofit organization that is aimed at making a world class piece that captures the Emotions, Mind and Heart of people, to make an impact in our world living systems through lending our voices to humanities that are victims of abuse, in other to alleviate abuse to its minimal and affect a change in our society. Our projects, includes, The Survivors, My Child, My Hero, Help an Abused
Woman and Walk against Abuse.
I am currently working on The Consequences (A short movie). This is a story about abuse, and how it affects the society.
That should be the love I get from people on daily basis. People that come to my inbox, and tell me how I inspire them. Recently I have being soliciting for help from my friends on Facebook for the movie, after our principal sponsor, backed out. The love and words of encouragement I get from them before and after helping is rewarding. It means they value me and all I stand for.
Where I see my business in five years time
In the five years, I envisage to see Da Jules Media as the topmost digital, media and modeling company in Africa. I also envisage empowering topnotch models all over the world.
On giving up
Yes I have. A lot of times. Most times, I just ask myself questions like, who send you. Can’t you just leave this thing and go get a proper job. I have being depressed too. But then, I remember why I started and keep moving.
What and who inspires me
Yahweh is my first inspiration. My family comes second and then all the models and lives that are tied to mine do inspire me. The fact that I see my models doing things they love and enjoy inspires me.
I am a Woman of Rubies
I am a woman of Rubies because I Empower, Inspire, Motivate, Promote and Celebrate young women. I am a woman of Rubies, because I don’t give up. I don’t see failures, I see feedbacks
Final words of adviceDon’t wait for the perfect time to start. Start now and get better. Start small, but never remain small. “Imperfect Execution is better than a Perfect Procrastination” (Steve Harris
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