I heard about a casting taking place at Eko Hotel, V/I, Lagos. At the time I had no idea what modeling was all about...actually thought it was a beauty pageant. I remember thinking back then that I was quite beautiful. So got there with a friend of mine and couldn't believe what I saw. There were over 300 tall, beautiful, well dressed girls. Never seen so many beautiful women in my life. I was so intimidated and I remember looking at myself in the mirror, thinking '...and you thought you were beautiful?...' lol
My friend wanted us to leave but I decided to go through with the casting even though I was convinced I wasn't going to get picked. I just wanted to enjoy the scenery, the girls, the hotel and I wasn't leaving till I'd seen enough.
There were over 300 girls, professionals at the time and they only needed 20 models. 17 year old Linda, 5'8', no modeling experience whatsover stood no chance...or so I thought.
The casting director, Juliet Haggermann, was an American Choreographer, who didn't know who the top models were, so she didn't pick based on that. She would look at you, ask you to walk and either ask you to stay or leave.
My friend went before me, and she wasn't picked. I remember giving her my bag, thinking I will be out the door as soon as I got in, so we can go home together. But I was wrong. Juliet took one look at me, asked me to walk and told me I was in.
That was how I became part of the biggest show is 1998. THE SILVERBIRD INTERNATIONAL FASHION SHOW. And made my first cool cash at 17...
My first runway show. The Silverbird International Fashion Show which featured two American designers
After this show, I was declared model of the year...2000. We won designer of the year for Megitto
After this picture hit the press, people took notice of me, I started signing autographs (I don't do that anymore...people no remember me again...lol)
And this was my last fashion show in 2005. Red, Bold and Jazzy.
I miss the runway so much. But hopefully when our Top Model Search starts, I will do runway again. I've decided to do photography again, so soon y'all will see me on billboards across Lagos.
So that's it. Ten years as a model. It's been an incredible experience.
If you want to see more of my modeling pictures, check it out here...http://lindaikeji.blogspot.com/2007/05/got-ya-linda-ikeji-pictures.html
I'm about to enter another phase..Watch out for this woman!