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Fashion : Set To Rule The World
Ifeoma Jones, 19, becomes the first Nigerian to win a modelling contract with America’s Ford, the world’s biggest modelling agency
  Nneamaka Madumelu (Nnenny)

Chinazo Okoli


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  Profile - Ifeoma Yoland aJones

  Profile - Ifeoma Yoland aJones

  Nigerian Model Ifeoma Yolanda Jones

Click on an icon to view Ifeoma's Images

Report By By Adetutu Audu

The News

Things, definitely, are looking skywards for Nigerian model, Ifeoma Yolanda Jones. Last month, she became the first Nigerian to be signed on by America’s Ford Model World, the biggest model agency in the world. Ifeoma’s success is a follow-up to her success in beating 16 other young Nigerian girls to the 2006 Nigeria Model Awards (NMA) held in December of that year. Last month, the 19-year-old slugged it out on the New York runway with 44 other models from different countries for the Ford Model World. Though she failed to emerge as one of the five runners-up, whom she told TheNEWS were from Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Brazil and Belarus, Ifeoma’s outstanding outing earned her a modelling contract with Ford Model, New York.

Standing at 5.11, with vital statistics of 33-32-36, Ifeoma told TheNEWS that she does not feel bad missing out. According to her, she tried her best at the competition and it was actually her performance that won her the modelling contract. “Though I did not make the top five, the judges could not take their eyes off me. I am happy that I won a contract with Ford Model, being the biggest. There is none of the highly rated models who did not pass through Ford,” she said excitedly. Recounting her experience, the 2006 NMA winner said the contest was an eye opener for her, especially during the camping. According to her, she learnt how to improve on her catwalking as well as the opportunity to see how things are done in other parts of the world. With her new status, Ifeoma said she is set to conquer the world. “I hope to surpass the level of wave-making Oluchi Onweagba and Bisi Sowemimo. I will put in my best so that I can continue to make my country proud,” she vowed.

Does being Nigerian hold her down? “I am not in any way intimidated. If Agbani Darego, a Nigerian, can be Miss World, I believe I have what it takes to go places,” she said defiantly. Ifeoma Yolanda Jones might be keeping a date with destiny. As Sola Otis, Project Manager, NMA, told TheNEWS, she was expelled from the La Campaigne Tropicana camping for the Nigeria Model Awards, 2006 for breaking camp rules. She had to come back with her mother, who came to plead that she should be taken back. After much persuasion and intervention of other contestants, she was taken back and eventually won the 2006 NMA and was picked by Ford Model’s Head Scout, Robert Knapp. From there, she went on to New York and became the first ever Nigerian girl to be signed on by Ford. Bisi Sowemimo, maiden winner of the NMA in 2004, got international exposure in Paris, Milan, New York, Monte Carlo, Cannes, South Africa. Currently, she lives in Johannesburg and is one of the biggest models in the country. Hilda Nevoh won the NMA in 2005 and represented Nigeria at the Ford Supermodel contest, winning a contract with Icon Models which will be activated as soon as she is through with her studies at the Enugu State University, where she is currently studying Economics.

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