Meet Elizabeth Isiorho, she is an entrepreneur and a former beauty pageant.
Isiorho began her career in modelling in the UK by doing a few shows in London until an encounter with a friend put her firmly on her destined path. The London born entrepreneur recalls going for a 10-day boot camp and on the ninth day, she decided to quit modelling until her mother urged her on.
She returned to Nigeria after winning the pageant to build her career in the modelling industry. However, she couldn’t find any modelling agency when she returned home and had to depend on agencies in London which didn’t work out for her.
“Because I won Miss Nigeria UK, I was very popular when I came back to Nigeria and I said to myself ‘let me get a proper agency to manage me’,” she told Forbes Africa. “But there was none back then. I did my research and I went to companies and one company told me to just drop my CD. So, there was no modelling agency in Nigeria.”
This inspired Isiorho to start her own model management firm in Nigeria called Beth Model Management Africa, making her one of the few people in Africa to run a model management company. Isiorho started her modelling agency at a time when parents don’t want their children to model.
“I found a few faces and the issue I had was trying to convince the parents that it was not about prostitution. That was the negative stereotype because they felt they exposed their bodies etc.,” she disclosed.
“The other issue was trying to sign contracts with models when we find the right faces. People were scared to sign in Nigeria whereas, in London, people were excited to sign with an agency.”
When Isiorho started her modelling firm, there was low demand for African models. As a result, her company first started as a model conversion where she brought top players in the international fashion industry to Africa to see the continent’s untapped potential.
She struck a partnership deal with Elite Models, a prestigious international modelling contest credited with discovering supermodels such as Cindy Crawford, Gisele Bundchen, Lara Stone and Alessandra Ambrosia.
Haven’t secured her biggest breakthrough, Isiorho exclusively secured the rights to organize the Elite Model Look Nigeria/Africa contest. She has organized the Elite Model Look contest in Nigeria for over 10 years.
“We discovered many stars like Mayowa Nicholas, Davidson Obennebo, Chika Emmanuella, Victor Ndigwe, Tobi Momoh, who are all on global campaigns,” says Isiorho.
Since founding Beth Model Management Africa in 2014, Isiorho has been at the forefront of providing African models with a platform in Europe and America.
“Models will be given a chance to win a two-year international modelling contract with a top modelling agency, offering hopefuls not just a launchpad but a career on the world stage,” she told Forbes Africa.