Suzzie Odeniyi aka Suzzie D is an entrepreneur in the media and fashion/modeling industry in Europe.
She is the CEO of Suzzie D Model Management and Suzzie D Celebrity Network where she manages beauty queens and models from all around the world.
She’s equally the organiser of Most Beautiful Girl in Ireland and Most Beautiful Girl in the World beauty pageants.
Odeniyi, who relocated with her mum to Dublin, Ireland at the age of five, opens up on her career, the beauty/modeling world and lots more.
Could you tell us a bit about your background?
My name is Suzzie Odeniyi but people call me Suzzie D. I am a fashion/beauty entrepreneur. I was born here in Nigeria, precisely in Ibadan, Oyo State but I moved to Ireland, Dublin when I was five years old. And I have been there all my life.
I went to primary, secondary and also college in Ireland. I studied fashion and business. I am always travelling and managing girls. I am a Nigerian by root, though I have lived in Ireland for 19 years. I am Irish but I am more Nigerian than Irish. Nigeria is my root and it is always important not to forget your home.
My mum, Aderonke Hassan, is into politics at the moment. She went from business to politics. My dad has retired but he is still managing his oil company. My dad was always in and out of Ireland, and I learnt a lot about business from him.
As a fashion/beauty entrepreneur, what kind of business do you do?
My background is in fashion and beauty. I have been managing models and international beauty queens for about eight years now. I started in Ireland where I grew up. My modeling agency is called Suzzie D Model Management. I am the organizer of Most Beautiful Girl in Ireland and Most Beautiful Girl in the World beauty pageants, where winners emerge from all around the world every year. I came to Nigeria because my mum lives here and she kept on telling me that I must come home and do something for my people. And one of the things I am planning to do here is to organise Luxury Model Search Nigeria.
Could you tell us more about Luxury Model Search Nigeria?
In Luxury Model Search Nigeria, we are not just looking for beautiful girls, we are looking for someone who we can go into business with, because at the end of the day, modeling, fashion and beauty are a business, apart from the glamour that comes with it. If I speak to a potential model, in one minute, I can easily know if the person will be successful or not. I always can tell by the way they speak and what is going on in their minds.
One of the strategies for Luxury Model Search Nigeria is to find a female entrepreneur. This is to give the girls a platform to advance themselves. We are not specifically saying that you must become a model. Although, modeling is part of it, after a year of doing modeling, you can decide to go into acting or any other thing and our job will be to lead you into that; to support, push and give you the necessary guidance you require. The reason I am doing this is to create opportunities for girls and open doors for them.
What will the winners of the competition get?
The winner will get N1 million cash prize, and sign an international modeling contact with me. There will also be PR engagements to do adverts and branding amongst others. The first runner-up gets N500,000 and also an international modeling contract, while the second runner-up gets N250,000 and a modeling contract as well. The competition is scheduled for August 4, 2019 at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
What makes Luxury Model Search different from other beauty pageants we have in Nigeria?
A beauty pageant only concentrates on beauty and modeling. There might be other supports here and there, but what differentiates us is that, you don’t actually have to become a model, you can use this platform to build or pursue whatever you want to become. Do you want to become a women rights advocate or you want to establish your own organisation or do something that is modeling related? We are here to support you. This pageant is unique; it gives platforms to people. The age bracket of the model will be between 18 and 25 years.
Were there times you took part in any beauty pageant?
Yes, I competed in the Miss Nigeria Ireland beauty pageant and came among the top five. I also took part in Elite Model Look, Ireland of which I was a semi-finalist. For me, it’s not about winning but the confidence acquired through the platform.
How long have you been in the industry and what is your assessment of it?
I have been in the industry for about nine years now. In Ireland, it is tough, especially being a black woman in business. Most businesses are white-dominated, so when they see a black woman enter the market, it is a threat to them. They will rather give a job to one of their own. Even though, I am Irish, they will rather give a job to one of their own because of the skin colour. So, racism still exits and it is part of life there. However, I do like challenges and I pray God makes a way for me where there seems to be no way.
Talking about assessment, in Ireland, only a small percentage of the people are open to change. But here in Nigeria, they want change. Nigerians are tired of doing the same old things. It is more refreshing to be around your own people and doing what you love.
Who is your favourite Nigerian musician?
I listen to everything as long as it sounds good. I do have the ear for good music. Nigerians have set the standard in music, which is good, but generally, I love listening to jazz music. I like Wande Coal. I also love old school vibes, artistes like Aaliyah, Ashanti, and Eve etc.
What challenges do you face in your job?
There are always challenges in every venture. For me, it’s time management.
There isn’t enough time in the day to get things done. 95% of people in the creative sector can attest to this. But I always find ways to overcome these challenges by delegating.
Are you dating at the moment?
You know, my life is always in the public eye, so this I’ll keep to myself.
Would you want to marry a Nigerian?
I wouldn’t say yes and I wouldn’t say no, because there’s no point in that. Whoever God has chosen for me is what I will go for. As human beings, we may choose the wrong thing for ourselves but if God chooses the person for you, that’s extremely nice. I will go by God’s choice and not by what I like. I have dated an Irish guy. I’m a Nigerian and I wont say I can’t marry my own culture. But whatever God has chosen for me, maybe a Nigerian or from another culture, I’ll go by God’s choice for me.
What do you look for in a man?
I will choose someone who believes in God. Someone who is ambitious as much as I am because I’m very ambitious and a lot of men are intimidated by someone who is very driven and ambitious.
I want someone who is very sincere, who is loyal, and who knows what he wants. A lot of men are quite intelligent but they don’t know what they want. They don’t know what they want in the next few years. Do you want to have families, do you want children, do you want a house of your own, or do you want to relocate? I want someone who understands me, a man I could travel the world together with, and be in each other’s company.