There are Instagram models, and then there is Davidson Obennebo. Discovered on the social media network during a Tokyo James casting, the Versace model’s career took off after winning the Elite Model Look Worldwide contest in 2016. Davidson is the first black model to win in the competition’s 33 years.
Originally from Anambra State, Nigeria, Obennebo is a Michael Jackson fanatic although his real-life hero is his mother. When asked about what he would change in the world, he promptly says terrorism and racism – though he admits he’s never experienced it and would laugh at whoever dares to bring him down because of the colour of his skin – these are the two worst things a human can experience. It isn’t uncanny that his biggest fear is negativity.
When it comes to runway jobs, Obennebo has walked for Balmain, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dsquared2, Edward Crutchley, Givenchy, Issey Miyake and a host of other brands. He is definitely one to keep an eye on, as it is only a matter of time before the young man gets himself a global campaign – we’d bet on that.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
“Be you, stay true, do it today and forever, always stay humble and keep a positive mind always.”
If you would be a song which would you be?
“Come Closer” by Wizkid ft. Drake. I can never get over that song.
What would you like to change in the world, and why?
Terrorism and racism, they are two of the worst things a human being can experience.
Where would you like to live? And why?
If I have my way, I will love to live on an island like (Mykonos) with my close friends and family, just to be away from the wicked things of the world and be in a peaceful environment enjoying what nature has to offer.
What tribe are you from?
I’m Igbo, a very proud Igbo boy. Haha.
Teach us three words from your tribal tongue?
Chukwu gozie gi ( God bless you).”
What’s your greatest strength?
I think it’s the positive energy I possess; I’m very positive… in everything I do.
What’s the thing you tell yourself everyday?
God take control and take me where you want me to be from this day and forever.
You are an International Male Model from Nigeria. What does that mean to you?
It means a great deal; it means the industry has started to recognize and acknowledge the existence of black models which is very important because “black don’t crack”.
What do you care about?
The loved ones around me, I love making sure I can bring joy to people in whatever I’m doing without even trying.
What would you do if you weren’t modelling?
I would have probably still been in school (university), just about to finish, and face the reality of life, which I’m already doing.
What do you want to see change about the fashion industry?
The recognition of more black models and equal treatment of models, everyone has that one thing another person doesn’t.
What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Being the first black person to win the Elite Model Look contest.
What do you want people to know about you?
I’m sanguinely and a Pisces, I think that defines it all.
What do you want people to check out?
I have some projects coming up soon, and I want people to be on the lookout for it because it’s going to be amazing.
Who do you care about the most?
My mum, I do everything for her, she deserves it all.
Scariest moment of your career, thus far?
Safe to say I’ve not had any bad wish not to have any.