Nigerian-Ghanaian based top model, Actor, Entrepreneur and change agent, Victoria Michaels – who has an almost-unbelievable figure, natural hair and a cool, collected deportment – is one of the most sought-after figures to be the brand ambassador and lead commercial model for leading businesses in Africa.
In addition to strutting the runways, and major roles in commercials, she is an enthusiastic social change advocate who has founded Victoria Michaels Foundation – a non-profit organization with the goal to empower women and less privileged children across Ghana.
Today is the 12th and last day of our #12daysofglam Christmas giveaway contest courtesy of Amali Cosmetics. And to end with a bang, we are celebrating this multi-talented, intelligent and focused individual who truly is a gift to the African continent. We sat down with Victoria Michaels in an interview to discuss her journey from modelling to becoming a social advocate, the challenges she has had to tackle, her achievements and of course, her plans for 2018.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Victoria Michaels, Model, Actor, Entrepreneur and change agent. I am very passionate about impacting lives and adding value to my community. I am both God-fearing and Fun loving, there are no dull moments around me. I believe strongly in getting things done excellently. I am also a firm believer in values such as resilience, humility, handwork, teamwork, and integrity. I am focused and very determined, I guess that sums me up, I hope it doesn’t sound like am a superhuman because I am not (laughs).
What was it like, being groomed and mentored by the legendary Kofi Ansah?
V: The magic word in your question is “Legendary” that’s about the term fit enough to describe Kofi, I think he is a man who came before his time, been under his tutelage is one of the best moments of my life. All that I am metamorphosing into was already seen and predicted by Kofi Ansah, he saw it before anyone did. I’ve been extremely lucky to have been mentored and coached by an amazing person in the fashion industry. He was the only fashion icon at the time who looked out for opportunities for both models and fashion designers and this I will forever be thankful for. I’ve had the opportunity to work with other designers but KOFI ANSAH’s creation is next to none, he is simply a master craftsman and generational thinker, someone you would call a Maestro.
How would you say it impacted your life in general?
V: It gave me a sense of vision and direction so far as my career as a model is concerned. Working with him inspired a lot of confidence in me to take on my world in spite of all the challenges that may occur as I navigate.
You are one of the most sought-after brand ambassadors for leading businesses in Ghana, how does that make you feel?
V: Well, I give all the glory to God for His Grace. It is also important to stress that this didn’t just happen overnight, a lot of commitment, personal development and craft improvement and polishing. My team and I have worked hard over the years and the result is what you essentially see today. I feel good and grateful but there’s still a lot more to be done. I believe there is still a lot more room for growth both for me and also in the industry. For me, the goal for me is just not endorsements but rather to contribute my quota to making the industry more robust.
You’ve come a long way from modelling to being a social change advocate. What has the journey been like? What has been your drive?
V: It’s been both interesting and challenging at the same time. For me, this is a path I am configured for, the process has been exhilarating to say the very least. I have been inspired by the lessons I continue to learn both professionally and personally. My drive is actually to help people succeed, I want the photographer to get result when he focuses his lenses on me, I want to see my MUA commended for her beat on my face, I want the stylist or the designer to be applauded for their creativity, in summary, my drive is to see everyone around me Succeed collectively with me, success is nothing if we have all not succeeded.
What inspired The Africa Literacy Development Initiative (ALDI)?What been its greatest achievements?
V: Africa Development Literacy Initiative is inspired by our resolve to curb illiteracy in the African continent. My travels around the world have shown me that one of the major challenges we have in the continent is lack of education. So we at the Victoria Michaels Foundation decided to ferociously push the literacy development agenda as a catalyst for change. ALDI is committed to changing the literacy narrative in Africa beginning from Ghana. We have achieved a lot since our inception. Together with our partners we voted the sum of Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars ($500,000) to expanding the literacy frontier and so far we have expanded over 30% of it in building of school blocks, libraries, provision of learning aids, supply of book boxes, scholarship schemes and other various literacy interventions in Ghana. By God’s grace, we are poised to do more in the coming year.
Have you faced any challenges running your foundation and managing the ALDI?How did you deal with them?
V: I think that life comes with challenges and one must learn how to deal with them. We have had quite some challenges of our own in the social change space, I think the major challenge we had initially is to get a buy-in, people need to be sure of what you are doing before they can partner with you. We have had to do most of the work on our own, I have invested and still putting in a lot of personal funds for this cause from the beginning till now it is, however, gratifying to see corporate partners and well-meaning individuals come on board. The lesson is this- show people how you want it to be done by doing it yourself. It could be challenging in the early stages but all that will change when you earn the trust of potential partners and donors…that’s the VMF and ALDI story.
You obviously use your influence to fight for causes and bring about change. What else are you passionate about?
V: It is very important for one to know their purpose in life. We must always remember that we are here for a mission and must deploy our gifts, talents, and skills for the betterment of others. I said earlier, my passion is to see people succeed. I am passionate about God, Family, Relationships and Social Advocacy. I want to be able to not just speak up but ACT for the underprivileged and under-served.
What would you say has been your greatest achievements this year?
My greatest achievements will be in the lessons I have learned, this year taught me a lot and it is a tall list, for me, that’s an unbeatable achievement.
What can we expect from you in the New Year coming?
V: I am excited about the coming year and all I can say is let’s be expectant. Great things will surely happen by God’s Grace.
HOW TO WIN
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