Believe in ‘your true, authentic self,’ say Nigerian twins making it big as models

CBC is highlighting tales of Black Canadian immigrants to proportion the thrill and obstacles on their paths to Black excellence. From their first steps in Canada to the moments that shaped their lives. Those are their trips right here.

Brothers Uwakmfonabasi and Mokutimabasi Nyong, who moved to Ontario from Nigeria not up to seven years ago, now seem on a 21-metre billboard in downtown Toronto.

the same twins — additionally known as Whak and Mo — began experimenting with photo shoots after they arrived in Canada. 

Now, the 22-12 months-olds have signed on with one of Canada’s top modelling businesses, SUBSEQUENT Canada, and have seemed fashionable Italia. 
But The journey hasn’t always been simple. The twins faced racism and many hard rejections prior to gaining recognition. 

WATCH | Nigerian twins transform a success models after years of observe, rejections:

Twin brothers proportion their modelling luck story

17 minutes in the past

Duration FOUR:57

Whak and Mo Nyong are twin brothers and models from Nigeria who signed on with a most sensible modelling company, NEXT Canada, after years of practice, rejections and tough work. 4:FIFTY SEVEN

Dealing With racism in school

When the Nyong brothers arrived in Canada in May 2015, they remember being very excited and noticing that the elements was “very cold.”

They enrolled in summer time college in Mississauga, Ont., soon after, so they could get used to Canada’s training system sooner than the school year began.

“the first couple weeks in summer season faculty were actually quiet,” Whak said. “Simply staring at and type of trying to learn how folks be in contact with one another, how other people communicate with the trainer.”

at school, the twins faced racism for the first time.

Whak recalls that during 2016, “certain children made it some extent” to let them understand that they have been “other.”

He stated some of their classmates made a laugh in their accent or made jokes approximately their race.

Believe in 'your true, authentic self,' say Nigerian twins making it big as models

Whak and Mo pictured in class right through their first summer season in Canada in 2015 after transferring from Nigeria. (Submitted through Whak and Mo)

In The Beginning, the two brothers have been on a mission to suit in, even asking their mother for cash to pay for accent-reducing classes, but they quickly decided to embody their differences and their identity.

“I remember that till we just established that that is who we’re like, there may be not anything that’s going to change this, that is when the kids had been like, ‘Oh, you men are cool’,” Whak mentioned.

Soon after, the two discovered images and began having picture shoots in their outdoor, posting the photos on social media. 

This earned positive consideration from their classmates, who popular their paintings.

Starting ‘all all over again from scratch’

In 2017, Whak and Mo moved to Hamilton, the place they’d to begin “all all over again from scratch.” 

The brothers, who did not recognise somebody in the town, started exploring their artistic aspect in combination during their unfastened time, learning model and doing photo shoots.

Their paintings temporarily gained a following on social media, and photographers started attaining out to them approximately potential modelling work.

Believe in 'your true, authentic self,' say Nigerian twins making it big as models

The portrait featuring Hamilton models Whak and Mo was unveiled in Toronto as a part of ArtworxTO. (Submitted via Norm Li/Whak and Mo)

That related yr, the brothers made up our minds to try getting paintings with a fashion agency for the primary time. They have been rejected.

Regardless Of many extra rejections within the years to come, Whak and Mo saved a tradition-makes-best attitude. 

over the years, they broke into what they name “Toronto youth tradition.”

In 2019, they put together an artwork display called “Self Obsessed,” showcasing pictures they took given that transferring to Canada. The goal was to encourage early life to imagine in themselves.

“should you imagine in your self and your ideas, your real, authentic self enough, then you definately may just do anything else,” said Whak.

After a couple of onerous-gained connections, in 2019 they made it fashionable Italia.

one year later, within the midst of a global pandemic, the Nyong brothers accomplished their lifelong dream: they had been signed on with NEXT Canada, considered one of Canada’s most sensible fashion companies. 

Believe in 'your true, authentic self,' say Nigerian twins making it big as models

Mo and Whak experimented with pictures and modelling after they moved to Hamilton in 2017, posting their footage on social media. (Submitted by means of Whak and Mo)

Being Black in Canada: My Adventure Here Is a special series where Black Canadian immigrants share the thrill and stumbling blocks on their paths to Black excellence. From their first steps in Canada to the moments that formed their lives.

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