BY JOSEPHINE AGBONKHESE
Ever heard of a minister who struts the runway and organizes secular fashion shows? They sure aren’t easy to come by but Jackie Omotosho is one. She has done fashion shows for respected brands like John Casablanca and Macy’s, both in the United States.
The graduate of Architecture who pastors a branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God alongside her husband in the US, was recently in Nigeria to unveil her book ‘The Practice, Influence of Elegance: Inside Out’.
We had a chat with Jackie at the event which was graced by A-list personalities such as the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, and the mother of five reeled out the many ways elegance can attract success in life when we queried why a pastor should be taking secular modeling.
What brought about the inspiration for modeling?
It’s been in me long before I moved to the United States. I had the title of my book as well. I noticed I was always correcting people’s postures, walking patterns and much more. But when we got to the US, I became concerned about how careless and “excessively” informal many are over there. So, I made up my mind to intervene and that led me to John Casablanca School of Modeling in North Carolina, which was very unusual for a pastor’s wife. However, there, I understood some of the corrections. I couldn’t help but write about them because they were already impacting the lives of many around me, especially in church where I often incorporate the knowledge in my messages.
Is this your first book?
Yes, it is, and it’s a two-volume book. The Practice, Influence of Elegance: Inside Out is about grooming one’s image to fulfill divine destiny. It also talks about the need to employ image consultants where necessary, to ensure a “sharper” and well-groomed personality. The book can of course serve that purpose as well, though. However, for more detailed personal grooming, I recommend that an image consultant who understands the use of colors, styles, accessories, hair, makeup, poise, posture, etiquette, good nutrition and exercise be hired.
He or she also carefully guides you on how best to manage your media and personal image, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and also how to maximize your potentials. The benefits of these are invaluable because they boost your professional and personal life.
But do you know you’re one of the few pastors who preach outright elegance…
(Laughs) Beauty glorifies God. When we walk in the wisdom or skill of elegance, it will bring the success we fervently pray for. But if we do not apply this wisdom, we may have to wait, and walk through rejections because we’re probably not good enough or not making good impressions at first sight. This can be costly.
We could miss opportunities even though we may be qualified. While if we are polished and making good impressions on people around us, we may obtain better jobs, work fewer hours, earn more money, and accomplish more.
Isn’t this a deviation from your calling?
This wisdom is also found in God. Elegance is like God’s goodness- being good, doing right, faring well while rejoicing. The lord makes you glad and beautiful. True elegance must give glory to God. It should make people not just aware of you, but give glory to God for the beauty you radiate.
Who is your greatest role model?
Her name is Coco Channel and I talked about her in my book. Channel grew up in an orphanage but ended up being a fashion icon. She introduced black and elegance to fashion and I always like to talk about her.
…and the greatest influence on your life?
My greatest influence is God. My husband is number two; he taught me how to correct people without shouting. He also of course let me go into modeling even though we are ministers.
Your advice to Nigerian women?
You do not need to be wealthy to be elegant or show your personality. Just strive to maintain your integrity and let it show in all that you do.