Model Of The Moment: Aduke Shitta-Bey
Aduke was first encountered at the Elite Model Look Nigeria 2015 contest as a finalist. Although she didn’t win, she has gone on to have quite a successful career. The road to success for the young model started after she watched a fashion show on TV and later walked around in her mother’s heels, pretending she was on a runway.
Like in most success stories, Aduke encountered problems at the beginning of her career, but with “passion and perseverance” she overcame them. At 21 years of age, Aduke has had a full life – she has worked with famed photographers like Lakin Ogunbanwo and TY Bello, been the face of MUD Cosmetics Nigeria, and appeared in numerous publications including Vogue Italia. The model spoke to Guardian Life about her life and career.
“My name is Aduke Afusat Shitta-Bey. I’m from Lagos, Lagos Island to be precise.” It was no surprise finding out that she was from Lagos; Aduke has a kind of confidence that only a Lagosian can elicit. There is a level of warmth to her, a strength in her catwalks and the captivating power of her images, although being confident was something she struggled with at the beginning of her career.
Aduke talked about the challenges she faced in the early years of her career. She didn’t have an easy entry into the industry as it was speculated that she was not the “standard” size. She started dieting and working out after Beth Model Management decided to work with her. Her weight wasn’t the only issue, however. “As a model, you’re always expected to be a certain height and above. Early in my career, I had people doubt my ability to perform but, as time went on, I was able to prove otherwise.”
Although Aduke is two inches shorter than the industry’s standard height, she didn’t quit; instead, she worked harder.
Aduke, on the highlight of her career so far, said, “The highlight for me would be when I opened for LaQuan Smith at GTB Fashion Weekend. It was really intense, the outfit was everything and more. I felt like Halle Berry in Cat Woman for a minute. It was definitely a moment.” Aduke opened the show wearing a black latex bodysuit, thigh-high boots and a bomber jacket. The crowd went wild the moment she stepped out. Her sassy walk, synchronised with the hard music that played in the background, helped her steal the fashion industry’s heart within a short moment on the runway. It’s easy to understand why Aduke picked this as the defining moment of her career.
On a lighter note
Aduke commended sleeping, drinking a lot of water and exfoliating for her flawless skin. To a layman, paying extra attention to skincare might seem daunting, but the model’s body is her money-maker, which doesn’t give her the luxury of neglecting it. She listens to trap music when she works out and wishes to one day raid Rihanna’s wardrobe.
Aduke remains positive, mentioning how praying has helped her. “God’s plan is the best. I’m certain I will be growing, prospering and achieving by His grace.” She loves spending time with her friends and would deejay if she wasn’t modelling. To some, it might border on the dangerous not having a definite plan other than praying, being determined and taking every day as seen but, to Aduke, those are all that matters. From the projection of her life, it seems to be working in her favour.