Model and ex-Big Brother Africa winner, Karen Igho tells Ademola Olonilua about her fashion and style.
Do you wear your natural hair at all?
I’d rather rock my natural hair than weaves. Natural hair is easier to maintain than weaves and it is more convenient.
You really love tattoos. Do you think they are fashionable and do they have a meaning?
Yes, I’m a tattoo lover and I have a number of them. I think highly of them. Yes, they have meanings. Meanings I won’t go into because my tattoos are my private life.
To you, is there a clear cut difference between fashion and style?
I believe your style is your fashion. It all depends on how you combine the things you want to wear and matching the right colours and outfits for the right occasion. As for me, I always ensure I wear the dresses; the dresses don’t wear me.
Do you have a fashion weakness?
Shoes! Shoes! Shoes and more shoes! I can never have enough shoes. I have a strong weakness for shoes. I own lots of shoes, a whole lot. My whole house is filled with shoes. I’ve even lost count of the number of shoes I own.
Would you say your celebrity status scares men away from you?
It attracts and it scares men away too. It scares some because not every man can handle or understand fame. It takes a strong and understanding man to be able to be with a female celebrity. The attracting aspect comes from when they just want to be with you because they want to be able to say ‘I’ve been with Karen Igho.’ It takes God’s grace to be able to sift the chaff from the wheat.
Are you in a relationship?
I’m not in any relationship at the moment because I need to concentrate on building my career. I have a lot ahead of me. Love is unpredictable though; if my man comes along the way, then it is all well and good.
What do you admire in a man?
Confidence. If a man is decked up from head to toe in a designer label but lacks confidence, then he is lacking the most important fashion accessory of them all. Arrogance should not be confused for confidence though. There’s a very thin line and it should not be crossed.
You recently became a British citizen, how did it happen?
Yes I did. I lived in the UK for ten years and fulfilled all other necessary requirements to make me a British citizen and I did become one.
Do you intend to leave Nigeria for UK in the near future?
No. I’m still a Nigerian citizen. I’ll forever be a Nigerian. I have Nigerian blood flowing through my veins. I still have my Nigerian passport. Nigeria is my home anytime any day, no matter how far I travel, where I travel to, how long I’m gone for, I always yearn to come back to my fatherland.
What are the challenges you face while building your brand?
It has not been easy but I thank God. We Nigerians find it easy to believe everything we hear about celebrities and some of these false stories can put a dent in anyone’s image or brand. So staying afloat of the scandals and different stories has been by the grace of God.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been going from one set to another, shooting different movies. Also, the shoot for my reality television show will soon start. I also have a charity event I’m working on.