Aside being a nollywood figure, Bob Manuel Udokwu has also become a popular face as an anchor of a treasure hunt TV show, Guilder Ultimate Search (GUS). He spoke to Ifeoma Meze recently on his style and opinion on what many youngsters wear now.
Can you let us into your style and what determines what you wear?
What I wear is made specifically for me because I have one of Nigeria’s top designers that make what I wear. Known as Corporate Vince, they make everything from my outfits to shoes and other accessories. They are based in Enugu. The cloths are made specifically for me.
Does it mean that you don’t buy stuff foreign designers?
I do. I buy cloths, suits and shoes abroad sometimes, but I’m not willing to talk about them. I wear more of Nigerian designs. I don’t subscribe to the saying “I wear Italian designers because it gives you an edge.” No. We have very good designers here and I’m proud of them.
Are urging people to promote Nigerian designers?
Not necessarily but people should wear what they feel is good. What I’m trying to get across is that I don’t feel particularly excited when someone tells me he is wearing A or B just because it is Italian. It may not fit you, what happen to our local designers? What I believe is wear what fits you and not because a particular designer made it.
Can you leave the house without wearing perfume?
I use cologne very well and I don’t think I can step out of the house for an event without using one. I would not like to give the name of my perfume because the company or the designers are not paying me to mention it. It is high time we started identifying with where we belong.
What is it that we won’t ever see you wear?
There is nothing really. Once, I am comfortable with what I am wearing, I am okay. I don’t discriminate. I wear just about anything that fits me. My dress sense is determined by my mood. I don’t wake up and say “this is what I am going to wear” or choose in advance. It is my mood in the morning that would determine what I would wear. My dressing is creative thing that comes to me with the combination and all that.
Most celebrities say their style is English, while others say they like African dressing. What is your own style?
I’m not so crazy or pinching hold with style. My style is what I feel comfortable in at any point in time depending on my mood and there is nothing that I wear on earth that does not fit. Some have a style with a particular kind of cloths, but everything I wear fits me.
Would you say your stature is responsible for looking good in all cloths you wear?
I believe that I’m blessed with a very wonderful stature and I thank God for that.
You are also known to wear jewelleries…
Accessories complement whatever you are putting on…
Is it something you can do without?
It’s a tricky one to say you cannot do without jewellery. For people to say they cannot do without a certain thing means they are craving for it and that is a sin. As a matter of necessity, yes, but to say you cannot do without it is wrong. There is nothing that I cannot do without.
Does it take you time to dress or you just pick out what to wear?
Not necessarily. I just go to my wardrobe and flip through things that I have there and pick out what I want.
Do you have a favourite colour?
I love black and cream.
Can you be spot on red carpet wearing jeans?
Sure, I like jeans. It goes as semi- formal or plain casual, depending on how you want to wear it. So, why not on red carpet? Anything that fits me, I wear. It has to fit me for me to wear it.
What is your definition of someone that is described as fashionable?
Somebody that looks trendy at all times and wears what fits him or her.
Can you say you are a very fashionable person?
It is left for people to judge actually. I try to dress well and I try to dress clean because I know I’m a role model, but then the final judgment rests with the people.
Would you call sagging of trousers, usually done by young guys, being fashionable or in vogue?
It is a free world, they should live their lives; but I think it is disgusting. For the females that expose their body, it is revolting. In Africa, women have a very special place in the scheme of things in the society. There is certain level of decorum people expect from women. A man can do some stupid things and get away with them, but we place women on a very high pedestal because they are going to turn from girls to daughters and to mothers. If you do not live an exemplary life as a woman, what are you going to teach your children? Women are more with the children than men. We do not say father tongue, no; it is mother tongue. The mother is the first individual in a child’s life, A situation where you see some ladies wearing some stuff with half of their butts showing and someone sitting on a bike is looking at everything is disgusting. Some think it’s sexy, but I think it is a turn-off. It is revolting. You don’t have to show all that for people to get attracted to you.
Are you very particular on the kind of children’s dressing?
I like my kids to dress well all the time, but you are not going to catch them wearing what I don’t find funny.
What about when they get older?
When they are old enough to take care of themselves, fine. They might as well do what they want to do. I will only advise as a father and I won’t shove it down their throat, but I will let them know that is not the way to look fashionable.