Egor Efiok, a Nigerian based in the UK, is the brain behind E4 PR, an entertainment PR and artistes‘ mamangement agency that manages the likes of Desmond Elliot, Susan Peters, Monalisa Chinda, Chioma Akpotha and others. She speaks with Ada ONyema
What influences your choice of costumes?
I have always been fashionable. I can easily transform any image. Funny enough, I was a teacher for eight years. I read Education at the University of Greenwich in England. Then, I met a couple that operated an artiste management company as well. The way they represented a glamour model, who 90 per cent of people in England didn‘t like because she was trashy, was impressive. They changed her image when she got married. Since then, I got this desire to go into artiste management; coupled with the fact that I‘m equaly fashionable and I‘m into make-up also. Initially, it was an informal thing and before I knew it, it has blown to this. It is a passion.
How are your models doing in the UK?
They are actually doing well. I give them lots of publicity and that is how people started noticing me.
What is the worth of your models or artistes abroad?
When you say their worth, it all depends. For instance, a movie maker saw one of my models and decided to feature her in a movie in Canada. He wrote me from Ghana and if the bill was not worth it, I wouldn‘t have gone. When I gave him the publicity, it created a lot of attraction in the whole of England.
Can you compare modelling in Nigeria with what obtains abroad?
It‘s just a thin line of cultural differences, nothing much. There is one model I met here, Linda Ann. She models for MTN and right now, she is pregnant and we are doing something very unusual with her. We are doing some nature shoots with her, I don‘t know how it would be received here, but it‘s a risk. Her mentality is like the models abroad; daring, and she has a very understanding husband, who doesn‘t mind. But If I have to do it with models here in Nigeria, I have to be very careful because of the cultural differences.
Does that mean your models abroad go nude?
No! Even abroad there has to be some kind of cover; models are not meant to be exploited. Stark nudity to me is porn. You can do nude shooting without anybody actually seeing anything.
Do you think the nature shoots would be accepted in Nigeria?
I don‘t know, that was why I said everything is a risk. Just like what I did for Chioma Akpotha; some may have said why are you trying to turn our good girl into a rock chic. I realised that 90 per cent of our people liked it. If I do my nature shoot and it is not acceptable here in Nigeria, then I would not do it again. I won‘t force something unusual on a culture that is alien to it, but it is beautiful celebrating art. If it turns offensive to the culture, I will not do it. But I have seen a model do it here and the husband doesn‘t mind; so, E4 PR will do some nature shootings with her.
You‘ve got tattoos all over your body. Oh my God! How did you notice that? I ve got them since I was young. I have been in England all my life. To be honest, if it were now and you ask me to do a tattoo, I wouldn‘t do it.
Because it is not worth it. I regret some of them. I hate the one on my arm like hell. I have even visited the best laser clinic in England to take it off and they told me they could not do that on a black skin or I will end up having a white tattoo. I hate this tattoo on my arm but I guess I‘m stuck with it. I try to cover it up a lot and because of it, I hardly wear sleeveless. I would say to people to be careful how you tattoo, especially when people have tattoos of people‘s names. Tattoos last longer than love.
I can see you like the bling bling accessories even to your handset?
I‘m just very fashionable.
What fashion accessory would you break a bank for?
I think I‘m better now because I have a child; so, I have to think very well before I carry the Jimmy Choo bag. I have to be honest, I‘m quite vain about that but I am not as bad I used to be. Everything is under control now.
How was your growing up like?
Well, it was okay. I wouldn‘t complain though I’m from a big family because my dad had many kids. He had mistresses here and there; so I ‘ve got loads of brothers and sisters, but I‘m close to my half brothers.
Most people from polygamous homes do not have good memories of it. Does that apply to you?
We lived in England, so we were kind of separated from all that. I‘ve got other brothers and sisters here in Nigeria, though we are not that close, but we try to keep in touch once in a very long while.
Does that mean you do not have any regret coming from a polygamous home?
I would‘nt say I have regrets but all I can say is that I wouldn‘t want to do that again. I would like to get married to one person and have all my kids by one person. I don‘t think I‘ll like to have kids for more than one person. I will not like to come from a polygamous family again because it does have its trials.
Have you ever been embarrased?
My embarrassing moment? It is so personal and I don‘t think I like to talk about it in public.
It is something that happened in November 2006, I was so embarrassed about it because everyone was talking about it and I had to go back to England. It was very embarrassing.
It made you to run back to England?
Yes, it‘s about my marriage. It is something that happened between myself and my husband.
You caught him with another woman?
No! I just don‘t want to go into details because you are going to print it. I know what you guys are like. It‘s just something that made me grow stronger because I practically lived in church after then and I have not completely got over it. I would say that incident put a strain on my marriage.
To that extent?
Yes! Even though we still try to get over it, believe me I have not completely recovered from it. It is something that whenever I think about it, I feel really embarrassed.
Where is your husband?
He is in Calabar. I met him in Calabar and 10 months later we got married. It was love at first sight because we couldn‘t wait to get married after we met.
So you are a firm believer of love at first sight?
Yes, but one has to watch it.
You talk as if ...
In life generally, one has to watch whatever one does. It is very vital; that‘s all I have to say.
Your husband is a gynaecologist. Do you feel threatened that he meets different women every day?
Well, I met him doing that job. People have this misconception that because he is a gynaecologist, he sees naked women all the time and sometimes people joke and say ‘your husband is enjoying o’ and I say to myself, ‘how much enjoyment can someone get when he sees the same thing everyday’? It can only be so at the initial stage of practice, but he‘s been a doctor for over 20 years. It does not threaten me; rather, I feel threatened by those women who throw themselves at doctors.
And does that affect your relationhip with him?
I think so.
How is it like managing some of these Nollywood stars?
It is a pleasure working with them. They are humble from my own assessment because they know I‘m good at what I do and they listen to me. I want them to be in the spotlight and more commercially appealing to the public too.
Does that include their scandals too?
Everything about them.