Changing the face of fashion
Nini Amerlise models her way to top award in Ghana
Positively impacting the diaspora through fashion, Supermodel Nini Amerlise modelled her way to achieve the 2021 Breakout Model of the Year honour at the Ghana Model Awards.
This was just the icing on the cake for Amerlise, who is also celebrating her Ghanian homecoming. She explains to Sunday Lifestyle, “My dad is Ashanti Ghanaian, and my mother was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. To finally have visited Ghana was a dream come true as I have had many unanswered questions regarding my family lineage as I was raised in a single-parent home due to disconnectivity with my dad and his passing away while I was only 13 years old.”
The Ghana homecoming experience, she says, has produced a long-awaited closure and healing from a troubled past. In April of last year, she was invited to Nigeria by the Supernatural Life Center for ministry and outreach. Six months later, she was invited to Ghana by the founder of Ghana Models Awards to be the face of the organisation. It was an honour and a blessing to accept that post.
She brought her entrepreneurial venture and her creative agency, NA Management, with her. Additionally, the supermodel did press tours throughout her new home alongside her fiancé, an award-winning recording artiste. While there, they registered a subdivision of the non-profit organisation called We Are Royal Incorporated. This mission is to develop self-esteem and confidence in youth through education, storytelling, and the arts.
After reconnecting with her long-time friend Sparkzuta, the founder of Ghana’s Next Supermodel, she took the opportunity to develop young aspiring models on his professional platform. She recalled an enlightening encounter she had with last year’s winner of the competition, Mary Animpong, “She was ecstatic to finally meet me in person as I was one of the judges for the competition and called me her inspiration and role model.”
Having the ability to empower the youth and young models is all that Amerlise could ever ask for. “Helping them navigate their sense of identity, capacity, and greatness incubating from within waiting to shine at its appointed time gives me purpose. Life is about paying it forward for generations to come.”
Being the face was incredible enough, so imagine her surprise when on the night of the Ghana Models Awards ceremony in September of last year, she was presented with the award for “Breakout Model of the Year”.
“It’s a great honour to receive an honorary award such as this. Humbling only speaks to one degree of it! The fact that I have lives that need to hear my story and receive mentorship is an indication of the purpose God has given me. This life is completely interwoven with the destinies of many all over the globe. Our job as humans is to utilise all that we have, whether it’s our platforms, our influence and who we are as individuals, to leave our mark everywhere we go, “the Canadian-Jamaican model said.
During her acceptance speech, she spoke about overcoming self-esteem and identity issues through her faith in Jesus Christ. Undergoing years of bullying and domestic abuse, she grew to embrace her uniqueness and embarked on her pursuit of destiny and excellence. It is because of these hardships that she is so passionate about helping others to strut into the spotlight and understand that royalty is their birthright.
“We should refrain from using words like ‘nappy’ and ‘kinky’ to describe our natural hair texture with all its beautiful coils, curls, and waves as those were words to degrade our gorgeous hair type given by slave masters many years ago. We should embrace our body shape. Knowing your self-worth is one of the greatest currencies one can have as it is accompanied by self-love, and loving yourself, comes from loving the creator and how he made you. Which means you can love freely without expecting anything in return.”
Despite the recent surge of fresh faces on the fashion scene, West African models are still being judged by European beauty standard. This impacts their exposure in modern-day media. Having diversity on media platforms, according to the advocate, produces equality and unity among all nations, so she is looking towards making that change. Her ultimate aim is to build a generation stable in mental health, share life-changing stories, and leave a legacy of greatness for those coming up to follow. She also aspires to explore more of her creative gifts with music, design, dance, and, hopefully, land more major acting roles.
“Modelling has always been my tool to reach out and connect with the global audience as everyone relates to creativity, fashion, and media in some way or the other. My goal is to diversify, unify, and evoke self-love to reconcile those who have faced rejection in the fashion and media domain to help restore what true beauty is through the lens of the creator,” Amerlise added.