Standing at a towering height of 6 feet’8 inch, Bakare Olalekan Mubarak is currently the tallest model in sub-Saharan Africa, a record he has held since 2016. His intimidating height attracts stares everywhere he goes to. In a recent interview with Adefolami Balogun, Mubarak claims to be of same height as the tallest model in the world, Ekaterina Lisina, who is known for her slots in the Guinness Book of World Records. Mubarak also speaks about his modeling career, and achievements so far.
You’re known to be a professional model in this part of the world where people believe that modelling is for females, how did you find yourself in the industry?
For me, I have always felt that I needed to make a statement and it’s not all the tall guys that should play basketball. I feel we could make history and become legends doing some other things.
How long have you been a model?
I have been a model for over three years.
And what are your achievements so far?
(Laughing) Oh well, I wouldn’t want to say that I’ve achieved because I do not have a ‘no’ caution for optimism. I think I’ll comfortably say that I’m greedy when it comes to goals and achievements but I’ll say one of the greatest milestones I’ve attained was the record of being the tallest model in Nigeria first and then the tallest model in sub-Saharan Africa. I was first a pageant king in 2015, I’ve worked with renowned brands such as; Fashion TV, Glo Nigeria, Itel mobile, Zenith Bank, Afrotourism MESS, Los Angeles, to mention few.
Why are you adding culture and tourism as projects with your modeling career?
One of the greatest things I feel that I’ve achieved personally is bringing a change in the game which is like a fusion of modeling with tourism and culture which brings about my projects, ‘The Photo Waka’ and ‘The Modern African Man’.
‘Photo Waka’ is a trade mark initiative that is a fusion of modeling and tourism and it’s intended to promote the beauty of African culture and unite Africans through photo documentaries and on this one I have the Ooni of Ife as the grand patron. ‘The Modern African Man”’are world-class commercial clips showcasing the beauty of an Afrocentric man ranging from wears, accessories, etc, and concentrating on the details to show the beauty of African attires, lifestyles, culture, food, dance and everything about Africa. These are initiatives that came into existence out of a burning passion to promote our culture as a lover of culture.
What were the challenges you faced when you started?
Well, everyone has challenges, but I do not entertain challenges. I feel I have to do what I have to do. The first thing was the fear of failure and discouragement from people that were close to me. My father didn’t actually support me to become a model, he wanted me to live that predictable conventional life. He spent a lot putting me through school; I went to a private university and he expected that after school, I get a job and earn a living. But my own intentions were different. I don’t want to live a predictable conventional life, so it took me time to convince him about what I wanted to do.
What inspired you to becoming a model?
Back then, whenever I walked on the street even without wearing any designer cloth or anything, I got stared at a lot, I can tell categorically that 50 per cent of the people on the street whenever I walk stare at me or even say something about me. So I felt I could leverage on my height, I could capitalise on it and that was how it all started with me becoming Mr Kwara International in 2015.
What future achievements you are looking forward to?
I was recently confirmed to represent Nigeria amongst 53 other countries as Global Cultural Ambassador of the Commonwealth International Global Pageant in London by November. Again, I was conferred with the honor of the Cultural Ambassador at the prestigious Nike Art Gallery Limited and I’m hoping and praying for more to come.
Are you in a relationship?
(Laughs) No, I’m engaged to my career at the moment.
Who is Mubarak?
Well, I have a lot to say about Mubarak but I’ll just say a few. I am the tallest model in sub-Saharan Africa, based on evaluation I stand at the same height as the world’s tallest model. At 23, Bakare Mubarak is a hard worker with a humble personality, a model, an influencer, a graduate of accounting and also an ex-pageant king (Mr Kwara International 2015/2016).