Presenting Ms Fierce: Fumi “Trinity” Desalu
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Not only is Fumi “Trinity” Desalu, all beauty and brains intertwined together but she is a “female warrior”, a true representation of what a dreamer is a all about. A name to be reckoned with in the high profile modeling industry and she is no stranger to the silverscreen. It is no wonder she has been compared to great warriors like Iman, Grace Jones, and Naomi Campbell. This is a women who bears a lot of lessons to share for all the young dreamers. We at Jamati.com were very fortunate to have such a woman of her class, to share her journey with us. Hope you are inspired!
Jamati: First, welcome, and we thank you Africa’s queen-dome for sharing your journey with us.
Fumi “Trinity” Desalu: Thank you vey much for having me Jamati; it’s a pleasure to be here!
Jamati: This might be one of those cliche questions but it’s always refreshing to hear from the horses’s mouth. In brief, who is Fumi “Trinity” Desalu, the diva?
I am bold, stylish, fresh, lots of fun, new and old; because I’m fashion forward and open to all things, but also because I’m still very traditional, relating to culture, and history, and obsessed with old Hollywood. I’m lots of fun, always exciting. I’m a lovable DIVA.
Jamati: Before going any further I have to ask, which string of women would you personally say paved the way for you in pursuit of your profession?
Well, there were different role models for me at different stages of my career. The first was my mother, who taught me me grace and charm and to always stay true to myself. Then there was Miriam Makeba from South Africa, who showed me so much strength and courage, and taught me you can achieve anything you want; and finally, Iman, a fellow African who achieved international success in an industry that had nobody like her, and brought Africa to the forefront.
Jamati: You are no stranger in the high profile modeling world, what is it about the industry that you felt was inviting you to be part of it?
Well of course the fashion, I’ve always loooooved fashion, but, without a doubt, it is the traveling the opportunity to travel the world, to countries and cities I would never have visited had it not been for the fact that I was a model. It has been a priceless education that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
Jamati: Which would you say is closer to your heart, the catwalk or being on screen?
That’s an interesting question, because there isn’t much of a difference. It’s a wonderful marriage of stage presence, the cat walk being the silent movie, and the silver screen a talkie. When I do fashion shows, I have to bring the designer’s vision to life through body language. You become very much an actress of sorts and the high is that you get instant gratification because you are doing it in front of an audience, so you only have one take. As for the silver screen, I bring the words to life through physical expression; without it, the emotions I’m told to capture in a scene would be lost. The end product is beautiful to see on the big screen. I cannot choose. I love them both. The only advantage of a screen actress is that you have a longer shelf life in the business.
Jamati: How does it feel to realize that you are becoming a brand name in America, adding to the great works ,that of the likes of Iman and Idris Elba are doing?
It feels amazing and exciting and a little bit scary because I’ve always wanted to do well with whatever I’m passionate about, be it my films or creating a collection, I just never expected to be received with so much warmth and interest. Also these are wonderful times in America, we have opened up to a lot of CHANGE and that has added to my success because doors have opened to allow me to express my creative outlets. It’s humbling and only makes me strive and work harder. Whatever I attach my name to has to be flawless. I owe that to the young girls out there who look up to me or feel that they too want to go down this career path.
Jamati: Africa’s Top Model, we understand that you are a big part of it in it’s first time in the running. What lessons do you have for all the young hopefuls looking up to you?
Fumi “Trinity” Desalu: Yes! it’s been a long time coming. I was the first ever super model of West Africa and now i’ve been invited back home to be a guest judge to the first ever Africa’s Top Model reality show. I’ts an honour to do this all over again, but now as a teacher as opposed to a student, it’s very exciting. I want to let the young models know that they can achieve great success in this industry through determination, resilience, drive and confidence. There are going to be seasons when some of them will not be in demand and it’s at those time, that they will have to stay resilient, because they will be in demand again and again throughout their careers.
Jamati: “The Glamour Girl” project–what is it all about and how different will it be from the other glamour shows about fashion and life style?
“Glamour Girl” is a very international and cosmopolitan show. It’s a show about every thing glamorous, from fashion to travel to places like Capris and St Tropez. From celebrities and red carpets, to culture. The show will travel the world and show places that we would not have had the opportunity to visit, like Dubai, for instance. This show is red lipstick and Aston Martins. Naturally we will cover all the fashion weeks in Milan, New York, Paris, and London. I will fill you in on whats hot and what’s not! The show will cover upcoming designers to look out for, as well as those that have made such an impact on the industry including Valentino, and Yves Saint Laurent, who died this year.
And of course go to Africa and show the depths of its potential, more so now, than ever before. It will be a wonderful show! I was lucky, I was born in Moscow, Russia and brought up in Europe and Africa. My eyes were opened to different kinds of beauty and culture, and I’ve come to realize that people in America are curious about beauty and trends from other parts of the world, like India and Japan. They see it incorporated in the clothes they buy everyday. So I decided to take all of my experience in the fashion world, and my travels to these beautiful places, and turn it into a show. This was how “Glamour Girl” was born.
Jamati: The comparison of you with great legends like Grace Jones, Iman, and Naomi Campbell, how inspiring is it to you?
It’s a very humbling feeling and I’ve always been extremely flattered. One thing these women all have in common is staying power! They have accomplished incredible things in their lives and there has been nobody like them before or since. They will all go down in history for the impact they have made in their various industries. To posses a little bit of each of them, be it looks, career, or same national background is amazing, and I feel very fortunate to have been compared to them at different stages of my life and career.
Jamati: What is Ms Trinity’s most profound quote?
Actually I have two; the first is ” This too shall pass” and the second is “Never, never, ever give up on your dreams!”
Jamati: For any young girl seeking a career in modeling, what would you say to them to help them strive even more?
I would tell the girls that they have to lay a foundation towards the pursuit of their career. Be grateful that you hit the genetic lottery, have a personality, and be polite. There are beautiful girls coming into this industry every day, that’s competition enough. If you have a bad attitude, then you don’t even stand a chance in any kind of career in this business because nobody wants to work with a difficult girl. Also they should open up their minds to the genius and creativity of all designers, photographers, make-up artists and hair stylists. A model is a canvas that is painted over again and again from different points of view, you always learn something.
Above all, be yourself and never change. This is what will make you unique and that is what will give you staying power in an industry that constantly changes.
Jamati: Are there any new projects emerging that you would love to to share?
Yes, Jamati, I do! I’m in the process of creating my make-up line and a signature fragrance named after me. The make-up line will be named after all the countries and capitals of Africa, it’s a way for the world to know more about Africa. The collection can be used by every skin tone under the sun and they have natural ingredients.
I’m very excited about the fragrance, because it’s going to be “UNISEX”, both men and women can wear it, it will be the new thing, darlings, very fabulous!
Jamati: In your free time what’s that one thing that is so soothing and relaxing that you absolutely love to do?
Oh, that one is very easy, SLEEP. I also catch up on my reading. Seriously though, the one thing that I love to do is be with my family. One travels so much in this business that you have little or no time to spend with them. Just to catch up on everyone in the family and their lives, seeing and playing with my little nieces is one of the most relaxing things I can think of.
Jamati: Without a doubt it’s clear that you are a household name to be reckoned with and to have you walk us through your journey is indeed an honor. More light to you and all the best in everything you strive for.
Thank you so much for your love and support Jamati. The honor was all mine.