For those in the fashion industry or anyone who has seen last week’s ‘Come Dine With Me’, UK's Channel 4's highest rated show drawing in an average of 4-5 Million viewers per episode, Cynthia Chisom Umezulike is certainly not a new name, but there is much more to the Nigerian model than just a pretty face.
Scouted at the age of 15 in her native Nigeria, Cynthia got her first break at the Ford Model Awards Nigeria, taking part in the Nigerian Fashion Week and the Nigerian Model Awards. In 2006, she became Miss Tourism Lagos and was selected to represent Nigeria at the Miss Bikini World in Taiwan. In 2010, Cynthia went on to win Miss Commonwealth International Nigeria, a title the model deployed to raise awareness for the Save the Children Foundation, a charity organisation she volunteers for and supports and her own charitable foundation Blessings and Blossoms Foundation, which aims to provide school supplies and textbooks for children in need. As Miss Commonwealth Nigeria, she also represented Nigeria alongside 50 other delegates from around the world at the Miss Commonwealth International.
The above are not the only titles this young woman holds. With Chief Justice of Enugu State and a professor of intellectual property for a father and a professor of women education and consultant on adult education for a mother, Cynthia has followed the footsteps of her academic parents and boasts a Master's degree (LLM) in Human Rights Law from the University of London, Queen Mary and will soon be embarking on a doctorate programme focusing on the International Laws on the Right of a Child.
Brainy and beautiful, since her move to London to pursue her Master’s in favour of a call from the Nigerian bar, Cynthia has managed to balance academics with modelling, often opting for London Fashion Week shows in order not to disrupt her studies. As well as walking at Vauxhall Fashion Scout show, showcasing for Jasper Garvida and celebrity designer Rhiannon Jones Bolshie alongside Nigerian couturiers Adebayo Jones and Yemi Osunkoya of Koshiba, Cynthia has also been featured in numerous international publications including New African Woman, FAB Online, The Sun, The Voice to name a few.
Once an awkwardly thin teenager, now a beautiful and confident young woman, Cynthia has also completed her first book titled Parallel Sapphires – Rules to Inspire which, drawing on her on experience growing up, offers a detailed guidance on how teenagers can build their self esteem, accept their true worth and realise their full potential.
Naming the former United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of 20th century's most influential figures, Eleanor Roosevelt, and entrepreneur and fashion icon Victoria Beckham as her inspirations and her dad as her role model, it seems Cynthia is set for higher heights.
With more TV appearances lined up and selected as one of the models for the Africa Fashion Week London 2012 to walk at London Spitalfields on 3-4 August, there is much more to come from Cynthia than ‘Come Dine with Me’.