Freedom, like any other virtue does not exist in a vacuum. It must be Worked and Fought for, to exist at all. And like any other virtue, it imposes upon those who have it the unpleasant task of great sacrifice.
This month, our cover issue is about freedom, whose existence is something that needs to be discussed, especially in Nigeria. Media sensation, Denola Grey has a lot to say about this issue and we believe Nigerians will readily relate.
Denola Adepetun, popularly known as Denola Grey is the epitome of sophistication. He is a fashion blogger, Men’s style enthusiast and a media personality.
He studied Media Business in College and has worked in Fashion PR in New York City. He credits his uncle for his style and refers to him as a mentor.
For Denola Grey, appearance is very important and life is one big performance. One thing is sure, he is not a conformist. Denola dresses to kill every time he steps out, and has no shame admitting it.
He is very experimental, especially with his tuxedoes, neck chain accessories and bow ties. His signature side part cut suits him perfectly.
Denola was chosen as one of the ten dressed men in Nigeria by L’uomo Vogue in the ‘’Nigerian Extra Vaganza.”
He airs as a presenter on Ebony life TV, Africa Magic and OnTV, which airs in numerous countries on the African continent daily. In addition, as a media content generator and style blogger, he dishes out fashion tips on how to get dressed with his own personal style site, www.denolagrey.com.
See excerpts from our Exclusive with Denola Grey below:
How would you describe Denola Grey in 2017?
In the Famous words of Kylie Jenner, I think 2017 is the year of, you know, realizing things. My friends and I are just realizing stuff. JK. It’s about upward career mobility, love, family, friends and being brave.
How did your upbringing influence your career?
My parents have always supported us to forge our own paths and embrace our passions. I’ve always been able to communicate what I want out of life and career.
What made you decide to start blogging?
At the time, I was doing my NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) and I didn’t have a steady job. People kept asking me what it was that I did, and to shut them up, I created a website to be closely associated with fashion and style. That’s how www.denolagrey.com happened.
What is your first love, fashion, presenting, or blogging?
My first love is me. As self-serving as that sounds, it’s the truth. Everything else that I do is an extension of myself. My personal style is an extension of what I feel inside, manifesting in a physical and tangible way.
Looking back, what would you say was your career-defining moment?
So far, it would have to be live-hosting the Fashion Police for the AMVCA’s and also when I made my first TV appearance on El Now. Also, being mentioned as one of the best-dressed men in Nigeria by Vogue Italia was pretty dope. I hope for more defining moments in the future.
What are your current fashion obsession?
I’m really loving high-waist, pleated, and tailored trousers paired with loose fitting vintage shirts.
Favorite fashion magazine?
I don’t read fashion magazines. I’ve always wanted to write for GQ though.
Who would you say is your number one fashion inspiration?
Tom Ford. His attention to details and finesse is unparalleled. I also enjoy looking at how fellow Nigerian blogger, Igee Okafor puts things together.
‘’if you’re going to leave your house, make sure it’s worth everyone else’s while’’ – me
Would you encourage a young person who is passionate about media to pursue it in Nigeria?
I will. If you are able to carve out a unique niche for yourself within a society that has staunch unspoken rules of what is deemed socially accepted, then you’re doing great! Plus, its way easier to export yourself to the rest of the world from here when you stand out.
What does freedom mean to you in the African context?
Freedom for me is being able to be yourself and feel no tension about it. If you’re able to release yourself from societal bonds and do things that make you feel unapologetically free, that’s freedom.
Designers you like Male or Female?
I love Orange Culture and Tokyo James, Balmain and Haider Ackerman. For female brands, I live for drama, so Marchesa, Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad as well as Ralph and Russo are some top picks; not forgetting Tom Ford.
Nigeria has come a long way when it comes to entertainment, where do you see us in the next 5 years?
I see us creating more of a dialogue and becoming an authority country on the African continent, with content that is widely disseminated and media personalities that can cross international borders with ease. There’s so much talent here, it’s unreal.
What do you think of the current Administration?
The presidency? Where is he?
How are you copying with the recession?
I am working twice as hard and hoping that recession bubble bursts. It’s a lot easier knowing that I’m not in it alone. But man, these are some tough times, I genuinely wish everyone the best keep hustling y’all.
What is one thing your readers will be surprised to hear?
That I am actually extremely shy and super awkward.
What’s the one rule you live by?
Love hard, love deep.
Going back to blogging what do you think of the current state of blogging in Nigeria?
I think it’s moved to a more readily available platform, Instagram. It is easily an accessible platform. It’s also not as original at it once was.
If you were to ask your mother what does freedom mean to he,r what do you think she would say?
She would say being able to be yourself the way God intended.
One thing about a good and healthy democracy is the freedom of speech. Do you think that freedom of speech exists in Nigeria?
No it doesn’t? People get taken for speaking up about political issues. They aren’t committing any crimes, they’re merely commenting on the current state of things and they get taken. Look at what happened to Tu Face and Audu Maikori. How does that encourage people to speak up?
Talk to us about growing up in Lagos and in the states?
I think growing up in Lagos helped me get ready for living in America. I was very much an introvert there and kept to myself a lot. I decided to come out of my shell in college and met some of the best people in my life there. Lagos taught me to handle high levels of stress and hustle, and living in America taught me the power of individuality.
Written by: Eromosele Patrick Eidusi
Ig: @pathrik_ t: @_pathrik
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