Oluchi Onweagba Victoria's Secret Angel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model from Nigeria

Early life
Onweagba grew up in the suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria with her two brothers and sisters. She is the daughter of a civil servant father and mother who was a nurse.[2] When Onweagba was 16 years old, she won the "Face Of Africa" contest.[2]

She was urged by a family friend to enter into the M-Net "Face of Africa" preliminary screening at the M-Net office in Victoria Island, Lagos.[3] The agency groomed her to be one of Nigeria's entrants for the 1998 competition (now called the Nokia Face of Africa). This despite the fact that, growing up, she had maintained a relative ignorance towards fashion and modeling.[citation needed] With the support of her family and friends, she decided to compete in the inaugural edition of the Face of Africa in 1998. This was the first-ever continent-wide model competition, organized by the South African channel M-Net in collaboration with Elite Model Management.[citation needed] She won the competition.[4] She was just seventeen years old. Elite Model Management awarded Onweagba a three-year modeling contract.


After moving to New York City, where she still lives, Onweagba graced the covers of Italian Vogue, i-D, ELLE, Untold, and Surface; she also was featured in Nylon, Marie Claire, Allure, and other national editions of Vogue around the world.[citation needed] She became the face of campaigns for Gianfranco Ferré, Gap, Express, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor, as well as working for Victoria's Secret.[citation needed] Onweagba's runway experience has been with John Galliano, Christian Dior, Costume National, Chanel, and Giorgio Armani, amongst others, in London, Milan, Tokyo and Paris.[citation needed] She has worked with such notable photographers as Steven Meisel, Nick Knight, and Patrick Demarchelier.[citation needed]
Beyond modeling, she tries to serve as a role model for other aspiring talents in Nigeria, especially young girls.[citation needed] She volunteers her time and her image for such NGOs as LEAP Africa (an entrepreneurship incubator) and NIPRO. She also is continuing her higher education, having studied for an associate's degree in the New York City educational system.[citation needed]
After her three-year contract with Elite expired, she signed with DNA Model Management.[citation needed] A highlight of her career so far was when she was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue four times, from 2005 to 2008.[citation needed]
In 2008, she launched a modeling agency in South Africa, OModel Africa, with offices in Johanesburg and recently in Cape Town.[citation needed] The 2008 winner of M-Net Face of Africa, Kate Tachie-Menson, was awarded a US $50,000 modeling contract by OModel Africa.[citation needed]

Personal life

Onweagba is married to Italian fashion designer Luca Orlandi. They have a 3-year-old son.[1] Onweagba's first name comes from the Igbo language and means "God's Work".[2][5]