Twenty Questions with Wumi Amokeodo
Welcome to Twenty Questions!
Every week I invite a twenty-something onto the blog and share their responses to twenty quick-fire, intimate questions. No one featured on Twenty Questions is a public figure, and most of these people I don’t know very well, or at all. My hope is that by taking a peek into someone else’s soul you will realise that, despite our fundamental differences, we still have similar insecurities, make similar mistakes and have fought similar battles to become the people we are today.
What is your full name?
How old are you?
Two weeks into being twenty!
How old do you feel?
Where were you born, and where do you live now?
I was raised in London as an only child with a single mother, I lived my teens in Auckland am now slow-travelling the world with no end in sight! I’ve been in Menorca, Spain, for a month and will be moving to Berlin in March – not for any opportunity in particular, just to live in a new place. People keep telling me it’s a creative, liberal, multi-cultural city and at this stage of my life I want to live somewhere I can soak up inspiration and express myself. Growing up as an only child meant that my house was always quiet, now I’m realising that homes filled with people and engaged communities is where I am happiest.
What do you do for work?
I do a combination of modelling, selling vintage clothes and posing as a muse for life drawing classes. Posing for artists involves creating dynamic and interesting shapes for people to practice drawing the human form. It’s often nude but I’ve had some cool costume sessions too. One day I might be doing ten-second short poses because the group wants to focus on drawing a body in motion, or it could be a two-hour long pose for a detailed portrait. You have to stay still and be fully present in your body to ensure your pose stays consistent. It’s physically uncomfortable – your limbs go numb, you have to ignore any nagging itches, your muscles get sore – but once you hit the point of being able to accept the discomfort or ache, it becomes like a kind of meditation. That being said, you’ve got to be smart in choosing poses you can sustain! Posing for life drawing classes helps me to see my body objectively: any roll, patch of hair or scar that I have becomes an interesting detail for an artist to draw rather than an unwanted blemish for me to feel upset over. In contrast to my job as a photo model, there’s no obligation to appear attractive for my audience. Life posing takes observations of the naked body out of a sexual context which is so refreshing. It reminds us that at the end of the day a body is just a body no matter what idea someone attaches to it.
What do you do for fun?
I sing, write, and op-shop manically.
Did you go to university? If so, what did you study? If not, why?
I don’t have any desire to study until I find something I’m mad about pursuing that requires a degree. University is often treated like a rite of passage, the “next obvious step”, but it’s actually a huge investment to make when you’re 17 and don’t really know yourself outside the context of a formal education. At this point in my life, if an opportunity comes up , I like the freedom of being able to pack up my life and chase it. But degrees are a long-term, financial commitment. Self-directed learning and un-schooling are concepts I’m more interested in. I think people are often confused as to how I occupy my time, but so far things are going really well for me!
What is your favourite movie of all time?
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken that has paid off?
Leaving sweet New Zealand to travel solo with no solid plan. I wouldn’t say it’s paid off yet but I know that it will.
Hardest moment of your twenties so far?
Sitting through a three-hour long classical music convention – everything was in Catalan (Western Romance language derived from Latin) !
Best moment of your twenties so far?
Crashing someone’s 40thbirthday party at a salsa bar. The bartender was playing the cowbell and gave us free tequila! Again, everything was in Catalan.
Who do you miss?
The friends who came into my life during my last two months in New Zealand when I was living in Wellington. I accidentally fell in love with everyone and suddenly it was a lot harder for me to leave.
What do you like the most about yourself?
That I trust my gut feeling.
What do you like the least about yourself?
Nothing. I like all of myself!
If you had toget a tattoo, what would you get? If you already have tattoos, which is your favourite and why?
I have a little “?” tattoo on my left index finger that my friend hand-poked. It’s my favourite because we had such a great conversation while she was tattooing me.
How would your friends describe you?
Someone just told me I am very loud.
How would your parents describe you?
When was the last time you cried?
Lying on the floor of an airport, cuddling my friend Lucia. We had just missed our flight to Budapest and were in for a luxurious thirty-hour stay on the tiled floors of London’s Gatwick airport until the next flight was available. I started doubting my future plans and she helped me figure them out.
What are you afraid of?
The impending doom of climate change.
If you could start your twenties again, what would you do differently?
Reply to more of my messages – a lot of my friends have been left on “seen” for two weeks now…