Young Nigerians are never afraid to break bold ground all over the world. Chukwunonso Ezekwueche represents the quintessential Nigerian spirit as a leading fashion and brands influencer in Canada. Fondly called Nonso, Ezekwueche hails from Anambra State but is now a permanent resident of Toronto, Canada. He brims with confidence as he boldly states: “I have had the privilege of working with several brands in Canada and internationally to increase brand awareness, brand recognition, and brand loyalty.”
A graduate of the University of Benin, Edo State, after bagging a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree, he left for Canada in 2017 to pursue his passion as the committed men’s fashion-cum-lifestyle influencer and content creator.
He achieves his multiform goals by creating visually appealing and highly resonating content in the forms of pictures and videos showcasing brands’ merchandise.
He has the remarkable tagline: “Showing men how to dress without breaking the bank.”
His drive to leave a lasting impact in men’s fashion industry is borne out by the desire “to teach men that they do not necessarily need big-name labels to look fabulous.”
His major platform happens to be Instagram (@nonsky). Little wonder he is widely celebrated as Dr Nonsky.
Having been blessed with a flair for fashion since childhood, Nonso came into the fashion fold in Canada with the abiding passion to express himself. According to him, “After I moved to Canada, I noticed that the men’s fashion culture is not as remarkable as in Europe or America, so I decided to start a crusade that shows men how to use tiny bits and pieces of what they already have in their closet to create a fabulous look without running into debt.”
He has been on the upward curve for all of six years, having carved the niche of using three favourite tools of imagination, the camera and consummate editing apps for creating superlative contents for his faithful audience.
“First of all, I imagine what would look good on me,” he said. “I then select a banging outfit combination to work with and come up with pictures, poses, locations etc. I like to see my posts from the eyes of my audience and this helps my judgment. I hire a photographer to shoot me and I tweak the pictures a little in Adobe Lightroom. The goal here is to as much as possible create visually appealing contents that would resonate with my audience because, as they say, content is king.”
In the light of approaching brands for collaborations, Nonso stresses: “I would search for the brand’s PR email address and pitch them using my pitch email template and media kit.” Then he adds for good measure: “On the flip side, brands also reach out to me for collaborations.”
The favourite brands of his recommendation are notably Fashionnovamen, Original Penguin, Daniel Wellington Huawei and World Remit.
His advice for any fashion influencer starting out is to dive in at the deep end, to take the first plunge without being scared.
“There is bound to be lots of rejections at first, for sure,” he says, adding: “But staying consistent and creating good content sets you apart from others. Content is definitely king!”
He continues apace: “I would recommend scouting for brands on Instagram; explore relevant pages as well as top influencers’ pages. This I do all the time. You could also register on Influencers’ marketing platforms like Aspire IQ, Collabor8, Brandbassador, Glambassador. They pair you up with brands when there is a match.”
Nonso’s greatest attributes are perseverance and commitment. In his words, “Good work definitely does not go unnoticed. There will be good and bad days. There are days I felt like throwing in the towel but when I remembered why I started in the first place and the number of people inspired by my posts, I sucked it up and moved forward. Also, this is something I have passion for, so I am not perturbed when there is a downtime, as it is only a matter of time before things pick up again.”
A strong believer in God and hard work, he readily admits that “it has not been easy running around the whole city creating content to keep my page afloat.”
“Hard work most certainly pays off,” he asserts in fulfilment.
For him, it is quite a challenge staying creative and relevant, as he reveals: “There is a lot of competition out there and I always strive to do better than my last project. Also, getting profitable paid sponsorship can be a bit of a hassle sometimes, but things are definitely looking up.”
“I am an early riser,” he informs, as per his work habits. “I would wake up at 5am to pray and brainstorm on my next project. I would go shopping for new gears, take a couple of shots to complete my outstanding projects, then come back to my office to make magic out of all I have created for the day.”
As a fashion influencer aiming for a cohesive feed, Nonso avers that it is crucial to take pictures with a professional DSLR camera and edit in Adobe Lightroom using a unique preset.
Said he, “I plan my posts with a planner app such as Planoly to see how my feed would look before I post on my Instagram feed.”
Even as he continues with fashion influencing, he still makes out time to study for his license exams to practice as a pharmacist in Canada.
He concludes thus: “I would love to be recognized as a highly rated go-to men’s fashion-cum-lifestyle Influencer making his mark in the industry and to be sponsored by brands worldwide. Ultimately, my long-term goal is to have my own fashion line.”