Insider Interview: With Fitness Model Usman Shagari
Nigerian Fitness Model Usman Shagari is best known for his killer pictures and swoony workout body showoff – if you don’t already know; now you do – In his recent interview with Highness Insider, He bares it all!
By Z. Charlie
7th Sep 2018
‘I may keep a straight face, but I will never turn
away from a conversation’ @iamshagari_, Instagram
The Nigerian born Fitness model is taking us by storm! The instagram darling is known to share his work out routine and show off swoony pecks. Recently Highness Insider writer Z. Charlie caught up and got down with the elusive and reserved model to share his story, encourage health fitness and talk relationships!
Z. Charlie: Pleased to have you here Shagari. Who is @iamshagari_ lets meet the man.
Usman Shagari: Thank you; actually Usman is fine by me. I’m a very chilled person, relaxed and very down to earth [smiles]. I tend to keep to myself … you know, simple schedule, go to gym – work out. I don’t go out a lot.
Z. Charlie: Right, what’s your typical day like, lets walk through it.
Usman Shagari: Waking up, I usually eat a light break fast… fries and eggs or sausage and beverages.Protein shakes, [laughs] I take protein shakes in the morning! I work out six times a week …
Z. Charlie: … Twice a day??
Usman Shagari: No, No, No [Laughs] I absolutely do not have that time. So, I work out between 4-6PM. Listening to Drake mostly, I am a big fan. ‘Do not Disturb’ by Drake is THE song for me. I relate to it a lot. The lyrics, the beat I relate to a lot. I think you should listen to it, and a few from the MIGOS too.
Z. Charlie: I sure will have a listen after this. Right, now do you have any inspirational figure you look up to?
Usman Shagari: I would say my dad. Honestly, 100%. He is such a strong man, and I look up to him a lot. To have a lot of children and still be able to look after them, providing best education and support is phenomenal.
”Your appearance is your brand,
You have to look good to feel good”
Z. Charlie: I agree with that. Now, Seeing you hit the gym and clean up so nicely, as the HighnessMan, how do you balance that?
Usman Shagari: I believe your appearance is your brand. You have to look good to feel good. You need to keep it simple and stay true to your self all the time. Fashion has come a long way actually! From the boot cuts in 2010s, oversized shirts, the baggy pants. But I tend to keep a very minimalist style.
Z. Charlie: House of Highness is known for retailing luxury brands; you must have a few favorite brands?
Usman Shagari: Luis Vuitton [Laughs] I am an LV guy. I love their accessories and the simplicity of the brand. For clothing, mostly I go to Zara. The Aesthetics are brilliant, its quite contemporary and trendy. Then, definitely NIKE for my gym wears. You can probably tell by my House of Highness Summer Picks.
Z. Charlie: I like LV too, maybe after this Cheque.
Usman Shagari: [laughs] yes yes.
Z. Charlie: How has your career been as a fitness model?
My career as a fitness model has been fun. I did a lot of photography and sport related work. The prominent work that I’ve done so far has been with you (House of Highness). I did a global campaign work with Canon for the EOS8OD Camera, my picture is still on the website actually. Also, I did work with BITS for a fitness promotion campaign.
Z. Charlie: A bit more personal now, how do you feel talking about your self. Would you say you’re an introvert?
Usman Shagari: Actually, my dad is a politician. Very outspoken and calm, so yea that helps a lot. I learn from him. But I will call myself a very reserved person [laughs] yes, very. Though, social media has been a bit challenging, there’s a lot of negativity that comes with it [laughs], a lot of anonymous accounts… but we’ve got to focus on the positive message we send.
Z. Charlie: Speaking of conversations, how ‘approachable’ are you; to any girl out there … I’m making notes for them. (laughs)
Usman Shagari: [Laughs] on a scale of 10? I’d say 10, very approachable. I keep a straight face though, but I will never turn away a conversation…
Z. Charlie: … So you’re saying things develop from normal casual approach and conversation?
Usman Shagari: [Laughs] yes yes, if I am in a situation where I am single and meet someone I am interested in, then certainly a casual approach could lead further. But you know, its imperative we know each other a bit and understand each other before setting commitments.
Z. Charlie: Hold on now… ‘If’ you are searching? And if you’re NOT single…
Usman Shagari: If I’m in a relationship then most communications will remain on a friendly basis, [Laughs] my days of being a boy are well and truly BEHIND me. I’m very loyal.
Z. Charlie: I hear ya Chris Brown ‘I’m very loyal’ how good is the singing voice?
Usman Shagari: [Chuckles] you’d probably wanna hear a cat shriek than me sing.
‘I am a Carbonara Pasta specialist’
I cook it a lot, once I made it for my mum and she loved it! I use chicken instead of the ham. I wouldn’t call myself THE kitchen guy, but certainly I have a few favorites I can make’
Z. Charlie: Ha-ha, THAT is very descriptive. What is this gym motivation you have, Usman?
Usman Shagari: Actually, Fulani are naturally slim. I used to look skinny and I felt really skinny amongst my friends. Plus, growing up, I watched a lot of wrestling too. I remember those guys, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H we always wanted to grow and be like that.
Z. Charlie: You even have an instagram page @iAMShagariFitness, tell us more about it.
Usman Shagari: Yes, so, when I started going to the gym, I always tried to be committed. It is one of the challenges, having the drive to stay dedicated – Its being quite fun and challenging; I have encountered a few criticisms for making shirtless posts on social media [laughs]. Now, getting people to post pictures like that to inspire others was even more challenging. Keeping fit is a very crucial aspect of living and I use my fitness page strictly for that.
Z. Charlie: Speaking of ‘living’ now, when is the HighnessMan going to be ready to settle down? Is there any special lady in your life?
Usman Shagari: I will probably settle down in 2 years. Yes I have someone, and things are looking pretty well at the moment [smiles].
Z. Charlie: No comment?
Usman Shagari: Ha-ha, well… yes, none at the moment. She is a very private person and we’d like to keep it private for now.
Z. Charlie: Are there any misconceptions out there about you that you would love to correct?
Usman Shagari: This misconception of people thinking I am too hard to approach, that I am quite irresponsible and outgoing all the time. That is simply not correct. I have never turned down anyone and have fun with limits. Then, People think I have a lot of pride [smiles] but that is not true too.
Z. Charlie: So, you are not the heartbreak darling people may assume you to be?
Usman Shagari: [Laughs] certainly, I wouldn’t call myself that. No, I do not break hearts. I simply have clear lines in relationships. I like to take time to truly be honest with each other. Mostly the ladies, come with high expectations. They almost want a fairytale relationship. But even if that is possible, it takes time to build without being fake. So, it is quite hard for all relationships to succeed.
Z. Charlie How would you describe working with us? Its fine you can say anything you want.
Usman Shagari: [laughs] Can I now? No, You are one of the most professional companies I’ve worked with. Its been all fun and I hope to achieve a lot during this period. I wish to use this opportunity to promote fitness and healthy living in Nigeria and Africa at large. Because going to the gym is not all about lifting and gaining weights, it is a lot about cardiovascular health, discipline and commitment. There is no instant gratification and it takes a few weeks to see noticeable changes.
Z. Charlie: Wise words. Any last words for our readers out there? What message would you like to pass to your Fitness fans and admirers?
Usman Shagari: I would like this opportunity to say thank you to all of my followers on social media. I really appreciate all of you and would love to have the chance to interact more with you.