Place Restaurant attendant lands Fendi runway modeling gig

Nigerians have nicknamed his transformation from an overlooked server in a Lagos restaurant to a figure in global fashion as a ‘transformation by a destiny helper.

Fortunes can change in the blink of an eye, illustrating the surprising speed at which destiny unveils its twists.

This is evident in Gbolahan Yusuf’s journey, once a restaurant attendant at The Place restaurant, Surulere, Lagos, now rising to the heights of international fashion as a runway model for Fendi.

Fendi, an Italian luxury fashion brand, has been notable for amplifying the careers of many models like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Kendall Jenner.

This transformation was captured in a posted viral video on Instagram and TikTok by Temitope Olaore, a model scout from Cias Models Management.

Cias Models, founded by Femi Alabi in Lagos, is a scouting, development, and model representation company focused on transforming lives through fashion.

The video showcased his journey from a restaurant cashier and server to a runway model for the Fendi fashion house.

Netizens have been wowed by the young boy’s swift progress, nicknaming the change as a ‘transformation by a destiny helper.’


The story began when Temitope frequented a Nigerian-based restaurant, The Place, where Gbolahan worked as a cashier and server.

According to the model scout, he was discovered in 2023, although the video was posted in June 2024.

The nail tech entrepreneur, who often visited the establishment, had been served by Gbolahan numerous times.

However, it was one particular visit that she noticed something different about him.

She said: “I was a very regular customer at the restaurant in Surulere last year,” Temitope recounted. “I had visited there countless times to get food and seen Gbolahan quite often.

“Until one day, it clicked! I looked at him as he printed my bill over the desk and thought. I said to myself, ‘How come I haven’t seen this? How did it take me so long to realise?’ Without hesitating, I took out my phone and made the first video.”


Temitope immediately sent the video to her boss at Cias Models Management, who was intrigued and requested more images of Gbolahan.

Following this, a second video showed Gbolahan’s height measured. He wore a regular T-shirt and black jeans.

After several evaluations and preparations, he made his modelling debut at the Walking for Fendi at the Milan Fashion Week Men’s SS25, held from 14–18 June in Italy.

The transformation video, which has since captivated social media, shows Gbolahan confidently strutting down the runway in a short-hand grey suit, baggy corporate trousers, fashion black shoes, carrying a stylish box.

Another recent photo posted on Cias Models’ page shows Gbolahan in a colourful fashion ensemble, black baggy trousers, and light brownish stylish shoes featuring JW Anderson SS25.

“Today, Gbolahan, from behind the desk as a restaurant server boy in Lagos, Nigeria, made his debut in Milan for Fendi. I’m short on words for his first-ever runway appearance; all I can say is, glory be to God. Congratulations to the entire Cias team and Gbolahan for his incredible journey from behind the desk in Lagos to the runways of Milan!’’ Temitope wrote.

Nigerians have nicknamed the ex-cashier’s change from an overlooked server in a Lagos restaurant to a figure in global fashion a ‘transformation by a destiny helper.’


Gbolahan’s story has not only touched hearts but has also inspired many.

Expressing gratitude in an Instagram post, he said, “I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support.

“You all don’t know me but have shown me so much love. I don’t take it for granted. God bless you all.”

Gbolahan’s transition from a restaurant cashier to an international model for Fendi has become a viral sensation, with numerous Nigerians celebrating his achievement.

Netizens have admired Temitope’s keen eye in recognizing the potential of someone initially unnoticed.