Upon receiving the news that Dho was doing a segment on Giyas Ibrahim, the current 'Mr Maldives' title holder, designer Noora Rasheed’s creative gears shifted, coming up with a unique way to showcase his physical form.
Noora brought forth the ‘glow in the dark’ concept, a technique that required low lighting photography with UV light. Mooshan Mubaarik was happy to supply them with the UV lights.
Among the amazing team behind this project were painter Abdulla Thaufeeq (Thau), young photographer Aishath Nadhuha , and videographer Yazdhan Maaz who created the behind-the-scenes video of the process. Although the concept was a novelty to each individual, they were considered the perfect team.
Thau spent around an hour painting his Lonufen Studios' artwork ‘Liyelaa’ on Giyas. The whole photoshoot took about four to five hours to shoot in the Dho studio. It was the first shoot that required such a large team, and they found that it was harder than expected to create the lighting for Nadhuha’s ‘perfect’ shot.
Giyas truly was a model in every way. He needed no instruction for poses. He definitely showed off his skills at the shoot.
“When I’m ready, I’m locked and loaded”, he said.
Once asked about his Mr Maldives journey, he recalled it fondly. Circa 2009-2010, Giyas was in charge of painting the contestants’ bodies backstage. He mentioned the days he spent working for Fitness Club.
“I attended because I was the staff of a gym, not because I wanted to. Entering as a competitor had never crossed my mind”.
His first attempt in 2011 was unsuccessful, but he would go on to take the stage in the next competition.
In addition to Mr Maldives, Giyas participated and earned prizes in international competitions, bagging fifth, sixth and seventh places in several categories at these championships. He also won gold and silver in Mr Maldives, as well as from numerous other Asian championships.
It took five years for him to finally obtain his current title as Mr Maldives, the fruit of much labour involving intense workouts and strict dieting.
“I wake up at 0430 and hit the gym at five. I take two physical training sessions and get on the treadmill for an hour. I drop my wife at work, get breakfast, and go back to the gym. Some days, I rest and get lunch once I wake up”.
All his meals follow a strict diet.
“I attend another physical training in the afternoon and take my wife home at four. Then I go back to the gym or finish my workout at home. If my wife is up for it, I take her to the gym at night”.
“I don’t know who I’d call my inspiration for getting this far in this industry. I work to achieve my dreams. I don’t do what I don’t want to.
“I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t have passion for. Money isn’t a motivator. Fitness is my passion”.
His driving force is to eventually earn an international title for his country.
“I think I can do it at this year’s first competition”.
Giyas’ life is dedicated to his family and the gym.
“I go out for coffee with friends when there is a matter to discuss. I don’t play PUBG even then, as is common practice here. It’s not something I’m interested in”.
So far into his journey, he is the proud owner of a gym.
With a fondness for animals, Giyas has also adopted three cats and two African Grey parrots.
Besides fitness and spending time with his pets, Giyas supports youth in pursuing their dreams, doing what he can for them.
“I find happiness in helping my loved ones succeed. I love guiding people towards their goals”.