At first sight, Fitzgerald G. Addoh seems to be a freak. Someone who was made for living life in the fast lane, living a life of glitter and glamour.
It all began in the city of love, where Christian from Africa and the Catalina from Mallorca met for the first time in 1967. Nine months later, Fitzgerald was born, wanderlust in his genes. He grew-up with his parents in Paris, and spent his holidays with his grandparents in Mallorca and South Africa.
At the age of twelve, he went on a trip to C’an Picafort with friends. “They found my name too long. So we sat down and tried to find a solution.” Thus Fitzgerald becomes Fidji – a sign?
The holidays came to an end, but back in Paris, he kept the new name. “I just loved saying, hey, my name is Fidji, just like the Fidji islands.” He relished croissants and cafe in the morning and the view of the Eiffel Tower in the evening. Eight years later, however, he had enough of Paris. “I wanted to get away, to see something else.” Together with a friend, he applied for a job in a luxury hotel at Lake Louse in the Canadian province of Alberta. “When you are twenty, you think the world is waiting for you. But that is not true. It is you who has to conquer the world.” Half a year later, he boarded the plane.
He spent a year in Canada, far from nightlife and discos. “I just could not get enough from nature. I considered every day an experience, a gift. Over there, it´s quiet, really quiet. You get close to the animals; you live winters that you have never experienced before: really hard winters. It is not easy to get used to 40 degrees below zero.”
Fidji worked in all areas of the hotel; he was eager to learn and likes to aim high. He made friends that last a lifetime: “The Canadian mentality is different from the European one and for me it is also important to have people with whom to share memories.” Even so, one year in the province is enough, by then Fidji had reached 21 years old.
Christian Constant, the French Upper Class Chocolatier, offered him a job.
“I could not say no, because I always said to myself: Fidji, you have to be on the train of life, don´t let it pass you by.”
As his life in the lap of luxury began, Fidji went from one extreme to the other. Fashion shows, parties with renowned designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent as well as with international pop stars, first class flights to the hippest locations and champagne. Anything went, everything was possible. During these seven years, he lived in the fast lane, living it up.
Where others just life sex & drugs, this is where Fidji stopped. The in-crowd began to bore him. “Routine makes me sick. Really. Change is vital for me, it helps me stay well grounded”. So again he had the feeling, the desire to escape and leave everything behind. Just at the same moment, the right offer came along: “A business partner asked me if I wanted to open a furniture and accessory shop in St Barth with him. I realized that this was not a question, this was the train again which I could not miss.”
So again he boarded a plane and began a new life. He rented a house directly at the beach: “It was amazing. The dolphins jumping up and down in front of your face. When you look out to the ocean you feel that this is heaven on earth.” However, even though the Caribbean enchanted him, St. Barth with not even 3,000 inhabitants is really not the business environment that Fidji was looking for. The business wasn’t going so well, the season lasted only three months. He has to draw on his savings. And once again came the point where he knew that his train has come to a halt.
Through other business partners, he got to New York. But this is where Fitzgerald – that’s what they called him again – found his limits. “New York was built for business, not for people. During the first half year, nobody talked to me, everybody was just obsessed with business.” However, he stayed even though New York did not offer him quality of life. After two and half years the unbelievable happened: Fitzgerald overslept. He woke-up to a totally transformed New York. From his roof terrace, he saw the twin towers of the World Trade Centre collapse.
„For me, the worst thing was not seeing the collapse of the towers and the days that followed that were even worse. Everywhere I went, there were pictures of happy people, taken at weddings and birthdays, when they were particularly cheerful. They were missing, but everybody knew they were dead. This was the real nightmare for me, together with the fear of what was still to come.”
There was mist over New York and over Fitzgerald. There were no more children playing in the streets, and when he called his mother, now living in Mallorca, he was shocked:
“She knew more about what was happening in New York than I did, she saw images, which we did not even know existed. I knew it was time to go.”
Fitzgerald, who now returned to his name Fidji, fled into his mother´s arms in Mallorca. Only a few weeks later, he became the manager and model scout of Hexel. “I love Mallorca. Here, life happens outside, people are open.” Mallorca is beautiful. But what about the models? “I try to give the girls a feeling of security. I want them to know that they can trust me. No affairs, no drugs.”
After all, not everything is glamour and glitter, and not everyone who looks freaky turns out to be that freaky.