Home Forums African Models and their Ideologies CAN ANYONE BE A MODEL IN AFRICA?

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    Fatima Kuje



      Modeling in Africa can often be quite challenging because in some parts of Africa it is not considered a job. Modeling has been underestimated in Africa over the years and models are not believed to live exclusively.  Some models are viewed as prostitutes and this shouldn’t be so.  Having heard all these intimidating facts doesn’t stop you from pursuing your career in modeling.


      Click here to Audition for the AfriSQuare Photogenic Contest



      You can however be a successful model in Africa no matter your size, shape, age and height. It is also unfortunate that this idea of becoming skinny paves way to becoming a successful model. This idea is wrong and inaccurate. Though, this doesn’t dispute the fact that skinny models are important. They are mostly considered in runways and catwalks because they are able to fit in the clothes those fashion designers want to showcase to their clients. Well whether you are fat, thin, tall or short, there is a job for everyone in modeling.


      Many modeling agencies are expanding their horizons by including this division called ‘alternative models’ in their department and they are also embracing models of different shapes as long as they are good for employment.


      Let’s take a look at different types of modeling available to everyone according to their size, age and height;






      Plus-sized models are individuals usually of size 12 and above. They primarily engage in print modeling. They are also considered in swimsuit and lingerie modeling. Fashion designers are beginning to embrace earning potential from plus-size clothing and have used plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks. If you have a curvaceous body, consider plus-size modeling.





      Petite models don’t walk runways but they are considered for lingerie or swimsuit and part modeling. These models are 5 feet 7 inches tall or short unlike runway models that are 5 feet 9 inches tall. Since they have small shoe sizes, they are popular for leg and hand modeling.







      Should age be a barrier? It is true that venturing into modeling at late teens to mid-twenties is easy but not giving up thirty is not the best option as the fashion industry is embracing mature modeling.   A mature model is considered to be of the age of 30 and above. The need for mature models that are required to represent brands that are targeted to older audiences like families made mature modeling possible. Mature models are not likely to be found on runways.






      The age range considered for child models are generally 12 years and under. Plus they can be of any size and height. Agents who represent child models are everywhere looking for children with great personality to promote commercial products and advertise.





      Recently, you don’t have to fit into the definition of the normal model before you can become a model. Alternative models have tattoos, piercing and unnaturally colored hair.  There are various categories of alternative models. One is the Hipster style which men often wear beards and women dye their hair.  They are wild. Anyone can pursue a career in modeling regardless of their age or their body type, as long as they have enough confidence and they are ready to do the necessary work. Plenty of modeling opportunities that you qualify for have been listed above.


      You also need to work on yourself; your body, etiquette, how you present yourself and the most importantly get ready for rejection keep moving in your career. Modeling glam and its lucrative outlook has attracted a lot of people but unfortunately the industry is filled with rejections. Knowing what is expected of a model helps in preparing to become a model.


      Let’s dive into becoming a model in Africa.




      Fitness is vital. Working with a trainer is solely important. Ensure you inform him about your modeling goals and how you want to look. Eat right by abstaining from meals that are sugars, starches, empty carbohydrates and unhealthy foods. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water rejuvenates skin. Avoid Sodas and minimize your alcohol intakes.




      What you wear and how you present yourself matters a lot.  Focus on keeping your skin clear. Before going to bed, wash off your make-ups and wash your face when you wake up in the morning.  Nurture your hair. Make it shinny and healthy.




      It would however be helpful to know about modeling industry by doing findings. Read books, blogs and articles on modeling in order to learn about the modeling industry. Reading will not only give you better understanding on the industry but will be handy in improving your skills like posing and posture.




      Know for sure that the modeling world is filled with pretty faces and a good look is not an avenue in becoming a successful model. The modeling world can quite be challenging and is only for serious-minded people who are patient and perseverance. Promote yourself by looking for an opportunity to step up. If you lack confidence, fake it and let your personality shine.




      It is important to understand what an agency and portfolio is in modeling.

      A portfolio is just like a CV. Consider getting some professional photographs when building your portfolio. This would showcase how well you look to the agents. There are things you should avoid and consider when building your portfolio.

      • Avoid using social media images or images with filters
      • Don’t use manipulated pictures. Use pictures that look like you.
      • Use images that are related to the type of modeling career you want to pursue.
      • Use best images that would make your portfolio professional.
      • If you have compiled the photographs, then you can consider taking them to agencies for auditioning.

      When searching for agencies do an absolute research on the agency you would like to work with. Finding a reputable agency can be daunting however choose an agency that meets with your requirements and needs to submit your portfolio for auditioning.  You should know most of your basic measurements like shoe size, height and weight.

      Finally, be professional. Stick to the habit of punctuality when you start getting appointments.

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