Model Career in Africa: Where to Start if You want to be a Model?


There’s no doubt being a model is one of the many career opportunities people want to hop unto. It guarantees you a chance at being popular as well as lovely pictures for the gram.

A model is a person with a role either to promote, display or advertise commercial products. They are human catalogues. African models are those who come from Africa. While it may be easy to identify some of them based on their skin colors, it might not be easy to spot others out as not all of them are dark skinned. Models as rightly said are the human show glass. They are the living mannequins. Models have been said to always possess some special facial and body features which makes them stand out.


Most times, models are expected to be tall. At least a 6’2inches and above is always a starting point for most modelling agencies in Africa. Some models are expected to be slim and have oval shaped faces with pointed nose. Nice dentition would also be a plus most of the time. To be a model,  one shoud have even  Facial Features. Most cosmetic brands look for a symmetrical face with even features, Flawless Skin; attention should be paid to the skin as most cosmetic brands look out for models with clear skin. Models should be confident and expressive; modeling agencies look out for people who can carry and advertise their brand properly. People who are confident about the brand.


This has been the usual criteria for models until recently when body activists have come out to challenge this status quo and state that people should be proud of their bodies hence whatsoever body type a person lives in, he or she should be allowed to model. This brought about other sub groups of models such as the plus size models or curvy models, the albino models, the children models etc. These sub groups are mostly prevalent in the western world however some of them are found in Africa.

The modeling industry is not left out when one is categorizing some of the faults of Africa as a corrupt continent. It is believed that you must have some sort of connection with some top authorities in the modeling agency before you can be chosen. While this is not totally wrong, it is not always the case.

some of the African countries that produce top models are from countries like;

Somalia; this is the top African country with the most models.




South Africa




Some of the top beautiful  African models include;

  1. Alek Wek
  2. Maria Borges
  3. Candice Swanepoe
  4. Herieth  paul
  5. Gelila Bekele
  6. Ajuma Nasenaya
  7. Ajak Deng
  8. Tanit Phoenix
  9. Yasmin Warsame
  10. iman.

Some of the top male African models include;

  1. Adonis Bosso
  2. Alton Mason
  3. Boris Kodjoe
  4. Broderick hunter
  5. Charles Williamson
  6. Corey Baptiste
  7. David Agbodji
  8. De’laney Ortiz
  9. Fernando Cabral

Here’s a list of top African models

1.Winnie Harlow

2.Tyra Banks

  1. Duckie Thot
  2. Diandra Forrest
  3. Naomi Campbell
  4. Leomie Anderson

7.Halima Aden

  1. Palomer Elsesser

In Nigeria, models get paid #20,000- #80,000  depending on the type of modeling they are into. For instance, face models who are mostly used by makeup artists don’t earn so much, as they are paid per the amount of time makeup is done on their faces. They earn an average of #5,000 -#10,000 per makeup.

Another category of models are the commercial models; these appear in commercial shows and on commodities. For instance, models who advertise for a toothpaste brand. They sometimes appear on the toothpaste pack.. They earn higher than the face models. Most of the time, their modeling relationship with the company who they are advertising for are based on contracts. It can be for a period of one year and above. They earn within the range of #100,000 and #5,000,000.

The runway and fashion models; most people are familiar with this type of models as they mostly model for fashion brands. They advertise the designs of fashion designers. An example is the lagos fashion week which is organized by GTBANK. Their relationship can also be based on contract or can be a one-off payment. They earn between the range of #20,000-80,000.

There are also fitness models; they are athletically built and they appear mostly in commercials that have to do with fitness such as the advertisement of fitness items like training mats, waist trainers, track machines etc. Their pay is usually between #80,000- #100,000 depending on their contract.

Another category of models is what is mostly common among students. They are sometimes referred to as ushers. Here, beautiful, tall ladies are under an agency which is mostly an ushering agency and this agency use their models or ushers whenever they have events. For instance, an agency may use its ushers for events such as a wedding ceremony or a birthday celebration. Their pay is usually per event attended and it ranges between 5,000-10,000.

A model may fall into one or all of the categories listed above. For example; a fcae model can also be a runway model and a commercial model at the same time depending on the agency he or she is working with.

To put yourself out there for modeling agencies to notice you, you need to have a good online presence. Your social media page should contain pictures of you looking elegant, mostly headshots. Most of the time, you might be required to do personal shots for some brands so you can get noticed by them. Most of the time, people buy the brand and the face behind the brand hence a good model for your brand means a good sale of products or commodities.

Models can either be curvy or plus size models, petite models, child models, fitness models. Depending on the modeling agency or brand they are modeling for, models can come in different sizes and heights. For example plus size or curvy models measure up to size 12 up. They are mostly tall and have curvy feature.

Petite models on the other hand, can be very slim and small. They are not mostly used as runway models but can be face models and parts models where they model with some parts of their bodies e.g petite models can model with their face, hand, legs and also their bodies; they can be swim suit models.

Child models are children who model for children brands for instance they can model for children soap, clothes, food etc. there is no age limit when it comes to child models as a child of 6 months can be a model for a soap or a diaper. They are mostly aged 12 and younger.

Fitness models on the other hand, have to be well built. They possess attributes such as protruding muscles, speed etc. they can be models for athletic training materials as well as energy drinks.

Anyone can become a model at any age. There are children models. Most of the time, age doesn’t matter if your body type fits the description of what the modeling agency is looking for. However, some agencies try to put an age bracket to reduce the in-flow of people who might want to apply to be models with them. As long as you have an even toned skin and you fit into the description the agency needs then you are good to go.

Modeling is a bright career path however you have to be extraordinarily to keep you in the industry.

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