Catching up with supermodel Ajuma Nasenyana
By ANJELLAH OWINO | 6 years ago
1.What encouraged you to start City Models Africa?
I saw that there was a lot of potential in Kenya. I wanted to make it easier for talents by introducing a place where they can be. We have done a lot of commercials with Safaricom as my number one client. We plan to go Africa, open other offices first in Uganda and Tanzania and then in West Africa. We are also working with hotels in my hometown.
2.What do you look for when scouting for talents?
We have different categories. We focus more on the commercial modelling and it is not necessarily on who is the most beautiful or who has the perfect teeth. A company can need a character for example or a watchman for a commercial. We focus more on commercial modelling because that is where the money is.
3.Why is that?
In Kenya, we cannot make money through fashion modelling. The fashion industry is not as developed. A fashion designer gets little money from sponsors and does a whole production and the models end up not paid enough. The shows are fun so if somebody is looking for that, fashion modelling is a good place.
4.How can a model tell a fake agency from a legit one?
It is very hard. Girls are gullible and agencies cast anywhere. A legit and a fake agency can both cast for talents at a home. It is bad that some agencies con these girls. Models should demand for their cut.
5.What makes up a model?
The physique. I get a lot of girls who really want to be models but they do not fit the part. Some of these girls bash at us on social media.There are criteria for modelling. We do not make the rules, the fashion industry does. There are there categories these girls can take part in in our agency. Secondly, a model has to have the whole package: character and stay grounded.
6.What was it that made you see you could be a model?
It was less of me and more of people telling me that I could model. I used to be a tomboy, sporty and loved getting dirty.
7.Did you succumb to any pressure while on the international runway?
I was moulded for the industry while still living in Lodwar. I was a very strong person already and was taught good morals. Before I would do anything, I would take a look back at my community and what they would feel about it. If it was uncomfortable or inappropriate, I would not do it.
8.Guilty pleasures, any?
I eat everything. Even back then, I ate everything. It is not everyday that I would want to grab an ice cream. To keep fit, I go to the gym.
9.What beauty secrets do you swear by?
Staying natural. I have not introduced anything to my skin. I apply either Vaseline or cocoa butter lotion. When I am working, that is when I apply make-up.
10.What do you when you want to unwind?
My love for the wild animals takes me to game drives. I travel to places like Rongai, Naivasha, such places. It is at these places that I feel like time stops and life is timeless. I am not a city girl.
11.A mother to one, what do you enjoy most about motherhood?
A child is like a part of you but outside you. I love his funny little stories. He is at the stage where he is connecting the dots to life. He asks silly things, his innocence melts me. The bond a parent has with his or her child is different from any other.
12.What lessons have you taken with you?
Modelling is just an act, it is not real. It is business. I understood never to let modelling take over my life; it is like any other job. I have seen girls start getting catty and behave in a certain way once they are models. I am a model only on the runway.
13.How would you advise a newcomer model?
Modelling has a short shelf life, models have to plan their future. I would like to advice models not to try to be like another model. For example, one cannot be Alek Wek. If a model tries to be her, then she has nowhere to go because there is already an Alek Wek who people go to. And they should never let modelling get into their head.
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