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Meet Wendy Gaceri, 20, one of the shortest models strutting Kenya’s runway.

By Kevin Oguoko | June 16th 2013

Meet Wendy Gaceri, 20, one of the shortest models strutting Kenya’s runway.

She shares her challenges and triumphs with Kevin Oguoko.

What drove you to modelling as a career?

 I was attracted to the modelling world for as long as I can remember. Admiring models on television strutting their model frames across the runway as a young girl in primary school always had me intrigued. I remember telling everyone that I would be on those same runways when I was grew up.

You are fairly short to be a runway model. Have you ever been rejected for a fashion event because of your height?

 The standard height for a runway model is 5 feet and 6 inches while I am only 5 feet and 2 inches. While most fashion shows have accepted me, some have turned me away. To counter this, I have engaged in other aspects of modelling and not necessarily the runway.

What do you mean by ‘other types of Modelling?’

 I usher in high rated events and also do fashion magazine photo-shoots like Kenyan Salons magazine that I recently graced. As for runway modelling, the most recent event I participate was the Malian Mpambe fashion event.

What in your opinion is the beauty of being a model?

 The feeling of walking down a red carpet runway with all eyes on you might seem intimidating to some, but to me, it is the most exciting experience. It feels good to be appreciated and getting people to fall in love with whatever you are displaying, be it the dress or the jewellery.

At the same time, meeting different people and exchanging ideas is fulfilling, especially for me. I am very social.

What does it take to be a model and maintain that shape?

I have this blessing and a curse thing going on for me. I eat much but can never seem to grow fat. I can eat a whole cow, I believe, but still maintain the same the same figure. Well-known techniques, nonetheless, should work for any model. This include, drinking lots of water and resting for an hour or so before going to bed after a well-balanced dinner.

Modelling in Kenya is very competitive. How do you maintain an edge?

I have a Facebook account with all my best photos. You cannot rely on that alone, however, so I follow my own advice. I always tell people that if you want something, they have to go out there and get it. I ensure that I network with the right people for the growth of my brand. I also maintain a handsome number of friends who have a nose for the fashion world. They ensure I never lack work.

Modelling has really changed over the years. A new trend referred to as Artistic Body Photo-shoot, which is leans towards nudity is growing in popularity. What is your limit as a model?

 I respect myself too much. I would never be involved in nude modelling. Besides, my mum would kill me (laughs). I honestly believe that there is a line that should not be crossed if one is to be taken seriously as a professional in the fashion industry.

Considering most events take place at night, you presumably have to be an owl as well?

Yes. But I ask for permission from my mum. She raised my sister and I single-handed since I was in Class Six. She is pretty and great and allows me to pursue my dreams. I thank her for that.

Besides modelling, what else do you pursue?

I am currently a second year student at the University of Nairobi pursuing an Environmental Science undergraduate degree understandably because I enjoy Biology and Geography.

How would you describe yourself?

I am a hardworking girl. Although I did not score highly in High school, this fact did not discourage me. I still went on to attain a diploma and enrol for a university course. I am rather shy on first-time meetings but social and naughty around familiar faces.


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