Modelling in Namibia…. Is it a career worth pursuing?…. Local models weigh in
Paheja Siririka and Aletta Shikololo
WINDHOEK- Namibian International model Meriam Kaxuxwena ranted on social media recently for not being appreciated in Namibia for the work she has been doing by representing the country internationally while on her ramp projects. “I haven’t received any penny or sponsorship from Namibia,” read the Facebook she updated earlier this week.
Kaxuxwena demanded respect be put to her name for the noble deeds she has done to Namibia, a country that doesn’t count her. “I been everywhere in the world representing a country that doesn’t appreciate me but I am doing this for me. Nobody ever represented Namibia all over the world like me, put some respect on my name,” she stated.
Based on this, Entertainment Now! wanted to find out if modelling is a career worth venturing into and does it bring food on the table? As a matter of fact, why do people model in the first place?
Bernneddico Divoli Uirab (Photography Model)
I used to be a fashion model until I changed to photography modelling. I am currently investing in that until someone sees my potential. I would recommend Namibians to venture into modelling. There is a future yes, one just has to be consistent in it and sooner or later you will get the break you been working for. Getting a sponsor is difficult. I don’t have a sponsor apart from Enzo Jantjies who takes pictures of me. He is an amazing photographer.
I love modelling, it has been part of my family line in a way. My Granny was the first-ever Miss Okahandja and my mum was the first-ever Miss Okahandja Secondary School so when I found out that I kind of wanted to continue what they started.
Back in the days, things were tough on us models. We hardly made any money, sometimes they (event organisers) just gave taxi fare or get an N$150. But there is an opportunity for things to improve in the industry, we are hopeful.
In terms of pay, modelling in Namibia does not pay that much, depending on the job one can earn up to N$ 3000 and that’s probably only corporate gigs. Fashion modelling in Namibia does not pay at all. Fashion shows pay at least N$ 500 at most. Jobs are few and far in between, so there’s no way one can make a living solely from modelling in the country.
Some of the challenges of being a model in Namibia include not getting paid a fair wage or in some cases not at all. Another challenge is getting people to take modelling and models seriously and getting them to invest in the fashion industry.
I have been featured in a few international publications, which is amazing but my favourite gigs are always the ones I get to travel Namibia and take pictures that show off the beauty of our land.
(Runway and commercial model)
The Namibian modelling industry is still young and small compared to SA, Nigeria and other well-established industries. Currently, depending on whether it’s a fashion show they (event organisers) usually pay N$300 per slot and for photoshoot gigs. For me, it’s usually around 400 per shoot, but these amounts are not fixed.
As a model in Namibia depending on it for financial stability is not ideal, because most gigs are done only for exposure purposes, which in end is not international exposure to start will. The industry is poorly funded in a nutshell.
I was lucky enough to be scouted by Maria Nepembe at the Mr & Miss Unam 2017 that opened doors for me.
I honestly feel Namibia has the talent but opportunities are limited or rather do not provide proper exposure.
Leena Shipwata (Runway, photography and commercial model)
I certainly am confident that modelling is a career worth venturing in because not only does it open doors if one puts in the work but it pays and helps confident boosting.
I am going, to be honest, there isn’t a lot of money to make in modelling, however the few gigs one gets, pay.
At this point in my career, gigs are coming to me but it was different in the beginning as I had to fend for myself. I feel it’s a great industry for women to learn more about themselves to appreciate themselves more.
Namibia is a small country and the industry is smaller so it will take a while to get paid your worth, hard work certainly pays off.
I would advise prospective models and existing ones to consider themselves a brand. Work on your look as a model at all times. Put respect on your name and everyone else will.
In Namibia there’s no such thing as making a good living out of modelling everything you do is 90% for exposure meaning free work you probably make money when you are more of a brand ambassador, influencer, doing pageantry or being a fashion designer more than a model in Namibia cause most designers who actually work with models themselves struggle with funds already and most Namibian models still do model for the passion of it not necessarily for the money because our industry is also not as developed to actually have so many paid jobs.
Why I prefer to model internationally is because the industry is more developed internationally than locally I’ve done jobs in Namibia and the highest I got paid was a N$1000 as to the jobs I’ve done internationally the highest I got paid was up to 2000 euros which is a huge difference and allows me to make a living out of more than in Namibia as a black model also there’s no space for us to modelling as part time jobs because most of us are taking care of family especially in Namibia but the modelling industry, in general, is very cut throat and those that are flourishing in Namibia in the industry mostly aren’t well off no model is really well off cause we aren’t rich in money but in exposure
2019-09-13 08:46:25 | 8 months ago