The Pains from being a Model in Nigeria

(By Kahlan-Queen Chidinma)

A lot of friends I’ve talked with who happen to be A-list models in the country, have had more than a hand full of complaints.

Now, I know every Industry and field have got its own headaches and heartaches, but if you take a closer look, you would notice that the modelling industry seems to be getting the ace.

cosmicrayintl imageSome of the complaints range from how models are being exploited by managers, designers, agencies and agents, to the issue of inadequacy; there is also the case of ‘long legs’ or ‘who you know’ and also the issue of fake agencies and agents. (And yes, it does get worse), the issue of gay/homosexuals. This isn’t all; you can include the ones you know.

Little wonder parents are bluntly unsupportive of their kids who choose to thread this path. Few weeks ago, I asked my kid sister if she would like to be a model. Her answer was a resounding ‘God forbid’ that still echoes in my head till now. Who can blame her?

The image most people get whenever modelling is mentioned is nudity and all kinds of perversity. This in itself is another challenge. But let’s start with the case of models being exploited.

A friend told me how they had to camp for three days for a photo-shoot in a village and were given nothing but stale bread and water for those three days, and were told to ‘get used to it’. Most often, models are overworked and underpaid. They are being disrespected, rough handled and even insulted by designers and managers and other executives.

It is heart-breaking how models would walk on runway for hours unnamed, showing of clothing lines and other things and at the end of the day, they would be given chicken changes and told to be ‘grateful’ for the ‘opportunity’.

Most times, the very merger pay would be delayed or withheld and models would have to start asking for their money like as if they are beggars. Or do I mention how models would go for ushering jobs where they would stand for hours on shoes or neck breaking heels and at the end of the day, they are barely even appreciated.

How about those people that exploit models by demanding exorbitant amount of money or in most cases, sex. This particular craze is now viral!

     What’s the way forward? Where are we headed with this menace?

To be continued

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