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Society must appreciate modelling

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BY KIMBERLY KARIATI

MODEL Keisha Mafa says she seeks to shape an inspiring narrative around the modelling industry that can be accepted by society.

The 25-year-old model told NewsDay Life & Style that she also wanted to change the misconception that models were academic failures and people of loose morals.

“I think people have a negative perception and attitude towards modelling. Some believe that the field is for people that have failed to succeed in the educational aspects and revert to prostitution to get income,” she said.

“I want to redefine the meaning of modelling by helping change the lives that need help the most in various facets of life. Given the opportunity, I would also want to work with organisations that help disadvantaged people who get into modelling.

“Those are the people that face challenges of being preyed upon and abused. If one is given an opportunity to shine they create a sense of value which deters them from doing things that are less desirable.”

Mafa said she wanted to empower disadvantaged people to take charge and become resourceful, adding that she perceived modelling as an art that has an impact on the lifestyles of society.

“I believe modelling is an art that creates a symbol in a community, one that people look at and imitate. My main objective as a model is to influence young people to better their lives as they see me as a role model and an inspiration to take up modelling as a professional career,” she said.

“In that regard, I have told myself that I want to make an impact such that I will be able to look at my career and see a legacy.”

Having worked with artists, animators and designers in her six years in the modelling industry, Mafa describes her journey as a roller-coaster ride characterised by challenges.

“Being in front of the cameras, fashion shows, hanging out with the big guys in the industry is great and has brought me achievements. However, there are some people in positions of power who can take advantage of you based on the situation and determine whether or not you get a deal,” she said.

“There are so many out there who have so much talent, but have been deprived of the chance to explore those talents because of suppression. That has created a mixed emotion kind of experience for me.” Mafa says networking and right connections were vital if one was to become relevant in their career.

“I have worked with several clothing lines from the time I started my career as I was fortunate to have good relations with producers through my manager who connected me to the right circles and people. I have also worked with dancehall singers including Nutty O, Coco We Africa, Enzo Ishall, Jah Prayzah, ExQ and Poptain.”

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