Edem Fairre is one of the few models in Ghana who has managed to turn modelling into a career. She was discovered by Donthes Media in 2010 fully ventured into modelling in 2014.
Though she has been in the industry for barely two years, she has walked several runways across the country; worked with known brands like Beige Capital Bank, Nivea, Renault, Samsung, Bayer Chemist, Joy FM, DSTV sport, Airtel Ghana as well as various fashion designers. She holds a managerial position in one of the top modeling agencies in Ghana, Empire Gh Models.
Naana Joa had a chat with Edem, who though has achieved so much in the industry than many Ghanaian models, still feels the need to push more boundaries to achieve her goal.
Why do you feel the need to push more boundaries? What is the goal?
It doesn’t matter your achievement in life, there’s always room for improvement. There’s always something new to learn; a new goal to set and achieve. I’ve focused mostly on lingerie, promotional, commercial and sport modeling.
I’ve not had time to perfect my runway skills but this is something I intend to correct. There’s more to achieve in my field of work. Equipping myself and excelling at all aspects of modeling will help me stand a better chance at getting to the top.
My goal is to be a supermodel like Naomi Campbell or Tyra Banks who managed to establish themselves as the most recognised and in-demand models of their time.
I also want to prove that modelling is a real career like law, medicine, engineering and business.
Entrepreneurs and professionals alike complain of bottlenecks to getting to their goals and reaching the top. What would you say has been a hindrance for you?
It’s easier blaming where I come from but that would be somewhat unfair since Africa has raised champions. I admit there are limitations in Africa. You’ll need to go the extra mile to break boundaries here. But with hardwork, dedication and talent, I believe this can be done.
Personally, I’ve had challenges like self-doubt, my current studies at the university, and lack of funds. Surprisingly, models also doubt their work and themselves. Our job is to portray a character and the goal is to get it right. So when the results for the work done shows otherwise, self-doubt sets in. You begin to doubt your worth and suitability.
I am currently studying ABE UK marketing management at the university. This simply means losing some job opportunities. But this course is to help me manage my brand better so I’m not one to complain.
In the industry, other people call the shots especially when you do not have the funds to promote your brand. You are taken advantage of and made to settle for less than you deserve.
Professionally, I will say unhealthy competitions and partiality is another challenge. Though the modeling industry in Ghana is small, it is very competitive and I love competitions. They push you to be better at what you do. But it gets ugly when competitors use unethical means to get contracts. This results in unqualified models being given jobs while the qualified are bypassed.
What steps are you taking to changing the narrative?
Regarding self-doubt, I am working on building my self-confidence and keeping a positive mind and outlook on things.
I have also accepted that losing jobs because I have to be in school is totally worth it.
To solve the issue of lack of funds, I am on the verge of breaking through in the movie industry. Also in the pipeline is hosting gig for a television show called Event Update on Top TV. These I believe would give me something on the side to help push me to the top.
With unhealthy competitions and partiality, I believe models need to be independent. This way, they are able to fund their own projects. This may not entirely solve the issue. However, it would be a start.
Advice for budding models?
- Be yourself
- Respect yourself and those you work with
- Don’t sell yourself short in the name of modeling
- Accept a good job even if it may not pay well
If you were to contest with an African model, who would it be?
Well, I’d contest with myself.
There must be a secret to your success as a model. Tell us about it.
If I tell then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. But I’d be willing to share with any woman who joins the modelling family.
Do you ever imagine not reaching your goals? What would you do if that happens?
That is not an option! I have worked so hard and patiently. I will not accept failure.
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