Full potential of modelling unrealised

Saturday June 15 2019

Models showcase designs during one of Kigali

Models showcase designs during one of Kigali Fashion Week's past editions. Photo | Andrew.I Kazibwe 

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Despite the country’s fashion scene growing, modelling as a career is yet to become a viable option.

“The opportunities for commercial and fashion modelling is limited, since there is a lag in consistency,” said Abdul Nsegimana, a 23-year-old model.

Georgette Umutoni Semugeshi, whose modelling career spans close to seven years, said the sector is growing but not as a full time career. Ms Umutoni is an air hostess with RwandaAir.

“We have seen a lot of sectors developing, but this is not the case for fashion,” she added.

“You just have to do it as a hobby,” said Fiona Muthoni, a fashion model since 2010, whose main career is as a business journalist at CNBC.

Frank Kabano, the chairman of Rwanda Models Union said most models have grown their careers by participating in events in other countries.


Modelling agencies have not fulfilled their purpose. “Models still struggle for management, which would be taken care of by agencies,” said Ms Muthoni.

On average, a model is paid between Rwf20,000 to Rwf50,000, but this is not enough to live off.