Become a model


How do I become a model? If this is a question you have been asking yourself, you have come to the right place. The modeling industry like every other industry post covid has tremendously changed, especially in Africa. In 2023, there are more Kenyan models working internationally in some of the biggest markets in the world, London, Paris, and Milan and it is a beautiful time to be a model. The industry has become a little more accommodating of African models, thus opening up the scope of work and opportunities for them. It is now easier than ever to become a model in Kenya and internationally.

Industry dynamics have changed, the changes started pre-covid but have been fully incorporated into the system post covid. In 2019, a designer was quoted saying “We do not look for “typical” models, we want models who look like they would wear our clothes outside of the runway. It’s not just about knowing how to be a model but having the personality for our brand”. Social media has incredibly influenced the direction these changes are taking and it is common now to see models with a good social media following getting paid more than models with activity on social media. Models are a medium that brands use to communicate to their customers, and finding a model that appeals to the target consumer and still helps to push the brand marketing is an ultimate win for a lot of brands.

Velour Model Management

Remember, the modeling industry is people-based, and people are creatures of change and pattern. What is appealing today may not be appealing tomorrow, but it may be redefined and re-introduced into the industry after a few years. Vogue recently released a series on their youtube channel under the playlist “Supreme Models” that illuminates the journey of the black model. This eye-opening series captures a pattern or patterns within the modeling industry, if you are keen, there is a lot about the future modeling industry that you can predict. A recent publication,, hinted that there is a new wave of fashion models, who are not just about modeling but also keen on activism. Many models are becoming ambassadors for change through social media (highlighted in the Vogue Series).

Modeling in Kenya has had its fair share of ups and downs, and 2023 feels like a revival year. A few years ago, Kenyan models could make a living out of modeling. There were a number of jobs and shows to look forward to, including international competitions like the Ford Model Look and the Nokia Face of Africa. Editorial modeling was a thing, with magazines like True Love, Couture Africa (making a slow comeback), and Drum, publishing monthly. Commercial modeling jobs were distributed among agencies and the model’s payment was very competitive.

Beauty Pageantry then was even celebrated by the government and the title holders walked home with favorable packages and support to represent the country globally. The demand for models was quite high and the requirements were strict, and many models wanted to build a career out of their talent. For almost 6 years the industry has continued to deteriorate, hitting an all-time low in 2020 and 2021. Fast forward to 2023, there is a lot to look forward to. The pay may not be competitive yet, but there are a lot more opportunities and distribution of work. Now is a good time to become a model in Kenya

If you want to become a model in Kenya in 2023, here are a few things you need to do, to give yourself a good start in the industry.


Find a good modeling school and learn about the industry dynamics. The modeling industry can be very easy or difficult to navigate, depending on your entry point. If you have the right foundation and guidance from the onset, it becomes very easy to grow to new levels and attract better clients each time. If you do not know how the industry operates, how workflows, and how to decide legitimate work from scams, building a career can be quite challenging and discouraging.

You become a lawyer by going to law school, the same way, you become a model by going to modeling school. Modeling may not fit within the traditional forms of work, but it is still work, and its important to know what you are getting yourself into. We have seen many models who get into the industry with a lot of expectations and zeal, and end up wasted, abused, and used, because they did not understand what they were doing and what the job entails.

The modeling industry in Kenya is very classed, so there are models who are always working with “high-end” clients and others who never get there or take a long time to get there. There are models who have never been paid less than Ksh. 20,000 on any job and there are models who have never been paid more than that on any job. This disparity comes from exposure and networks. There are quite a number of modeling schools and modeling agencies in Kenya, learn. Modeling is not just having a good catwalk or taking nice pictures, you need to know about the industry, contracts and pay rates, scouting and placement, agencies, and clients. Get yourself a school and learn.


Modeling work does not come to your doorstep, you have to go look for it. You have to find out where auditions are being held, know who are the legitimate casting directors in the industry and then attend as many auditions as possible. Get your face in front of as many creatives as possible, because you never know what may open the doors for you. You may work with a photographer, and the images from that shoot launch your career. You may get signed to an agency and that helps you launch your career. Sometimes your first audition may be the only audition you need, you get picked at the first attempt and your career starts to grow. The path is not always straight, neither is it the same for everyone.

One of the main differences between modeling and traditional forms of work is, when you become a model, you have to constantly apply for work (attend auditions and apply online) but when you are a lawyer for example, once you apply and get the job, you can work there for years. When you become a model, you have to be prepared to constantly apply for work and attend interviews. Sometimes you will have to attend a lot more interviews than actual work. This is why you need a school, to teach you the financial implications of modeling and the actual work involved.

Have courage and belief in your potential and put yourself out there. If you feel you need training, go get trained, if you need a mentor, find one. Castings are also a good way to meet other models and share experiences and work opportunities. Everyone wants to get picked when they attend an audition, but if you are not picked, leave with a few networks. Many models when starting out tend to find a group of models who they feel are as new as they are. Remember, misery loves company, there is nothing to learn from a person at your level. Interact with the models who have been in the game for a while, and allow them to challenge you and propel you into unlocking your potential.

Rejection is part and parcel of the model career. As you attend more auditions, you start to learn what kind of work suits you, based on the jobs you are booking. Have some analytical skills, and discover where you tend to lean more and run with that, up to a point where you can diversify your opportunities. Do not do modeling blindly, stay awake.

Miss World Kenya


If you haven’t realized, a lot more people are becoming models, because of their influence. In a recent blog post, a fashion critic mentioned that designers were paying more money for famous models (models with an influence) to give their brand visibility beyond the runway audience. Fashion Shows and fashion weeks are often mostly attended by media personnel and celebrities, they do not contribute to a majority of the consumers (who actually pay for clothes) but they help designers get t the actual consumers. High-end fashion is a facade, that the industry has turned into a marketing strategy. Whether you are modeling in Kenya or internationally, many brands are asking to see your social media before they can work with you, some even use this to determine how much they should pay you.

A reason why you need a good modeling school especially one that is also an agency, is you get to learn firsthand from the agency’s experience. Velour Model Management as an agency interacts with many clients on a daily basis, and since last year, one of the most common requests we get from clients is “Can we see the models’ social media accounts?”. Sometimes even after a client has met a model and approved them for the job, they still request to check their social media accounts.

If you want to become a model in Kenya, now is a good time to start building that social media presence. Have a professional-looking account, with your official name, and contact information. Ensure your account is public and neatly organized, showing past and current clientele. Grow your audience and have a bit of influence, it doesn’t matter how big or small. Brand yourself through your social media account. Some aspiring models have lost clients without even knowing it, because of the image they have built themselves on social media. Many brands removing away from mainstream media and investing heavily in social media marketing, as a model you need to be ready.


Velour Model Management is a modeling agency with a good number of models, who are signed and managed by the agency. Sometimes the agency gets clients that need a huge number of models, and the agency has to outsource models. Obviously, outsourcing starts with the students we have at Velour Model Academy, then to the network of models we have interacted with in the past, before the general public. This is why it is easy to see some models who are not signed by the agency working consistently with the agency. It is easy to see our students booking work consistently because the agency pushes any extra work to them first.

When you are just starting out as a model, you may not know anyone in the industry, but you should do enough research to know the different modeling agencies, the programs they have, and their operating methods. You have to do your homework before you start networking, so much so, that you can get yourself to and through your first audition. When you get the opportunity to interact with an agent, scout, or client, leave a good impression. If you get a chance to work with them, ensure you are good enough so that they will always call you back whenever they need extra models. Interact with other models. It doesn’t matter where you have been trained or who has trained you, there is always something you can learn from other models. Lastly, use your networks wisely.


There are many ways to get started and become a model in Kenya and there are a tonne of opportunities at every starting point. You just need to know how to scale upwards and leverage what you have learned to help you grow your career. What we teach our students is how to run a modeling business and not just how to be a model. We show them how to book work, how to negotiate and scale upwards, and how to look at their career long term. We offer continuous guidance throughout their career and they can always seek professional counsel at any time from us, the coaching doesn’t end in class. The modeling industry in Kenya was once a booming industry and it is headed back in that direction, it is our desire to see more Kenyan models get treated better and valued for their hard work.

If you are just starting out as a model, invest in yourself. There is a lot of work that goes into modeling, and into getting to a point where you do not have to hustle anymore. Building a name is easy, but building a brand takes years. Play the long term game.

If you find this post educative and informative, share it with an aspiring model!

5 thoughts on “BECOME A MODEL IN KENYA IN 2023”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *