I tried out for many things before landing my current gig as News Anchor/Media Personality. I auditioned to be a Radio Presenter (that eventually worked out)! I took a course in counselling psychology because I’ve always been fascinated by human emotions. But then one day, I’m not sure if this was because someone loosely suggested I try it, I auditioned to be a runway model! Now, I’m 5’5, but I didn’t let this bother me, even though the first casting call I was sent to was filled with long legged, amazonian structured gals and guys. I somehow made one of the cuts…it was over 15 years ago so that part remains blurry…
We were all called into a room to be ‘mentored’. We were easily 30 of us in number. One of the mentors, we’ll call her Mentor X, began the session by asking each of us what our dreams for the future looked like. The answers didn’t vary as such: I want to take to the catwalks of Milan and New York during Fashion Week, I want to appear on billboards across the country…
When my turn came I decided to be cliche, because I honestly wasn’t even sure what I was doing in that room! I said I wanted to be a runway model and before I could finish, Mentor X interrupted me, ‘How tall are you again?’ ‘5’5?’ I half asked and answered. ‘Stop right there; you’ll never make it to the runways, so you need to pick a different dream. Be realistic’. Her words verbatim. The room went silent with everyone trying not to look me in the eye. Of course it stung because it just felt unnecessary. Plus I was all of 17 years old…
I’m not sure how I picked myself up from that but something in me clicked. I had to choose to believe in me if no one else did. I’m so glad I made that decision! I would later walk the runways of Malaysia, but that’s a whole other blog post and embrace many a possibility thereafter.
I never stopped facing naysayers, for instance my stint in South Africa often bringing me face to face with xenophobia, racism and sexism.
We can often tend to feel demoralised in adverse conditions. Granted, piercing words and difficult situations sometimes pull the rug from under our feet. We stoop and feel low as if we are bending under their weight. But you’ll definitely feel better if you try to lift your spirits and also your head like a person determined to take up the challenge. Try it.
Head held high to the week of possibilities!
Skirt : @republi_ke
Headwrap: mitandio by @kwesh.ug available @designingafricacollective
Make up: @rosentongondu
Shoes are a birthday gift from the lovely Shix Kapienga ❤