Fashionista Kabano on adding value to the Rwandan modelling industry

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Franco Kabano. Courtesy

What inspired the Rwanda Fashion Models Union?

I started modeling in 2004 but got on stage to model in 2006. However, the inconsistence in terms of fashion modelling gigs that I experienced, inspired me to think of ways to contribute to the modelling industry. In 2015, I set up a school of modelling to create a union that would bring all models together after I learned of the creation of the Rwanda Art council at the Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture. I saw it as an opportunity to unite fashion models with artists and luckily they were supportive. We are currently in the process to formalize our union with the aim of setting standards for Rwandans in terms of pay to give value to our models and educate Rwandans that modelling is not a hobby but a profession.

How do you intend to use the modeling industry to contribute towards the country’s growth?

Models are more than what the public eye sees of them. They are role models and public figures. We are going to use that title even out of our professions and change the world around us, starting with Rwanda. Modelling is not just a mere hobby but also a profession that can bring us money and our country’s image can be changed through modelling.

What contribution is your modelling school giving to the modelling industry?

I started up the Golden school of modelling where I teach catwalk to both ladies and men. I also teach them how models behave because it’s what makes models unique and stand out as well as succeed in the modelling industry. The school uses Rwandan values to develop the spirit of being a good model.

Does your school consider plus size models?

From my experience, modelling is not only about size or physique, as long as one has the manners and can catwalk, pose and express yourself, you can be a model. That is why I have plus size models in my school.

How do you view modelling in terms of pay in this country?

The pay is still low even though the public appreciates our work. The pay is fair for those who are proficient and professional because not everybody is a model. This is the reason we are trying to promote professional modelling in the country.