Georgette Umutoni is a mass communication student at Mount Kenya University with a deep passion for modeling which she finds a promising career for aspiring models. The youngster juggles modeling and journalism and they are roles that she takes on with ease and flexibility.
“My parents discovered my talent when I was 15 years old. At the time, I used to try the cat walk at home and I would ask my dad to comment about my performance. Later, I started asking my parents to take me to fashion events so that I could dress like the contestants on the runway,” she says.
Attending various events got her more interested in modeling. Her father is her biggest supporter because he encouraged her throughout the time she was working on her dream.
“My father is a fashionable man; I used to go with him whenever he would go shopping for clothes and I would also look at fashionable clothes for women. In a way, he inspired me into modeling. Then being in school also helped keeping me informed about the fashion world. I made my debut as a model in 2009 when I participated in a fashion show in Serbia.
Since then, Umutoni has participated at the Kampala fashion Intro and Kigali Fashion Week.
She has also been able to attend various international fashion shows.
“I have had a chance to visit different countries as a model. I have visited France where I studied design and also attended the Paris Fashion Week. I visited Milan in Italy and was in New York for the New York Fashion Week. I went to all these places because of modeling,” she says.
However, Umutoni hasn’t lost her passion for journalism. She feels journalism is a part of her because its helps it’sa source of income since modeling gigs don’t come regularly. Although modeling money doesn’t come quite often, she’s happy to balance both professions.
“As a model I get to visit many countries to attend eventswhich can also help me to learn more things that are important in my journalism career. In a way, both professions complement each other,” she says with a broad smile.
Umutonisays she has managed to be successful because she is always serious when it comes to work.
“If any young person wants to be successful, especially in the modeling industry, they need to be professional, polite and courteous because they never know what may hinder their chances of achieving their dream. Being physically beautiful is not enough to be a successful model because the industry is filled with rejection and it can take a toll on you. Everyone needs support and looking down on people doesn’t help,” she explained.
Umutoni says that although modeling is becoming popular, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
“We need to work hard and grow our modeling industry and make it a fully-fledged professional industry like as is the case in developed countries. We need to professionalise the industry like it is in Milan, London and Rome, among others.