Interviewed by Myra Harris
A
AFYA LARRY
@afyalarry
an interview
Aspiring model Afya Larry shares her goals for a fashionable future, the ups and downs of modeling, and the let down of promises not met that continues to galvanize her determination to reach back to other aspiring models with honest guidance and real direction.
Was it easy for you to break into the industry?Did you take any modeling courses?
Larry: I’ve been modeling for almost 4 years now, since I participated in the Belinda Baidoo Model Search in 2016. It wasn’t easy at all, since this was my first-time modeling. I also did not take any modeling courses, but I had a friend who was a model that started training me at 15/16 years old.
Do you  focus on  fashion or  are you  booked  for  other types of modeling assignments? What is your favorite type and why?
Larry: I’ve been modeling for almost 4 years now, since I participated in the Belinda Baidoo Model Search in 2016. It wasn’t easy at all, since this was my first-time modeling. I also did not take any modeling courses, but I had a friend who was a model that started training me at 15/16 years old.
How has becoming the Season One Winner of the Belinda Baidoo Model Search Africa impacted your livelihood? Have you acquired more modeling assignments because of your win?
Larry: This was a great opportunity, but I expected it to impact my modeling career in a good way, but it didn’t.  During and after the show was so exciting, as the winner was supposed to travel and get a two-year contract with MSA  or State Models in NY. I signed the contract, but I never traveled to their US  office. I met the head booker of State Management, but she didn’t really explain anything to me, and am still unsure what happened - and didn’t bother to ask.  Even if you ask,  you  will  not  get  any  answers. After I finished the show and signed the contract, I was expecting a US Visa in order to visit the agency. I was told that they attempted to get a work permit, but am still unsure if that really happened. The agency I expected to visit at first was not the agency that I actually met. Additionally, instead of going to NY,
I was sent to Italy.


I have not received any assignments as a result of winning. The assignments that have come up since winning this title, were  not  given  to  me,  but  instead  I  have  been  passed  over. When I came back from Italy in 2018, I thought I’d go back – but the agency said that I was too skinny, so I had to come back home. But if I was too skinny, then how was I chosen as the winner?  At this point my parents attempted to ask questions as to what was happening, but they did not get a good answer.  So, I’ve done nothing since I came back from Italy in 2018.
 
I attempted to terminate my contract with Baidoo, but instead [they] gave me a contract indicating that I’d have to pay 10% to her for every project over the next 3 years. I was shortlisted from the Glitz show, but did it without getting paid –because it is my passion. I also signed the contract underage, as I was 17 at the time.  My attorney indicated that because I was underage when I signed the contract, that there is no way that Belinda can have control over me or force me to sign anything, which allows me to be a freelance model. At the present time, I am still waiting on a termination letter from Baidoo, while still attempting to get other international projects, as the Ghana modeling industry is suffering. Plus size models are the preferred choice over a thin model in Ghana.
What is a typical day at work for you?
Larry: A typical day is very stressful and hectic, but I find it to be fun, as it is something that I enjoy. I’ve experienced being at an assignment, and being selected, but then as it gets closer to the show, I have been removed from the show. It doesn’t make sense, but it is a typical day for me in Ghana. However, a typical day at work in Italy was a lot of fun, even though it was hectic and stressful. During the day for the show you wake up early to meet the designers, do your fittings, meet the stylists (fix your hair) – I truly enjoyed those experiences in Italy
What  do  you  enjoy  most  and  least  about  being  a  model?
Larry: I  enjoy  walking  on  the  runway  or working with big brands like Gucci, Fendi, Chanel, or Louis Vuitton. What I enjoy least is going to a fitting for a job and not being the right person for the dress –being too small or skinny.
When you’re not modeling, what are some of your favorite things to do?
Larry: I love reading books or focusing on school [and] education. During the show, I dropped out of high school, but last year I registered to finish my high school education (which I just finished) and will be moving forward with college.
What has been the most exciting project that you have worked?
Larry: The most exciting project that I have worked as a model was in Italy for Wella Professionals.
I was the only model, andthey really loved me during the show and asked me if I was ok with the hairstyle that they styled. They expected me to say No, but I said Yes.  As a result of my response, one to two weeks later, they called and booked me for another assignment.
What do you feel is your best physical feature and why?
Larry: My best features are my ears, legs and body. I think they define me as a model and these features are the main reason that I won the Baidoo Model Search and was able to be signed.
What are some of your future modeling goals?
Larry: I see myself doing shows for big clothing brands and also campaign. I dream about seeing myself in NY and on billboards.
What’s something you’d like to share with the Linger Magazine readers?
Larry: I really hope to be an agent  in  Europe  or  America  that  will  focus on  Ghanaian  models, to assist them in getting all types of modeling assignments.
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Afiya Larry
an interview
Afiya Larry
an interview
Afiya Larry
an interview
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