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.