Light Magazine Africa had an encounter with the young Sharon Gibson, a young intelligent undergraduate student of University of Ghana Legon pursuing studies in Economics. Her professionalism in the modeling industry appealed our attention to interview her; to set as a young mentorship for students in the industry, enlighten and inspire.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?
My name is Sharon Gibson. I’m a simple and young fashion entrepreneur who aims at making her dreams a reality. I’m also a student at the university of Ghana studying Economics and Chinese. I have great passion for modeling and as such, I consider it my talent. I’m a makeup artist as well and a stylist. I actually style myself for almost all my shoots especially when shooting my concepts.
HOW YOU STARTED?
Having Victoria Michaels as a family friend, I had the opportunity to have her direct my first photo-shoot as an aspiring model. After the shoot, Victoria Michaels expressed how easy it was to direct advice and further me me on modeling as a career, which inspired me as a starter. From the shoot, I selected two photos, which I started working with. First of all, I went online to search for Agencies in Ghana. Actually, I wanted an agency with a woman as the manager because of the rumors I had heard about male managers. So I came across an agency called Recess Modeling Agency and sent my two images to their contact. A few minutes later, I got feedback from the agency. As of then my career picked up.
ARE YOUR PARENTS SUPPORTIVE?
My mother is very supportive. Sometimes, I ask myself is she really an African? Well, it’s popularly known how ‘west African parents’ are sort of against modeling especially in Ghana. There are diverse negative perceptions about modeling from parents except mine. She literally promotes my work in her own little way, inspires and encourages me in many ways.
CHALLENGES YOU FACE BEING A MODEL IN AFRICA?
To be honest, it’s not easy building ones self up as a model in Ghana especially. It’s more of you knowing somebody and somebody knowing you than TALENT. It’s quite difficult when it comes to branding yourself in that aspect because most girls of today, crave to be models without meeting the requirements. They go in for jobs that require more pay than they receive due to impatience and the strong desire to be ‘popular’. At the end, the marketing director of such company earns more because a company’s budget for a face of their brand is definitely not what the ordinary pretty unprofessional model receives. This goes a long way to affect the branded model.
Lastly, Our Agencies have to step up their game. It’s difficult finding an agency that can groom you to meet international standard in Ghana. One has to strive hard to brand her to meet at least an acceptable standard that can be considered around the globe.
HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY?
Being more of a photo model than a runway or commercial model for now, I make money by modeling for clothing lines, being the face of brands, etc.
WHO IS YOUR MENTOR?
I love Victoria Michaels. She has been my mentor right from infant. However, in the makeup world my mentors are my mother, Nancy Blaq and Bimpe Onakoya.
HOW DO YOU CONSIDER MODELING AS AN ENTERPRENEUR?
My involvement in modeling, makeup artistry and styling can be termed fashion entrepreneurship. They are careers, which reaps returns. In makeup artistry for instance, Working on clients for occasions will earn you a substantial amount, you reap profit and plough back your profit in buying more quality makeup products. Also, selling of professional images to companies and so on.
WILL YOU ADVICE LADIES TO GO INTO MODELING AND HOW CAN THEY HANDLE IT PROFESSIONALLY?
Yes, I do advice ladies with the drive for the fashion industry (modeling to be precise) to go into it. It comes with a whole lot of packages and also grooms you in many ways for the future.
To be professional, you have to brand yourself. Research more on how to go about it and make it happen. You could also get yourself a manager who can stand in for you in viewing your contracts from companies and can also help you with your branding.
DO YOU INTEND TO MAKE IT A CAREER OR A PART-TIME JOB?
For now, it’s a part-time job for me because of my schooling but will definitely make it a full time career after school.
HOW DO YOU INTEND TO MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE SOCIETY?
Everybody would love to leave a footprint on the earth, my footprint will be giving back to society, inspiring people through my images, and encouraging them through my captions. I believe I’m a born humanitarian and have a strong desire to reach out to people in need.
DO YOU ENJOY MODELING?
Despite the difficulties i face, modeling is an enjoyable career. Besides i believe nothing good comes easily, and especially, so far as i intend to make an impact on the society I must in all cost set a good example for my mates and the upcoming models to my footsteps. In short I will say, “I adore modeling”.