The modeling industry has a reputation for being tough on young and vulnerable men and women, modeling as a profession isn’t all glamorous as most people think, and especially when it comes to how much an average model is paid in Ghana. There are thousands of young men and women who are working in the industry with a much lower income. Questions are being raised over how well some of these models are being treated by Clients and the agencies who are supposed to represent their best interest.
Another reason is that some of the emerging models and “freelance” models are not interested in the finances of the modeling industry but rather are blinded by the fame and parties that comes with the job and thus take whatever is dished out to them without questions asked and these acts ruin the industry because when a professional model asks for an increment in pay and there are all these more-than-willing emerging and freelance models out there ready to work for any amount, the clients will obviously go for the ones willing to take the lowest amount on the job market .
Due to this catastrophe, Models are being exploited in the fashion industry. To some show producers and advertising agencies, MODELS are just big baits to catch good Money from top notch companies to fuel their extravagant lifestyle.A quick biblical references to Leviticus 19:13 ‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning. This shows the level of hypocrisy in the industry.How do we tend to build an industry with such incompetence? I clearly recall an incidence where models were paid $150 = 600 Ghana cedis for a top Communication Brand in Ghana for a period of a year after spending ours on set.But what is fame without money? How do you keep up with 600 Ghana cedis when the company is making millions of cedis from your images. That is exploitation in so many ways
In Addition , the low level of modelling education, Most models and agents just sign contracts without reading them or putting the needs of their models before their interest.Some of these contracts they sign without reading them requires more from the models than what they are being paid thus at the end of the day, Models are been over-worked for COINS.
In an interview with A Ghana-based model and agent as to what it is like trying to make a living in the industry and this is what they had to say:
Leana Afia Apenteng is one of the fine models we have in Ghana, she won discovery model of the year 2015 at the Afroma awards and also recently won female model of the year at the Ghana fashion awards 2016.
She’s been modeling for 4 years and says she gets booked through casting and recommendations. We asked her how much she gets paid for editorials and she said there aren’t any fixed prices but however, over the years she yearned to build up her portfolio and so most of her editorials are collaborations. She also mentioned that she gets paid only after work is done either through cash or cheque.
Now the major question, what does she think of the earnings as a model in Ghana and is she content? She eagerly said “I must say the earnings are very low due to the fact that various bodies are not willing to invest/sponsor and I am not content at all but I have hopes of payment rates getting better.” For the payment rate of models in Ghana to improve, she emphasized that Agents and models should change their mindset about modeling being a hobby and start treating it as a career in which earnings are depended upon for livelihood.
The modeling industry is a business and so should be treated so and not a place for hobbies as one of the models mentioned….. For this industry to grow all models are to have a united front to bring that positive change being sought for.
Abu Ibrahim is the manager for exopa model agency and been in the model industry for about 10 years now……his job as a manager/agent is basically to manage models, look for jobs and talk to clients on behalf of his models.
When asked what the average pay of a model is he said its depends on the job and that there is no specific price but the least a model gets, could be about ghc 100 for a fashion show (which is very appalling) His models mostly get booked through castings and sometimes recommendations.
We dropped the big question, what does he think of the earnings of models in Ghana and this is what he told us; “Models are supposed to earn more because the job of a model is not all glamorous and easy as most people seem to think, it’s tedious as any other job and deserves to be taken seriously and so we are not content at all”. So now the question is what can be done about this to bring a change. Mr. Ibrahim said it’s about the time most models stop taking modeling as a ‘hobby’ and start taking it seriously, this a business and most international models make a living out of it (career). That mentality needs to be shunned and clients will start considering the modeling industry serious. He further went on to say he thinks model education is important too, people need to be educated on what modeling is all about, for example, most people think modeling is about nudity but that’s not the case and so, therefore, model education is important so the public knows what modeling is all about. He also spoke about the way some models carry themselves and dresses, He said “they are all factors that attribute to this problem, models should know that they are brand ambassadors and thus the way they dress and carry themselves is what will determine the outcome”. His belief is that when all models are united and have one voice, this will bring positive and massive change.
Modeling is a career, a profession and not a hobby!
To grow a good and international standard of a modeling industry, it requires the effort of both models and their agencies to lay strict rules governing the modeling industry and clients.
What is the call of action, who is responsible for creating an umbrella to combat such an act? Who is there to fight for the rights of these models?