The world of modeling can be frustrating, disappointing, short lived and sometimes considered a part time side-hustle as you wait for a ‘real’ job. The challenges can be particularly magnified for male models where the society is yet to accept the profession as a mainstream career. But one Billy Omondi is adamant on silencing critics and skeptics of modeling.
The 6ft 3inch 4th year sociology and political science student gets stares every where he goes as he dresses the part and makes his presence felt. He describes how he stumbled into modeling.
“I met one of my old friends from high school and the first thing he said was ‘hey! Man you are so tall why don’t you try your hand in modeling?” recounts Billy.
And with that, the friend told him of an upcoming fashion show auditions aired on Citizen TV, which he went and successfully convinced the judges that he was up to the task. After a week of training, Billy was on his first runway, with millions watching on TV.
Since then, Billy Omondi commonly known as “Omosh” in campus has participated in several top notch fashion events including Festival of African Fashion and Arts (FAFA), Swahili fashion held in Tanzania, Casino Malindi fashion, and was the choreographer in recently concluded Mr. & Miss. Zetech and Nairobi Aviation Fashion show. Billy will be one of the judges in the upcoming Mr. & Miss. UoN.
His well toned body and height has also seen him clinch various lucrative advertisements deals with top end companies including Barclays Bank, Guinness and Samsung while an ad deal for Nivea is in the works.
But the road has not been without its fair share of challenges which he has faced head on stressing that only being firm on principles, passion and the right attitude will see one through.
“There are a lot of challenges in this industry as some clients underpay. Desperate models are another issue as they comprise the standard of modeling….they can accept anything as low as ksh5000. We deal with stereotyping and false publicity everyday. It’s only your resilience and principle that makes you sane,” says the six pack student
He reveals that gay stereotypes are not uncommon in the modeling industry as modeling cameras do focus particularly on areas depending on the assignment and product. Contracts are awarded depending on the model’s endowments hence its not strange for models to display there features to the public who are quick to point an accusing finger when they advertise outfits they consider a taboo.
“Advertising, say boxers or briefs for example, does not make one gay. We are only professionals trying to improve the sales of a company…at one time David Beckam was modeling for Adidas underpants. did that make him gay?” he asks
Does modeling pay his bills?
“Since I started modeling I have never called anyone to foot my bills. I pay my rent, buy food and meet every need thanks to modeling. So yes, it pays.”