15-year-old Michelle Saka has been chosen as the Elite face of Kenya, trumping more than 31 other models to win a spot in the international Elite Model Look competition slated for Shanghai, China in December.
At a well attended event at Nairobi’s Intercontinental hotel last night, an incredulous Michelle couldn’t stop smiling as she was pronounced the winner.
Elite Model Look International General Manager Stephane Pescimoro said Michelle had the potential to make it big in the modelling industry.
“I had a hard job to judge these 32 girls coming from all over Kenya. We had nine people in the jury to select someone who can join 72 models girls in Shanghai to compete to be the next top model. We choose Michelle, 15, beautiful height and well proportionate,” he told Capital Lifestyle.
How did it happen?
It was a case of first time lucky for Michelle. With nothing but a dream and zero modelling experience, she looked for a modelling competition on Facebook and as it so happens, Elite Model Look International was in town.
“I just searched on Facebook,” said the shy girl. “I found it and was selected. I think it’s a mixture of luck and talent, but I plan to work very hard,” she told journalists.
Michelle has been dreaming of being a model since she was 8 years old.
“I was tall for my age and I wanted to be a model. I told my parents and they support me fully. I shall try my best when I go to Shanghai,” said the teen, who is the envy of many seasoned models and who wants to be study architecture in college.
What makes a good model?
Pescimoro met some murmurs of disapproval from the audience when he announced Beatrice Chepkorir as the 2nd runners up and was applauded when he called out Gloria Baraza in second place. He was pressed upon to explain his decision.
“I have a lot of experience in searching and managing models… Michelle is young and tall and has complete African features. She has very good proportion and even though she doesn’t know how to catwalk very well, this she can learn. That is what people forget. She has the potential to develop her talents. She has raw talent and that is what we saw.”
He went on to say that Michelle has a baby face and also needs to be taught how to pose for the camera, but insisted that her natural talent was of more use to them than anything else.
“I’m looking for a star; the audience is looking for the best thing in the present moment. That is the difference. I am looking for someone to dazzle in the international arena.”
His sentiments were echoed by another one of the judges, Miss EU, who said that at such a young age, Michelle is well placed to have a successful modelling career and embark on other interests when she grows older.
“Most models only have until the age of 24 to be a success. Michelle is young and has strong African features. That is what she was chosen for. She is also very tall, which is good. I think if she learns and does as she is told in terms of how to be a model, she will be stunning.”
Michelle heads to Shanghai in November to prepare for the December event.
(Check out the Lifestyle Gallery for more pictures http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/lifestyle/gallery/?album=2&gallery=7).
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