The thrill that Valerie Kamau gets when on the runway is unexplainable and the feeling of being in front of the cameras is even greater. Valerie, a student pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, is a fashion model. She is also a part-time CPA student.
She started out back in high school but got really into it in 2014 when she cleared. Registered with a modeling agency, Azzuri Photography, she did a bit of modeling before ending her contract to become a freelance model. She is now into a runway and commercial modeling. Commercial modeling entails all type of print advertising ranging from magazine ads to advertising products on supermarket shelves and billboards.
The twenty year old student believes that nothing is more fulfilling than doing what one loves best and following one’s passion, and for her, modeling is that one thing. Every moment on the runway, she says, has been her best moments, her worst being one when she tripped on the runway.
In the short time that Valerie has been in the industry, she has had the opportunity to do major runways and work with several designers. She has also participated in some beauty pageants Mr. and Miss JKUAT where she ended up as the first runners up, Queen and King of Mashujaaa, where she was crowned the Queen during Mashujaa awards. She has also been on the runway for Miss World Kenya.
Finding a balance between the two courses she’s pursuing and her passion has proven to be quite a task, but it all boils down to time management and setting priorities right. This, she feels, was the reason she decided to venture out as a freelance model as opposed to signing with an agency. Agencies require a lot of commitments which would not work in her favour. Her role model in this industry is Shanelle Sam, a South Sudanese model living in Kenya who has gone against all odds to create a name for herself in the modeling industry.
Valerie hopes to be one of the top super models in Kenya and beyond. Her goal has always been to make a positive impact in the modeling industry as well as changing lives through modeling. Her take on the Kenyan modelling industry: “The industry is growing though we have not yet got to a point where modeling can foot a model’s bills. I wish the government would get more involved and some event organizers would stop exploiting models.”