Promoting our Culture and Heritage
Modeling is an art says Dawson Dau
In this week’s one-on-one interview, our Reporter Sarah Kiko chatted with one of the South Sudanese male models Dawson Dau who is currently based in Nairobi Kenya. Dawson talked about the art, prospects of returning home, and more in the following interview:
JM: Introduce yourself to us.
Dawson: Well, my name is Dawson Dau Amol. I am a South Sudanese communicator and Fashion Model based in Kenya. I greatly believe in perspectives. Throughout my life I have learnt to respect people’s perspectives and that’s what majorly defines me. I also push for self-realization.
JM: How did you join modelling and who inspires you?
Dawson: I started modeling in 2014 after being picked by an industry icon who felt I had the potential to deliver in the industry. I had always dreamt to be someone, to inspire, and be part of the making of a society. When the opportunity came my way I gave it the necessary. I became passionate in it and it became part of my world.
Many people in the fashion frame are an inspiration but they don’t make part of my story. I’m usually inspired by the society and adding value to it is what I call my inspiration.
JM: How does it feel being a male model?
Dawson: Modeling is an art. A modeler either male or female is exploring artistry and adding value to the society. I feel I’m an artist and I feel I have a primary obligation to promote art and in the process ensure art is paid for.
JM: What are the challenges you are facing in the industry?
Dawson: In every profession there are always challenges and overcoming them is the master key to making life worthwhile.
The fashion industry in East Africa has not developed to the extremes of similar industries overseas. I experience challenges such as being overworked, payment delays and at times lack of proper platforms to improve the art. Even with all these challenges, I feel it is improving day-by-day and it will soon explore the upper limits.
JM: How does the Kenyan industry handle South Sudanese male models?
Dawson: Kenya is part of a greater community that also houses South Sudan called the East African Community. Fashion is an art that demands for what you have and not where you’re from. Models are treated according to their potentials and not their backgrounds. They are only left with the obligation of hard work and achievement.
JM: What are the paying rates of models in Kenya?
Dawson: Payment depends on the nature of the job you’re doing. It may range from USD 100 up to 2,000 or even more.
JM: What is your greatest achievement so far?
Dawson: I’ve fulfilled a lot in my journey but what I consider as my greatest achievement in the course is inspiring a lot of youth to chase their dreams. As long as there is value added to the society as a result of my hard work and contribution I feel like I’ve won. I was awarded this last week at the gala night Nairobi.
JM: Have you ever contested in a beauty pageant before?
Dawson: Yes I have. In my University (St. Paul’s University). It was a good experience but I also learnt it isn’t my line and focused on high fashion only.
JM: How does South Sudanese community in Kenya view male models?
Dawson: The community here is united and supports art. They encourage everyone to do what they are good at and that’s a major booster.
JM: Do you have any dream of coming back home to South Sudan?
Dawson: Of course home is the best. If only I had the opportunity I would be a big brand in the country and support art. Bring people into fashion and other fields so that they’ll not limit themselves to politics alone and focus on other productive aspect for their own betterment. I love my country, I love the people in it, I recognize my leaders and only hope that we would one day sort our differences and be a united community as we have ever been.
JM: What is your advice on male modeling?”
Dawson: Male modeling is part of art and it is of course a profession. People earn from it and that is key. If you wish to explore it, be smart and get focused on achieving and earning a living. If your primary objective is getting known then shy away from it. Focus on adding value to the society and not on being famous.