MISS DULCET IS A MODEL WITH A BRAVE HEART
Her journey to becoming the video vixen on Reminisce’s ‘Konsignment’ video shot in the United Kingdom, is like the story of the brave heart. she’s learn a lot and has a lot to say about the modeling industry.
”..The human body is a work of art God made. If you see something you like, be reasonable and bear in mind you had nothing to do with creating it. Therefore you can’t just go around sampling goods” like you’ve just hit puberty. It saddening to think some girls(models) allows this kind of behavior because they’re afraid of not getting paid…”- Miss Dulcet
It was one of those lazy evenings where all I tried doing was to catch up with all the topsy-turvy on social media. There’s no better place to start that journey than engage Instagram from the get go. Surfing through it, I noticed an account liking and dropping comments on all the stories ever posted on everything models and the modeling industry. Before I could digest and make sense of everything, the lady slide into my DM saying ‘Great articles’. I checked out her page, I was impressed. The irony of it is that, it’s entertainers like her that my career as a journalist is created for. Her journey to becoming the video vixen on Reminisce’s ‘Konsignment’ video shot in the United Kingdom, is like the story of the brave heart. Born in Johannesburg and currently working her way to stardom in the UK entertainment scene, Miss Dulcet as she prefers being called, doubles as a lingerie model, poet and an aspiring performing artiste. Her journey to becoming the best in her chosen career is one that is ongoing but she’s learn a lot and has a lot to say about the modeling industry.
‘I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and have a family home in Fourways, Sandton. I discovered my passion for entertainment right after I discovered my passion for making people smile. I’ve never been shy. I believe that people get too attached to things that represent them and forget that they themselves are their best representatives. God made us perfect the way we are. I’m a very positive person, always been a dreamer. At age 6 I started singing in the choir at school and then entering competitions against other schools. You didn’t just have to sing, you had to perform the songs, engage your audience. It was like theatre. I feel in love with the stage, with seeing people faces, knowing I made them feel something; offered them escapism. That love and natural curiosity made me choose to study in UK. My mother had since moved there for a nursing opportunity and asked me one night where I would like to build. I didn’t need time to think. I knew nothing about the UK, so it was perfect! I was 9 years old. I love learning and working, my brain is just as important as working on my body. I’m always checking my IQ, which is currently in the top 5% of the globe. Anyway, I knew I had nothing to lose and wanted to be close to my mother. My big sister is 15years my senior (although you would never be able to tell) so I was basically an only child. My father wasn’t there from the start, which never bothered me until I realised I was affected by his absence in the sense that I have abandonment issues, and find it hard to trust. On the bright side his absence has allowed me develop my own idea of what a King is. I also think it helped develop my caring nature and overall strength as an individual.
‘No brothers, a pretty face and a friendly attitude, you got to learn to be tough, or people take advantage. Moving to the UK was a culture shock, and I started puberty soon after. Being a ‘foreigner’ at the time, I was often misunderstood. There was so much to take in that I confined my art and self-expression to my room. I started writing Poetry and my own music. I was a fat kid weighing 9 stones at age 9. I weigh 10 stones now and I guess we can see where the
weight went (haha). As my body developed I started getting more interested in fashion, which is another form of self-expression to me, because I believe the body is beautiful as it is. It’s honest. Anyway, when flipping through the major magazines, I hardly saw females with my body structure, (hardly melinated faces at all to be honest) which concerned me.
That’s when I started having dreams of being a lingerie model. Why lingerie? Because the women in those pictures seemed fearless, in love with themselves enough to inspire others to love themselves, the way they are. There’s no hiding and in fact you shouldn’t hide just because the world is not ready for your version of beautiful. My family, although creative, are quite conservative. Well mainly my mother, who saw the first video I was in and immediately thought I was prostituting myself (haha). If she only knew the riches I’ve turned down she’d understand how much respect I preach and have for myself. To them, nudity is somewhat of a sin whereas I don’t understand how something so natural can be misconstrued. I mean, were we not natural (nude) when we were ‘discovered’?
‘Either way, I laid waste to that idea, all the while me and my best friend would dress up and do our make up JUST to take pictures. I remember once I did a mini shoot in my friend’s bathroom, in the bath, in my gold bikini with the shower on. For no other reason than because I loved it. I wish I still had those photos. My mother always downplayed my writing and singing. Parents want
the best for you and this industry is full of uncertainties but isn’t life? I remember when it came time to apply for college; I applied for the business course (as I wanted to be in Brand Communications and Marketing) and did a separate application for the music. I got accepted into both courses and she told me over the phone “You better take the business one to support yourself with your art!” Sadly I did. Two colleges later she finally enlisted me in The Brighton Institute of Modern music (BIMM). They have offices in NEW YORK and DUBLIN, where top industry professionals trained me. There, people came from all over the world to go to this school, so I got to see some big bold personalities and it sparked my passion for entertainment. I got into events management from a local music bar, before becoming the lead singer and songwriter for two bands. Now as a lead singer, I decided I needed photos. I mean the first thing people see is you. If they like what they see, they may keep watching, start listening. This market is over saturated so I didn’t pay much attention for another two years before I left one band and the other dispersed. I had moved out from home and was studying and working full time.
‘It’s not until my grandmother passed mid last year, that I stopped to really look at myself. Asked what I wanted and why. Asked myself if I was willing to die before I had really lived and who would suffer if I did. I won’t get into how much I think or what I think about, I’ll just say my goals are greater than myself. My grandmother’s death was so sudden. I had visited her the year before and the last thing she told me was the story of the prince and the little egg. This story is about faith, patience and perseverance. After a couple months of mourning, I finally replied to a DM from an agency calling themselves Loyal Models. The very same night I got called in for a video shoot with Reminisce (for Konsignment) that was being staged the next day!
Although I am absolutely in love with Nigeria, the people, the culture, the pidgin, I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t know who he was (lol). Although, if I did, I wouldn’t have acted any differently towards him; He has achieved a lot because he put the work in. It was definitely inspiring being in his presence for so many reasons and as laidback as he is, his aura is on a 100 percent. Like you can feel his energy. It was a pleasure working with him. I was very nervous but so ready. I’ve waited my whole life to be in front of the camera and now I have a taste for it, my hunger is so great. To me it’s an art form and just because I’m new I have no problem turning down a job if I feel it doesn’t go with my overall brand. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of girls with my shape, especially in South Africa and they aren’t seen as more than just a lump of curves and to be fair, sadly enough they also don’t aspire to be seen as more.’ – She opened up about herself before I started my interview.
How do models/hip-hop models/video vixens go about achieving their goals in organized countries like the UK?
If I understand your question you are asking what are the best steps or steps in general. A close friend who felt he knew enough about the industry to want to take over my creative directions encouraged me to go into modeling. Turns out we didn’t have the same vision for my
future but I would encourage girls to get a manager of sorts. Someone who will fill that admin and authoritarian role, someone not afraid to negotiate a fair price for their time, and make sure they don’ get taken advantage of. That as well as an agency can be beneficial, if they have a website and or social media page with a large following, but I warn you, there’s one springing up every day. I think no matter what you do, always look out for yourself. Meaning, just because there
is someone representing you, don’t forget that you are your best representative. So never stop grinding, even when you have to start turning down works. There’s always someone who can swoop in and outshine you. Above all, even when you feel you have done everything
right, things still may not go in your favour. Don’t be
discouraged or take it personally, all beauty is different and tomorrow is a new day. Never give up on you and what’s meant to be yours, will.
How can models use the platform of modeling to advance into achieving other goals in the arts and the entertainment industry?
As an aspiring music and media mogul, I’d say three things; First, don’t box yourself in. Even if you haven’t got a great desire for acting or presenting, go for those jobs too, you never know what you’re capable of till you succeed so don’t be afraid to take jobs you don’t necessarily think you’re qualified for because you could just be undiscovered. Always give yourself a chance to stand out. If you are told to bring one outfit BRING TWO and maybe something a little out of the box in case a scene requires something extra last minute. If you have an idea for a shot, VOICE IT, if they turn it down, what have you really lost? If they
use it, then you have done more than be a pretty face that can take directions. Make everyone’s job easier and the best of what is required of you and you will be remembered as not only the professional attractive model, but also an intelligent versatile one. Always engage. Find out as much as possible – without being a creep (hahaha)- about the people you are working with on set. Sometimes what I always do is greet everyone. If I have a
moment of waiting and there’s someone next to me, I make it a point to spark a conversation. There’s a wealth of knowledge, and thus possible opportunity, in the mind of every human being. So never underestimate the people on set. Media industries interlink in a major way; that is why you have what they call triple threats. So in essence, be memorable and fearless.
What should models expect from clients they work for apart from the money they get paid?
Respect and a certain level of professionalism. You are paying me because of what I can do to add value to your existing composition. If you thought it was perfect without me then you wouldn’t hire me. Essentially
models are considered walking art. Born gifted so there’s a misconception that no hard work goes into being a model. But I bet you everyone reading this can name at least one person they used to find attractive who is now unrecognizable. Life can take its toll. It costs to have your hair done, nails, healthy food can be expensive in the UK as well, skin care is important just to name a few basic things and being a part of something you will only get to see after it’s edited and possibly circulated, something you will have no say in, you gotta be sure you are on point and represent yourself in the best light. Everyone is beautiful but not everyone can be a model, I’m sorry. And when I say professionalism, I mean
a lot of people don’t realise a verbal contract is actually binding. Pay in full, on time and don’t treat the shoot like your personal dating service. It’s so unattractive.
What are the things you have noticed about your industry thus far?
The good, the bad and the worse
The good: I enjoy it so much (hahaha). I honestly thought I may find it boring as I assumed, like many, it didn’t require much thought but trust me, there’s a lot to think about when shooting. I love meeting new people and learning just how much work goes into it all. You are often put in contact with people with big personalities and hear great coming up stories. It can be very inspiring and motivational. Depending on your representation, you can get paid to party! Free entry, free drinks, free everything if you know the right people because appearance is 70% of what’s important in this industry. So people will pay to have you come to their venues.
The bad: Jealousy. Some people think it’s a competition when
logically speaking we will never all look the same. Instead of working on themselves and shining in their respective lanes, they can be petty. They act like high school girls (laughs). You walk in and all the veterans are
chilling together giving you side eyes like “Who’s this new b…t thinking she can come take our business?” I’m also super friendly as mentioned earlier,
and that immediately turns some girls off coz it’s not a usual thing apparently. It doesn’t bother me; my priority on set is not to make friends. I think if someone has body issues, they should take care of them and feel blessed to even be alive. A candle doesn’t lose anything by lighting another candle. We can all shine along side each other. In fact we’ll create a bigger flame.
Worse: sexual harassment. The human body is a work of art God made. If you see something you like, be reasonable and bear in mind you had nothing to do with creating it. Therefore you can’t just go around “sampling goods”
like you’ve just hit puberty. It saddening to think some girls allows this kind of behavior because they’re afraid of not getting paid, etc. I’ve heard some directors will change the price they pay models in between or even at the end of a shoot because “They were not up to standard.” In UK verbal
contracts are binding between two or more parties where an agreement has been made, but most people don’t know that and let them get away with it causing a trickle down effect of just general disrespect. If a model
doesn’t want to do the job, don’t hire them again. Simple. But possibly the worst thing I’ve come across is artistes asking for models and refusing to pay for even their transport because they are big names. That’s such
a selfish and ignorant mentality. Artistes as big as Usher pay for their models. The man has been around since before I was born. Come on now. If you are so big why not just send a post out for groupies? Why do you want a professional when your not willing to pay a professional’s wage, not even travel fare? It’s a massive contradiction to the “baller” lyrics in their songs or lifestyle they portray on social media. This is not a joke to me, I’m not here to party, I don’t need free alcohol and loud music, I need money for the services I provide. Full stop. Because being in your video won’t do much for me unless I promote it again, helping you. And depending on how many girls there are, the chances of me being seen are slim. If people don’t like the song, then no one sees it. There are big egos that talk more than they can walk.
– Sesan Adeniji
Culled from the Latest edition of Mystreetz Magazine