THE MODELLING TALE OF HALIMAT AJADI
‘I’ve been modelling for about two years now and specialise in beauty, bridal, commercial, catwalk, editorial, glamour, swimsuit, lingerie and fashion modelling. ‘Last year I was a top Miss Africa GB 2016 finalist.’ – Halimat Ajadi
If there’s one thing this generation should be proud of, it’s the opportunity to be able to choose whoever they want to be. This is not even as complicated as going through the minimum four years in tertiary institution. It comes as easy as surfing through the net, acquiring the skills for a start-up business, connecting with the rest of the world by sharing your expertise to a broader audience; and if one’s work or services are unique, it won’t take long to be discovered. Success might be guaranteed.
This reality seems to cover every profession including the modeling world. In recent times, I have come in contact with several students who also double as models. Most of them are getting inspired through social media and they are using the medium to also put out their works and connect with the rest of the world that may be in search of their services. One of the aspiring models I recently met online is Halimat Ajadi. This 22 year old, born in Ogun state, Nigeria, is currently living, schooling and gradually making a living as a model in the United Kingdom. She was a third runner up at the 2016 Miss Africa Great Britain, beauty pageant.
‘I’ve been modelling for about two years now and specialise in beauty, bridal, commercial, catwalk, editorial, glamour, swimsuit, lingerie and fashion modelling. However I’m not a full time model, I’m currently
studying Sociology and Social Policy at the University.
‘Last year I was a top Miss Africa GB 2016 finalist. I’ve had live TV
interviews speaking about things I’m passionate about such as the
wellbeing of women in Africa. I had been with an agency for five
months but left them last November. There’s something about speaking to people directly and making my own relationships with them that I love. I’ve always believed that instead of waiting for opportunities we can create them for ourselves’ – she started talking to me about herself.
How is life as an aspiring model in the UK? What is the journey like?
The journey so far as an aspiring model in the UK has been an insightful one. At first modelling to me was just something that I wanted to do. A pretty girl wants their pictures taken and on billboards and magazines. If you ask me how I got into it, I wouldn’t actually be able to tell you. I guess it was social media and my heart was pure (I just wanted to take pictures nothing more). Apparently the universe has a way of making things happen for you when your heart is pure. I really learnt a lot about myself not just as a model but as an individual. I learnt about the things I can do, the things I want to do, how I want to be
perceived and what comes easily to me. My very first photo-shoot was for a UK urban brand and that was the first and last time I ever modelled for an urban brand. (Knowing what I know about my own individual style and myself I’d shoot urban now).
I don’t think you can go into anything knowing everything you need to. I’d advice aspiring creatives to take advantage of the initial learning stage and to keep on learning.
The highs and Lows!
I guess an obvious low is when a ‘paid job’ doesn’t pay you or pays you partially. But that’s all part of the learning stage and
learning how the industry works and an obvious high is when you’re working a shoot that pays good and you enjoy as you engage with passionate and talented creatives.
Let’s talk about growing up. What inspired you to choose a career in modelling?
Growing up, the thought of being a model hadn’t even crossed my mind, I actually dreamt of being a singer. Destiny Child’s and The Cheetah Girls were my inspirations and like most girls born in the 90s I even had a girl
group but growing up in a Nigerian household, singing as a career wasn’t even an option. I had already started modelling for a good year before I decided that modelling is what I want to do. It’s like how people go to the university and not know what they want to do with their degree afterwards. After a year of modelling people were noticing what God was doing in me and
also noticing my potential, even I was noticing the type of opportunities that were coming my way. It all made me want to go harder. That’s when I
decided to choose modelling as a career.
Tell me about your journey at the Miss Africa GB (Great Britain)
I remember about two/three years ago saying to a group of friends that I would never do a beauty pageant, but time went by and for some reason in
December 2015 I wrote down all the goals I wanted to achieve in 2016 and Miss Africa GB was on the list along with passing exams and sleeping at The Shard. From the time I said I would never do a pageant to December I had done a lot of growing. My main aim for competing in the pageant was because of what having the management team could do for me. My goal was to have a team to help me help people especially young black women and children. Help them discover that they could have dreams and help them pursue those dreams.
Now I know that you don’t need a title or a team to help you do things. You just do it. So now I’m doing just that, maybe not in as big a scale as I wanted but I’m doing something that’s what matters. I auditioned for Miss Africa GB and a week or two later I received the email that I was officially a finalist. The voyage to Miss Africa GB was really interesting, I was able to be around driven ladies from all over Africa and just talk, educate and gain an insight into their world. I however do see myself doing another pageant, maybe after I’ve graduated.
Let’s talk about the person Halimat?
Halimat outside modelling and everything is called by her middle name ‘Tomi’ at home. I think the best word to describe myself is calculative. I try to think of what the most logical or the right thing to do is and I do it. I’m also very considerate; I love those that God has placed around me. I’m always smiling.
– Sesan Adeniji
Culled from the latest edition of Mystreetz magazine