Going by the Instagram name @thacutegeminme, Nigerian born and raised commercial and face model Okeoghene Gift Camille is a fast-rising influencer that you definitely should know about. Her journey has not only been inspiring but also one to reckon with. The petite model had a hard time starting out due to a few limitations, including her height.
However, she has beaten the odds and curved out a blooming career path for herself. She is the next It Girl in Africa. At the time of this publication, she had over 100K Instagram followers.
I had a chat with her about her journey and as you can already guess, it was amazing.
Read on and share widely with your friends:
Harun Momanyi: How have you managed to build such a considerable following on Instagram?
Camille: Well through modeling I get posted by some photographers, companies and beauty blogs.
HM: How did you start your modeling journey? How has been the experience?
C: Woah…well that wasn’t very easy for me. I’m even surprised I got up to this level. I do not have the actual modeling; I’m like 5”3’…so I really didn’t believe much in myself and people also didn’t really believe in me ’cause they all said I was too short to venture into modeling.
But I got the help of a photographer named Peculiar Haston. He was the first person to ever believe in me. He did my first photo shoot ever and helped sent my pictures to companies. Finally I had little hope in becoming a model.
HM: That is really nice…
C: I started gaining confidence…went for auditions and castings. I wasn’t picked for my first audition, but that didn’t stop me. I went again the second time and I was picked for a Globacom commercial. I was so happy as it was a very big way to finally become a commercial model.
C: I also started modeling for makeup artists, the first being Rines Makeovers. With that I started growing my Instagram account ‘cause someone told me it’d help me go a long way. Apart from modeling, I could also be a brand influencer. I started requesting for shout outs from friends.
HM: Really good…
C: …started taking very clear and nice pictures. The shout outs really worked for me. That’s how I got so many followers.
HM: That’s amazing. So what do you feel has been your biggest achievement?
C: Well I can’t seem to think of anything I just see everything as petty. When I will have gotten that great achievement I believe I’ll know but right now I’ve not had what I’m looking for.
HM: Nice…what do you see as your dream goals to achieve?
C: Well that would be to becoming a brand ambassador for a major brand; waking up every morning and seeing myself on a billboard and also get to act in a big movie.
HM: So who’s your inspiration in modeling and why?
C: That would be Aiyana Lewis. I like her because she started off just like m. I watched a video on YouTube on how she started modeling and it was similar story to mine. I just really love everything about her.
HM: And which are some of the brands you would love to work with?
C: Brands I’d love to work it are: Fenty Beauty, Kylie Cosmetics, Zaron Cosmetics, Puma, Champion and Nike.
HM: Which are some of the places you would love to visit?
C: Paris! It’s always been my dream to visit. I would also love to tour New York and Los Angeles as well.
HM: And what do you feel should be done to make modeling in Africa easier?
C: Well I feel we should learn to accept ourselves the way we are and stop favoring foreigners more than we favour our own models. On some shoots I’ve been to, once they notice you’re mixed, or not African they treat you in a really nice way than the others which hurts ‘cause they’re not making modeling easy for us. They make it easy for the mixed and white girls.
HM: Are you single or dating?
CM: I’m dating.
HM: What do you like the most about your man?
C: I like the fact that he supports me a lot and makes me feel confident in everything I do.
HM: So speaking of school, give me a background of where you schooled and if you had any experiences there which led you to choose modeling.
C: Well for now I’ve only attended high school and it wasn’t really fun for me ‘cause I didn’t have many friends. I’ve always felt different from the rest. I don’t know why…I just used to have a very low self-esteem back then. I was brilliant and always took the first in class but there was this low self-esteem that I didn’t know where it came from.
And yes I’ve always loved fashion and taking pictures so I guess that’s where this whole modeling thing started popping up especially when I watched fashion shows on TV. I always wanted to be like one of those girls.
HM: So how would you describe your fashion sense?
C: Sporty and elegant. On a daily basis I dress sporty ‘cause I feel comfortable in it. Most times it’s not just about fashion but how comfortable you are in what you’re wearing. Whenever I want to feel free I dress sporty and if I want to go out for parties or events I know I need to look elegant.
HM: What do you feel is the best approach to using social media to get actual modeling jobs?
C: Take professional pictures…build your fan base…let your page say a nice story about you.
HM: what if you don’t have the budget? Some of these aspiring models do not have jobs…most are students…and photography is expensive.
C: If you don’t have a budget you can use your phone. There are some good phones that are better at taking pictures than some cameras. You can follow top modeling agencies and also hash tags. Let your social media speak about you. Follow photographers, makeup artists, stylists and message them for collaborations. That’s how I started too.
HM: And how do you make sure that you have a unique image?
C: You should know your angles — how to pose and teach yourself how to edit your pictures even without the help of a photographer. Also take pictures with unique backgrounds.
You could use the beach for example. Always take pictures under the sun. It really helps for clean and clear pictures.
HM: How do you make sure your style is so different?
C: Well I have lots of IG models I look up to for fashion and I add up their style to mine so I guess that’s why my style is different.
HM: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve ever learned?
C: Oh well…friends. Friends have taught me lots of lessons. People just get close to you to use you. Not ‘cause they actually like your great idea.
HM: Any words for your fans?
C: I want them all to know that nothing comes free to anyone, you have to work hard for everything you want in life. Not everything comes through connections. You need to go for auditions and castings to show your talent. Leave your comfort zone, hustle and you’ll surely get there.