Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ghana Rising’s Top High-Fashion Models 2012.…

Akos Asumadu-Sakyi -London

Akos Asumadu-Sakyi in Pride’s April 2011 fashion editorial

*** I love Akos Asumadu-Sakyi. I love her soft high fashion, smooth, sleek good looks; and when I was working on my magazine -before it all went pear shaped (it will happen soon I hope), the only model I wanted for the cover was Akos, -and hope that this can still happen someday . Anyway, Akos used to be with D1 Models but I didn’t see her on their books -during this search…

Aba (Kate Techie Menson) at Zone models -

Kate Menson on the right of photo for Marie Claire South Africa August 2012 Issue…

Kesewa & Adwoa Aboah -London (

Adwoa & Kesewa Aboah for O by Tank Magazine

Philomena Kwao /Plus size model -London (

“I want to help spread the message that there is beauty in everything: every shape, colour, size, and height … whatever. We are all beautiful.” Philomena Kwao

Philomena Kwao is such a goddess. Honestly, she's really the only super beautiful plus model in England -and I see big things for her and would love to work with her someday…

Soraya Khalil -London (

Belinda Baidoo -NYC/ Accra...

Betsie Dsane -London

Olivia Asiedu Poku -Austria

Grace Sarfo -Accra, Ghana

“I have had to face a great deal of prejudice among some peers. My colour has really brought me tears and smiles. When I was growing up, my peers do tease me with my dark colour and even now that I am matured, I still face a lot of that even from those I feel should rather encourage me but that’s life though. Along all these challenges, I must confess that my dark colour skin has brought me this far. I really thank God and appreciate his hand work in my life. Apart from my skin colour, models aren’t respected here in Ghana and it hurts. I want to see a time that credence will be given to models." Grace Sarfo

I love Grace Sarfo. Since writing about her some years back, Grace has grown from strength to strength, winning The Ghana Fashion Awards’ Top model award, gaining huge exposure with her various catwalk shows and being interviewed by various media outlets and is currently the face of SO Aesthetic make-up brand in Ghana.

I’d love to see Grace outside of Ghana. Sometimes I worried that she’s stuck in GH and would love to see her conquer the likes of South Africa, do Arise Fashion week in Nigeria -and finally take on LFW and NYFW…. I hope to see Grace Sarfo at uber anticipated Ghana fashion And Design Week!!!

I saw Grace on model Shirley Selase’s SHOF agency’s books, thus I’m guessing that’s the best way to book her right now.

Nana (Benedicta Tweneboa-Kodua)…

Former M-net Face of Africa 2009 contestant, Benedicta Tweneboa-Kodua now known by her professional modelling name -Nana, is a model I see often on the catwalks of Ghana. I think she’s great and hope to see more from her.

I don’t know if Nana has an agency [???] but you can check out her facebook page at:
(If you are interested in booking the ever gorgeous Nana, -I must warned you, her model page on Facebook doesn’t have any of her real modelling photos -which I find very, very, very odd.. But her own private account is full of her latest work. I don’t know why, nor will I give you my interpretation or understanding of this …umm situation. But I’m guessing this is what modelling is all about in Ghana!!!..

I guess it’s a local thing. And all the models know all the designers that could possibly book them (laughter) and if someone from abroad wants to book them -say, -then it doesn’t really matter -does it? Because they are sooo far away, sooo far, far away from Ghana (mercy)…

Vicky Boateng -London (

Shirley Selase -Model & Entrepreneur (

Ones to watch -Ghana’s Next Top models:

Amoaba Hackman -Accra, Ghana…

I don't know anything about Amoaba Hackman -apart from her name. I can’t even remember where I got this photograph from, only that I added her to the list of those I’d love to cast and hopefully shoot for my Magazine..

I don‘t know if Amoaba Hackman is modelling full-time, part-time or just as a favour for her friends in Ghana, but I think she’s soo specially, sooo high fashion and elegant, possessing that much coveted -natural beauty, -something all top models want. …. I’d love to see this beautiful girl modelling -I think she has the X factor…

Sabrina -Accra, Ghana....

I often see images of this beautiful and graceful model and have often wondered whom, or what agency represents her and what her name is etc. Anyway I was nosing about on Facebook when I decided to check out Shirley Selase’s SHOF agency ( and spotted images of said model on various catwalks. Thus, the only thing I now know about her is her first name, Sabrina -and that she’s on model Shirley Selase’s SHOF agency’s books.

I truly believe that Sabrina is special, has that natural beauty, clear skin etc, -basically the X factor, and even though I don’t know her stats (especially her height)-I still feel that from the various photos I’ve seen of her, that she has what it takes -and hopefully will reach her full modelling potential in and outside Ghana…

Who’s that girl??

Modelling for the Miss Dee Clothing label last year (I think), there’s no name credit or any details about this elegant model and its such a shame because I think she’s beautiful, graceful and perfect high fashion modelling material. So if you know this gorgeous model and she’s 5’8 plus in height tell her to get in touch with Ghana Rising blog…

Who’s that girl???

***Another graceful, elegant model that I know nothing about… Part of a SHIK Collection shoot (I loving this label -right now), her natural beauty in a country full to bursting with lace-front weaves and fake eyelashes -caught my eyes and I’d love to see her gracing the covers of big campaigns, magazine covers and much more.

***Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: Have you ever googled High fashion models of Ghanaian origin? I have too and it comes back -VOID!!!

You’ll probably stumble across my very own exclusive interview I did with Ghana Rising fave, Belinda Baidoo and Ghanaian /Jamaican gorgeousness, Soraya Khalil -and my other list, -the list of Ghanaian male models; and a list someone put together combining all the models ever featured on my blog (which bores me to death as I always want new info and not something I‘ve already done) - but that’s it…. And its not good enough !!!

So I decided to compile the type of list that I’d want to see; -a fabulous list featuring real high fashion models of Ghanaian origin, -a  list that doesn’t exist -anywhere on the internet!!!!

Thus I set about compiling my list and many of you will be wondering why one or two known models are missing. I’ve chosen to recognise only the above girls; even though I know there are numerous Ghanaian models out there doing their thing, -because when it comes to models, I’m all about high fashion and not Miss Ghana, or famous celebrities or personas or whatever…

I guess its worth noting that from past posts, -I know you guys will have something to say about this lists, -and while I welcome all comments, -I felt it only right to point out the obvious; -I’m entitled to my opinions

Also, … I think its uber important to do this list (like everything I do on Ghana Rising) -properly!! And that means giving you as much information as possible unless I’ve already written about the models elsewhere on Ghana Rising Blog..

I think its important to start with the obvious, -Ghana’s not known for high fashion models the way say, -Sudan, Somalia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Uganda or Zimbabwe -is. We haven’t really had that 'model that the world recognises straight away as hailing from Ghana -and I don’t know why.

We have Adwoa Aboah who is heating up the worlds catwalks but she is not that, Ghanaian model if you know what I mean?

The funny thing is, Ghana is full of really stunning high fashion looking models - especially northen Ghana and the Brong region so I don’t know why we don’t have Ghanaian high fashion models!!!

Anyway I can’t spend the whole day trying to work out why, with a country full of high fashion model material, -Ghana doesn’t have a top model representative on the catwalks of London, Paris or NYC…

The list I’ve complied (above), -list girls I feel have the right verve, face, correct statistics (not glamour girls, Miss Ghana’s or personalities) and have professional portfolios!!! -I've also listed another group of girls I believe are special and should  really be doing exploits in Ghana and beyond..

Hopefully once this list is out there, folk outside the Ghanaian community will be able to name at least one Ghanaian high fashion model -right??

But as I can’t quiet get over the fact that we don’t have a top Ghanaian supermodel, I thought I’d dig deeper and try and find out why!!!

The State of the modelling industry in Ghana….
I find it soooo frustrating when I see images of Ghanaian models and nobody has bothered to print their name or rightly credit them -as we say in the industry, thus Ghanaian models as Ghana Rising fave Grace Sarfo rightly says -are not given any, “credence” and I don’t know why??

Is it because we don’t have a proper all functioning fashion industry in Ghana or is it because the feted few industry players back home don’t really know how the industry really works???

Its shocking really, because Ghana now has at least three or sooo called fashion magazines (surly these publications are booking real models -and crediting them; -and using model agencies and crediting them, plus, Ghana is full-to-bursting with adverts featuring beautiful looking people, -surly they are using real models from real model agencies in Ghana -or, are these businesses continuing to use their sisters, neighbours or Maame Serwaa from up-the-road???

Its very telling that when fashion designer Phyllis Taylor went to Ghana to shoot her big S/S 2012 collection for her Sika label, she chose to fly beautiful British/Jamaican model, Rachael Williams to Ghana instead.

I respect Phyllis Taylor’s business know-how and choices absolutely -and definitely believe that she made the right choice, -Rachael Williams is uber gorgeous and has the whole package, but it got me thinking!!!

Also, I remember when I was working on my magazine, I was shocked by the lack of proper fashion photographers -and decided that I would have to fly in one from the UK, then I started compiling a list of models I wanted to see in Ghana -and I only managed to find four, -and of the four girls, I couldn’t see any of them on the cover -so I understand why designer Phyllis Taylor chose to fly Rachael Williams to Ghana..

I also discovered during my research that to do a proper job of producing a high fashion magazine aimed at the Ghanaian community, -something that still hasn’t been achieved -as far as I’m concerned, -I’d have to work with the best (real fashion insiders from outside of Ghana) to build a fashion industry from the ground up -and that’s going to take some doing…

But in the meantime I’m happy to support those few how are trying to do their bit professionally and courageously in an industry that’s respected everywhere else in the world but Ghana.

Anyway back to the models… I really feel that Models in Ghana need to be respected. I’m not talking about all those 5’4 glamour girls or the Miss what-evers. I’m talking about the 5’8 plus, size 6-10 high fashion models regularly photographed walking the many catwalks of Ghana, like Grace Sarfo…

Models needs to be respected, represented properly -and booked for all promotional work -or, they will end up being used as hostesses.

Are the models to Blame?
I have gotten to know a few Ghana based models over the past 3 plus years I’ve been doing Ghana Rising and I have quickly worked out that there are two types of fashion models in Ghana.

The first, consist of those modelling to catch or attract a husband, -mainly old rich men, -and the second group, -the few serious girls hoping to make a career out of the modelling profession.

Its got me thinking about two Ghanaian models that shocked and left me speechless!!!

Blatantly of the husband-finding models types, -both entered the biggest model competition show that Africa has to offer, both did well and could have had real success, put Ghana on the map and help shape Ghana‘s fashion industry, -but instead, both are planning their weddings to rich foreign men (ok one of the men is rich, but the other is ordinary and just happens to live abroad -mercy)!!!

I don’t begrudge these girls their husband catching fortunes (if that’s what it is) but why couldn’t they have given their places on said model competition shows to real models, with real modelling ambitions?

But the saddest thing of all, -is that most Ghana based models admire them, admire their rich or foreign based husbands and the fact that they are now living abroad and not working!!! Thus, its not always the fault of Ghana’s few industry insiders -when these soo called models aren’t really professional or prepared.

But what of the few genuine high fashion models in Ghana?? Who represents them? Who books them? Is there enough work for all of them? Are businesses booking them for their promotional work? Are the few *real* model agencies -known to advertising agencies or fashion designers, or the model bookers of South Africa fashion Week and  Arise fashion Week???

Or are these poor models only used for award ceremonies (come on, you’ve seen those Talk of GH photographs, the ones with models carrying awards at Ghana Music Awards and the like....It leaves me cold and speechless) or the opening of nightclubs (I’ve seen pictures of Ghanaian models being used as plates -where members the rich ex-pat community are eating sushi off their plastic wrapped bodies -I kid you not) or waitress-ing at various high end events (mercy)…

So the truth be known, I don’t really know what’s going on in Ghana with models but I’m pleased about Ghanaian supermodel Belinda Baidoo’s b2 model agency ( -and that’s why it’s the only model agency in Ghana that I write about!!!. I truly believe that b2 model agency is a step in the right direction…

Hopes for the future………….
Earlier this year the professional outfit behind Ghana Fashion and Design Week (GFDW) embarked to Ghana for the biggest casting to hit Accra -and they were not disappointed and that gives me hope.

I also believe that there’s real progress being made in Ghana.

I truly believe that the likes of myself Ghana, Rising Blog, Freya of Shadders Blog fame () and Noelle Bonner of Fashion Fixation Blog fame () -have contributed to the world’s newly acquired knowledge of the Ghanaian fashion industry.

Also, that uber momentous visit by Franca Sozzani (she’s now a U.N Goodwill Ambassador for her pivotal role in Fashion 4 Development) and team Italian Vogue’s to Ghana, -really put Ghanaian fashion on the map -and adds to my feeling of optimism.. Thus, I believe that this optimism will trickle down to Ghana based models and they will start getting real work and real respect -if they want it.... 

Ghana Rising is excited about the future of the modelling and fashion industry in Ghana -are you???


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  5. big up to you guys i think i like

  6. The one who modelled for miss dee clothing is Nigerian. her name is Makida Moka (google her). I suggest u take her pic down loool

  7. After reading some nice stuff in your article I really feel speechlessPromotional Modeling

  8. Reading this article has motivated me into venturing into the modelling career in Ghana since i actually didnt have hope in this country. big ups to u!!!!

  9. Those models in the picture look beautiful. Ghana is really rising in the fashion field. There are lots of hot models in Dubai too. Dubai is also a rising star in fashion field.

  10. Is Menaye Donkor (Muntari's wife) not included in your list because she's a former beauty queen? I think beauty queens can do high fashion as well as proven by the likes of Ama Nettey (Miss Malaika) and Roselyn Ashkar (runner up - Miss Malaika) of Africa's Next Top Model fame. By the way, you might want to check out Innocentia Yeboah who in my opinion is another "Ghana's Next Top Model".

  11. Hey! are you still interested in casting Amoaba Hackman? I manage her gigs and will be able to get you in touch with her. Thank you!


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