Who is Dorothea Kamoto?
My full name is Dorothea Jessica Kamoto. I am 22 years old and I come from Ntcheu but my parents have settled in Blantyre, Mpemba. I am currently working at Red Rose Modelling Agency as a business development manager, while pursuing my legal studies at Eastern College of Law in trade fair grounds, Blantyre.
What inspired you to start a modelling agency?
My passion towards modelling started when I was at primary school. I was initially interested in watching lifestyle movies and documentaries and before I knew it, I was hooked. I began looking up to Elizabeth Pullu and I hope that one day I will be like her. I got involved in the business after I was crowned 2nd princess of Malawi News Model of the Year last year.
Red Rose was established at this time. One of our missions is to keep the youth busy by engaging them in different activities. I know a lot of Malawians believe that modelling is not a career and that no one can make a living out of this, but I am working in the field and can testify that this is not true. In fact, models and actors are in high demand right now.
Are you in this alone?
No, I co-founded the agency with Jones Kumwenda and Pierson Nkhoma. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve had our fair share of disagreement but at the heart of it all, we aim to work hard and promote the agency.
What is Red Rose about?
Red Rose is the home to highly attractive, well trained, multi-cultured and strongly innovative models suitable for TV commercials and other tele-commercials, billboards, catalogues, print media commercials (newspapers and magazines), and radio commercials. We do corporate hospitality events as well as public product selling and awareness. We also provide extras for films and TV shows. Red Rose is the only model management agency with an online portfolio of models in Malawi.Ã‚Â Ours is one of the many modelling management agencies in Malawi that have a wide range of well-trained models and actors.
We were recently one of the organisers to the Miss Warm Heart of Africa and Miss Blantyre. In keeping with our mission, we organised career talks where we hired trainers to teach and guide the youth. We have a charity box and, through this, make donations to vulnerable members of our community. We hope to make a difference and be recognised through our passion and our work.
What is the market like in terms of modelling?
We have a ready market, but modelling is still unappreciated in Malawi. We are surviving through the beauty pageants being held and the plays that are being staged. We also make the bulk of our money through advertising. Though we are relatively new in the industry, people have shown interest in working with our agency. So far, we have done business with National Bank and Candlex Limited, among others.
What challenges do you face?
The biggest challenge is a negative perception towards modelling. Most people see it as a career for promiscuous women who sell their bodies. They look down on models. In reality, as an agency, we are trying to keep our youth busy. You see, our society only caters for people who go to school.
It does not have room or opportunities for people who failed to complete their education. A majority of people that failed to finish school have nothing to do and that is where we came in, to offer help where we can. We hope we will be able to send some of these people back to school.
What is your vision as an agency?
We would like to facilitate a transformation in terms of quality and professionalism within the modelling and local advertising industry. We also hope to show the youth that they are not tomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leaders; they can take the lead right now!
How do you manage your time to fit in work and school?
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really tough, but I make sure that I stick to the plan that I have. When I am not working, I do schoolwork and vice versa. I also make sure I have enough time to rest and rejuvenate to avoid burning myself out.
Are you married or do you have someone in your life?
I am not married, but I am in a serious relationship.
How does your boyfriend feel about you parading down run ways?
Actually, he is the one who encouraged me to further my career in modelling. He has been very supportive and I am grateful for that.
Are your parents supportive of your career choice?
They found it very difficult to accept in the beginning. My job involves a lot of travelling and they were not comfortable with that. But I guess the most important thing is to be honest with your parents. I have explained to them what we do and I try as much as possible to give them feedback on everything so that they are in the know. They tell me to sort out my priorities and work hard in school.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Since I am purssuing my legal studies, I see myself being a successful lawyer. I am going to be a model with not only the beauty but also the brains.
Any last words?
I would like to inform all who would like to become models that our doors are open. I encourage them to never give up on their passion simply because people perceive the career negatively. If we stand united, we will make a difference!