Modelling agency thirsts for more talents after South Sudan’s Akech

Modelling agency thirsts for more talents after South Sudan’s Akech
Joan Okorodudu, the CEO of ISIS Modelling Agency and Matteo Puglisi, CEO of Select Model. [Photo: Alex Bullen]

A modelling agency that scouted Adut Akech—the South Sudanese-Australian model—is in the country to sign-up more talents.

Joan Okorodudu, the CEO of ISIS Modelling Agency and Matteo Puglisi, CEO of Select Model, arrived in South Sudan on Tuesday for a day-long exercise that aims to identify talents.

Successful models will take part in a reality show – Africa’s Next Top Model.

The duo will conduct the last shoot this morning, July 27, at Pyramid Hotel, before flying to Nairobi, Kenya, for a similar exercise. After Nairobi, they will then proceed to Bujumbura [Burundi], and later, to Kigali – Rwanda which will host the final on October 26.

Matteo has worked with the likes of Akech who was scouted from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Though a Nigerian, Okorodudu, who is a trained stylist and graduate of Boston University, said she is looking for as many talents to her growing list of top models from around the world that her agency manages.

“He [Matteo] has changed the lives of a lot of South Sudanese girls. [Personally], I think I have the highest number of South Sudanese models [in my stable], in the world,” said Okorodudu.

Her agency – Isis Models boasts of 15 years of experience.

It was the same agency realtor that organised Nigeria’s Next Super Model contest.

Joan, also known as ‘Mama South Sudan’, has worked with several top South Sudanese models like Akech, Diana Achan and Anyiel Majok. “A lot of people now think that I am mama South Sudan,” she said.

The former athlete-cum-fashion entrepreneur said they are looking for both boys and girls.

Okorodudu says that plans are afoot to open an Isis modelling agency in Juba.

“South Sudan is the place for the most beautiful black girls, right now for African continent modelling. We are looking for the best girls in Africa and most of them are here.”

“If all these top models who came out of South Sudan were living outside [the country], how many could we get here?” posed Matteo, when asked the number of models they are looking for.

Okorodudu, however, challenged South Sudanese models, who are based outside to invest their earnings back in the country.

“Let’s allow these girls to go out there and explore the world, to see the world but there should be an opportunity for them to come back and give back to society. Most of my models are trying to buy houses here. That’s what they should be doing.”

Okorodudu is currently working with a selected number of South Sudan on a Netflix reality show – “Runway to Redemption”.

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