I met Shamiel Hagee through social media as the norm today and I must say I'm pleased by his work. Shamiel is signed with Cover Model Management in Cape Town South Africa. He does a lot of commercial and print modeling which I'm not mad at. Any model in the industry will tell you that commercial and print pays more than the coveted runway. So readers scroll below and let's chat with Shamiel about being a model overseas in beautiful Cape Town.
R|A: Shamiel how were you first introduced to modeling? Was that your first introduction to the arts?
S|H: Well I come from a family that does modeling actively, one of my cousins being Miss South Africa, my mom and her sisters used to do beauty pageants and model as well. My cousins and even my niece are doing it now Haha, so my introduction was at a young age and then obviously watching FTV when getting home from school, I would always fantasizing about being a model on the runways of Paris, but thought it was mostly a job meant for females, when I grew up and got scouted I was quite chuffed and sort of just fell into it as well :)
R|A: How many years have you been modeling?
S|H: I've been in the industry for about 8 years, but I was always been doing it on a part time basis. It was only a few years ago that I decided I wanted to apply myself and do it full time, and put more focus on something I actually enjoyed. You automatically excel in your craft when you are passionate about it. I took time off to give modeling my focus and been doing well ever since.
R|A: Being a black/colored model in America is sometimes difficult because most of our campaigns feature European or ethnically ambiguous models. Being that Cape Town is so diverse and you yourself are bi/multi-racial would you say that's an issue in South Africa as well?
S|H: Definitely, I think our industry is based on the blond hair/blue eyes- and that's seen as perfection. The one thing I don't understand about the Cape Town Culture is that they base their market on the European market. For fashion week you need to be the minimum height of 184cm where as the average South African's height is 164cm, America's runways are based on a height of 180cm. South Africa's criteria doesn't make sense as we are very westernized, otherwise we have our seasons where it will be race dependent in some sense, summer will be more blond hair blue eyes and the rest of the year more of the rest of everyone else LOL.
CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE NEXT FRAME
R|A: What are your goals with modeling, will you transition into acting, or are there any other forms of art you love?
S|H: I think you read my mind :) . I'm planning on doing acting this year, I'm looking at various places where I can study my new adventure, add more crafts to my basket :) and I'm planning on releasing a clothing line. It will be based on a fused men's and women's range, I'll send you some pictures so you can get an idea otherwise you free to check Instagram: @shamielsham I'll be updating as I go along starting in the next few weeks.
R|A: How important would you say self-esteem is to be a model? Like do you ever have self conscious thoughts? If so how do you get over that?
S|H: Confidence is key to being a great model, you can be shy in real life, but once you get in front of the camera you need to tap into your confidence factor and feed off all that energy and own it. It's really easy to fall into the trap of self conscious thoughts. But you just need to remind yourself why you're there, and that you are an individual, and you can't compare yourself to anyone else. Remember that you are requested to be there there's a reason they asked for you and just own up to your own expectations. Sell yourself not the person next to you. You will get rejected a lot- just know it's not because of who you are or your looks it's because you are not the person that fits the role they want or envision.
R|A: I know you do more commercial and print modeling but you have the height to do runway. Have you done any runway, shows and if so which one was most memorable?
R|A: I always ask what the best piece of advice an artist has gotten upon entering the industry, what advice did you receive that you would say has helped you for the better?
S|H: Be patient it will come- once you start out, and you're not getting it straight away you start doubting yourself and start giving up hope, if I just gave up I wouldn't be where I am now.
R|A: What do you want your legacy to be? At the end of it all what do you want people to remember most about Shamiel Hagee?
S|H: The fact that I took nothing and turned it into something. I grew up with a single parent, and she did the best she could and wasn't always able to provide me with everything, but she made sure I got my education and was surrounded by family and love. So the fact that I can show someone else that it doesn't matter where you come from its more about how much you are willing to work for what you want. I want that to inspire other people like me.
R|A: If you could sit in a room with anyone in the world to talk (dead or alive) who would it be & what would you ask them?
S|H: Grace Coddington, I'd like to ask her what inspires her? I think she has a wonderful mind, she thinks outside of the box and I love how she made her passion her ambition. She always thinks outside of the box and pushes boundaries.
R|A: When we spoke before you mentioned how the industry has helped you grow and taught you so much. What top four lessons have you learned from the industry?
S|H: 1) Patience (I used to be a really impatient guy I couldn't even wait for a song to end on time).
2) Self-Love and Appreciation (You lose focus on yourself as you become so caught up caring about other people you forget about yourself).
3) Confidence (Thinking back how shy I used to be, it was bad).
4) Focus! I used to believe I have self diagnosed ADD haha, but this industry has taught me to remain focused and reach my goals and work hard. So stay focused!