Crosswalk Model boss-BERLINDA ASIAMAH is arguably one of the fineness models who mastered the art from one of Ghana’s best hubs – Exopa Modeling Agency years back. She went on to become a talent no runway would want to overlook for no reason. Then the unusual began to happen – things started to deteriorate for her because according to her, she wasn’t doing the ‘will of God’ in her life. Three hundred and sixty-five days later, she got clinching on the old rugged cross where her life has since gotten straight. She now glows and radiate in Christ like no man’s business. As part of her earlier calling which is modeling, she has now inculcated what would have hampered her heavenly race into a large scale venture. We met with her to talk on how far she has come, how far she is going and more also on her second year in a row event dubbed: FASHIONFRIDAY coming up in the month of August, 2015. Amongst all that she said, she made it clear that the concept behind this program is to emphasize that divinity can still meet humanity through fashion and style.
This is your second year of putting up this show, how was the remarks and turn out in the first year?
The show was awesome last year; people were generally impressed and asked for it to be done quarterly. We made provision for 200 but we had an over flow of close to 300.
Crosswalk Models is a Christian modeling agency, so why did you choose to start up such an outfit?
I love modeling and I started modeling way back in Shs 2, I furthered my career after high school at Exopa but after modeling school I became born again and things started getting difficult because I felt I was going contrary to the things of God. So I had to choose between my faith and my passion and I made the decision to pursue my faith and let go of my modeling career. A year after it dawned on me; what of other people who want to pursue modeling but are not because they don’t want to compromise their faith? Why do adults always view models as something for illiterates or as devilish or yet still morally displeasing? So I did some research and I thought to myself modeling is not what they say it is after all. I checked so many dictionaries to see if there was anything close to that description but I got the same response everywhere and it was simple – a model is someone or something that advertises a product, fashion items etc. I was really encouraged and I decided to do this for God the bible encourages us to serve God with our gifts and talents, to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion over all the earth and I am content knowing that I am fulfilling scripture.
Since your outfit is a more of a Christian related one, are your doors open to other religion believing persons?
Our doors are open to all religions. The only problem is before you say, “Jack” you will be fasting and praying and going all out for Jesus.
How were or have you been able to convince the hundreds of models to join you?
It’s very simple and the interesting thing is we don’t convince anyone, they come on their own. We get messages like “hi I saw your page on Facebook and I want to model for Christ too how can I join?” Or “I have wanted to model for some time but my parents don’t support it because of this or that and I want to tell them about you so they can allow me…” It’s amazing knowing that someone is pursuing their dreams because of your movement.
You are into runway, photo modeling, ushering and marketing; which field is your organization’s strong hold?
Ushering is our stronghold and photography comes in second but I believe with time the runway will surpass all of them.
What has stood your team out and what are some of the founding principles that you stand on?
Love above all things. The love is strong and deep and it goes all the way down to our models. We are one big family, we tease, laugh at one another and joke too but when it’s time for work we all become steady. I’m sure I will quote scriptures till I am tired but I have a couple Exodus 28, James 1:17, Mathew 16:24 and the one I use to console myself in difficult moments concerning this movement is Jeremiah 29:11.
Do you seem to have a major competitor in this particular chosen field of yours?
I like competition even though I hate it. Aside Crosswalk, there is another Christian one I know called -Angelphase- and they are also doing very well but I don’t see them as competition ask me why? We are one body in Christ and everything we do is for the betterment of the body of Christ so we encourage and support one another and we grow together for the body of Christ.
Now, models are seen to propagate a certain kind of mindset with what they say is fashion, how has Crosswalk agency been able to handle such notion?
Fashion is subjective I believe and there is one thing I also believe in which is we should not allow fashion to change our style and values but we should let our style and values change the fashion and this is the major reason why we came up with our annual event called FashionFriday. It’s a show to promote decency and create a link amongst these variables fashion, elegance and decency. With time this will go a long way into impacting people’s lives, behaviors, values and their sense of morality.
How do you handle decency among your models knowing fully well about what is said in the industry at large in regards to modeling?
Some things are non-negotiable. There is this saying that sociologists use a lot which is “a person’s behavior is influenced by their environment” and it’s so true! When you find yourself somewhere no one has to tell you to act like the people you find yourself with, you just do it. So being a part of us allows you to follow suite in terms of our core value which is decency and our beliefs.
Back to your forth coming event sometimes in August 2015, what is this year bringing to the table compared to last year’s?
Last year’s event targeted mostly fresh and up and coming designers but this year we have a mixture of some of the crème de la crème and the fresh ones as well so people.
What did you do last year that you think will be incorporated into this year’s event for maximum outcome?
Aside the runway show, we sold stands for clothing designers accessories designers, food vendors and many others which was good but I believe it will be better this year and expand into a whole fair in subsequent years to come.
How have you been able to get corporate Ghana involved into what you believe in?
Our main contact with the corporate world is mainly through our ushering gigs and you meet a lot of people who are not only thrilled by what they see in our girls in terms of dressing, character and conduct but want to know the brand behind the whole package. This helps a lot and like I said earlier, it does not take a day to sell a belief but it takes time for people to sink it in and walk with it.
Getting sponsors to come on events like this can sometimes be a herculean task, what has your own experiences been like with them and how can they assist you this time around?
That’s the story of my life, it’s very heart breaking to know that once an event is tagged ‘Christian’, you barely find people who want to help and support you another reason is because my brand is new and has not gained enough grounds so you get disappointing feedback from sponsors or sometimes you hear find a befitting brand and come back to me I will help. It is not only limited to sponsors even designers do the same. Another shocking thing is once you don’t know anyone who works in that firm your proposal is totally ignored. This thing is a killer of dreams and if you are not strong you will give up but I am learning and my persistence got me a couple of sponsors and I am grateful for them
Your target this year is to have over five hundred fashion and models attend, tell us some of the reasons why no one should miss attending this event
This event is one of a kind and pictures this – modeling with urban gospel, models wearing extremely fashionable and decent clothing. Being in an atmosphere where everything is about God but you tend to have mad fun and see people also go crazy for God. What more can you ask for? Even if you eat from the same plate with the devil you won’t regret it coming. This is a show where divinity meets humanity through fashion and style.
Source – Bossu Kule, GhJoy.Net