Meet Adera Hinson, the exquisite Kenyan-born model who has crafted a fine career for herself. Her striking looks have graced countless esteemed publications and she has featured in numerous editorials! Read below as Adera passionately talks about the meaning of beauty, what it takes to survive in the modelling industry and the importance of humility…
Full Name: Adera Hinson
Current Title/Position: Entrepreneur/Model
Educational Background: Masters in African History
Current City: Johannesburg
Adera, your beautiful face has graced numerous pages and advertorials in popular publications such as True Love and Destiny Magazine to name a few. At what age did you begin your modelling career and how did your modelling journey begin?
I was encouraged by friends and family to try modelling – but it was only when I was in Matric, when my classmates voted me to as “Most Likely to Become Face of Africa” that I thought I could pursue it as a career. I eventually signed with Ice Models after being accepted into my Masters Programme – a condition that my parents had set (“You can only start modelling once you get into your Masters programme!”).
Modelling is a strenuous career that requires patience, dedication and hard work. And although mostly aesthetically driven, there is a huge business element to it as well! Tell us about the importance of remaining on top of your finances and business acumen as a model?
The most important thing is that humility is key to ensuring you are continuously booked by clients. Having an attitude doesn’t take you anywhere. Very few people know that clients can take up to three months to pay, so as a model you have to be quite careful in the manner in which you handle your finances.
What do you believe hinders the modelling industry from attaining growth in Africa and South Africa?
The model industry in Africa has made great strides. Competitions such as African Next Top Model and Face of Africa have given young African models the opportunity to partake in the international modelling industry. However, one needs to note that, to a certain extent, various brand campaigns still tend to use international models; therefore not giving the local girls the exposure and opportunity they deserve.
South Africa, and how can we learn from our counterparts abroad? What character traits would you say a successful model requires? Purely aesthetics or hard work and resilience?
Yes, aesthetics does play a role but I think in the long run beauty is less about being considered ‘beautiful’ and more about character, the confidence one exudes and the manner in which you treat others.
What has been the highlight of your career as a model and where do you wish to take your brand going forward?
My highlight so far was partaking in a campaign for Edgars Red Square
As a model, what have been your biggest challenges and how have you been able to overcome them?
I have attended a couple of castings where the casting agent would say “You’re gorgeous it’s just a pity you are dark.” To be honest, the first time I heard it I was guttered but then I later realised it is their loss not mine. Furthermore, what irritates me/unsettles me is that people say both in personal and professional life you are ‘so beautiful for a dark skinned girl’. It’s unsettling because it falls into that notion that dark skinned women are not usually beautiful, therefore it’s rare to encounter one who is. You never hear the case of one saying “you are beautiful for a light skinned girl”! Why can’t it be ‘you are beautiful’ and that’s it? Irrespective of my skin tone.
Advice for aspiring models?
Be humble. Humility never hurt anyone.
Morning or night? Night
If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and what would you order?
I will always have lunch with Mum at any given opportunity; and the late Queen Nzinga of Angola
I wish I knew how to… sing
South Africa is… my home away from home
Worst money mistake… not starting to invest earlier
Best investment… my business (Deras@Adera – Kenyan made African Inspired Dresses and Scandals)
All images supplied by Adera Hinson