TOP MODEL OF THE WEEK: BELINDA BAIDOO

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Ghana has become an African fashion success story. Various models and brands have led to a rise in the country’s profile in the world of fashion and a taste for Ghanaian models and designers.

It may not have been planned but forces and dynamics in the West African country’s fashion, design and modelling industry has somewhat contrived to make it a go-to hub in the region. Although it is yet to gain some decent levels of respect and appreciation, modelling remains a key vehicle in the propagation of the Ghana fashion and design agenda. All over the world, there is a heavy Ghanaian modelling representation, with some rubbing shoulders with colleague A-List models like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell and the likes.

US-based Ghanaian supermodel Belinda Baidoo is one such model, making the continent proud. Born on the 16th of January to Joseph Baidoo and Agnes Baako Manni, Belinda did not only persevere but dreamt like any other little girl to be someone great in future. She had her secondary school education at Emit Commercial Institute in Accra, Ghana. Baidoo continues to excel wherever she goes.

A successful model who has walked some of the world’s most popular runways. Baidoo’s touch is a combination of ability and grace. Baidoo had her breakthrough 15 years ago when she won Top Model of Afrique, organised in the Ghanaian capital, Accra in 1998. Months later, she found herself answering calls from some of the big fashion and design names at the time, who wanted to work with her. From one call to the other, she climbed up quickly. She finally settled with Q Models , a renowned modelling agency in the U.S.

Then came what is perhaps her biggest break to date; Baidoo landed an advertisement opportunity for the blue chip company Motorola. A carefully placed, imposing banner at Times Square was all she needed to announce her presence. It is a story she recounts with an understandable degree of excitement; but it also reminds her of how the struggle for recognition amongst a pool of equally talented models, has been.

High-end photo shoots, amazing magazine covers, and a busy schedule that sees her trot from one destination to the other, has become her routine. Over the years, she’s remained a true African product, who is making a mark not only for the brands she get to work for, but also for her home country Ghana, and the continent at large.

Baidoo’s given most of what she’s earned over the period back to charity, talent development and training. Occasionally, she heads training sessions for upcoming models across the world, Ghana still being the central focus. In 2005, she organised a well-patronised fashion show in New York to raise money for her charity work in Ghana.

Six years later, in 2011, she set up the B2 Models (an agency and modelling school), to act as a breeding ground for would-be models. B2 Models’ goal is to chart its trainees onto a glittering career path. She also runs Beedagel, a high-end fashion shop, in Accra. For years, she’s been sold as one of Africa’s best models, with an enviable portfolio. That claim to fame we know, won’t fade anytime soon.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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