Who is Elikem Agbenyegah?
I am a young model and an artist. I attended Wesley Girls Senior High School in Cape Coast, and i’m currently in KNUST studying Integrated Rural Art and Industry. My childhood wasnt too ‘Dbee’. I have some good memories with my dad, mum and of course my sister; a troublesome girl.
How did you get into Modelling?
Modelling was something I’d wanted to do since I was six, but couldn’t get into it because I was too young. There aren’t many child models here in Ghana so I had to wait till when I was 16 after I and completed senior high school. A friend told me about CrossWalk Models; a Christian Oriented Modelling Agency, the first of its kind in Ghana. I was trained for about a year, and later got on a contract for two years.
How is your life as a model like?
I’m an up and coming model so things are not really intense because not everyone is familiar with my face. But when I tell people I’m a model they go like “really, that’s so cool”. It’s like they have this sort of hype for me.
What are some of the challenges you face as an up and coming model?
My main challenge is with the kind of perception Ghanaians have about modelling. They associate it with body exposure, nudity, drugs, ‘hip’ life etc. It’s true for some people depending on the individual and its one of the reasons why I joined a Christian modelling agency. I don’t do nudes, bikini shoots and I won’t wear anything on the runway I’m not comfortable with.
Who is your favourite model you look up to ?
This may sound awkward but Tyra Banks is my favourite. Back in the days the only tv show about modelling was ‘America’s Next Top Model. And although most grls had watched it for fun, I took it on the serious side.
In Ghana, it’s Vic Michaels. She’s amazing, and apparently I look a little bit like her when I’m in my natural hair.
Aside modelling what else are you passionate about?
Art. I draw and sometimes paint. I do a lot of drawings not pencil sketches and also use a special pen called a rapidograpgh which I had from my dad, also an artiste.
How do you see Art in Ghana? Is it appreciated?
We have a long way to go, and people are beginning to appreciate art in fashion, paintings, skteches and more. However although most know the value of art and understand this kind of beauty, they are unwilling to pay for it.
Do you look to go into Art as full time job?
No, art is not my only passion. I look to blend art with modelling as well as fashion; designing clothes.
What is the way forward for Elikem?
I see a very bright future for me, because I’ve just been modelling for a year and with the number of things I’ve been able to accomplish out of hardwork and determination, you will definitely be seeing me bigger than Olushi and others.
Your final words, any advice for our readers especially those with a passion for something?
Don’t let people’s perception about what you want to do or who you are affect your dreams. If I had allowed the ‘Ghanaian’ perception of modelling to affect me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I don’t believe in compromise. If you have set standards, don’t lower them for anything and always get God involved