Jo Kisila: Kenya's next top model
Posted Sunday, January 20 2013 at 02:00
- A smokey intense look down the runway, a body that has ladies all over swooning and a lovely personality to boot, supermodel Jo Kisila is a man on demand and has his eyes trained on the top. He spoke with WAMBUI KIBUE.
BUZZ: Have you always wanted to be a model?
The thought of me ever modelling or even being in the fashion industry in any way was something that never occurred to me.
I’m very athletic and played for Strathmore Leos RFC (personally the best team in Kenya club rugby) and the Kenya U/19 Rugby team, and tried to juggle rugby and modelling, but when the latter started demanding more of me, I started going easy on the rugby so as not to compromise my studies.
I was in denial about letting go of the rugby for quite some time, and it was pretty hard accepting when I finally did. A decision I however don’t regret today!
Were your parents supportive?
They were very supportive when I started out, on condition that I didn’t slack off in my studies.
How did you get into it?
I was in the school cafeteria having lunch with some friends and as we were heading out for our next classes we noticed some commotion upstairs. When we went upstairs we realised it was actually Strut It Afrika (then known as Strut It) auditions.
I suggested we try out for fun but they brushed aside the idea, so I cheekily waited for them to head to class and auditioned. I made it to the next round of the auditions that took place that weekend and the turnout was huge! I remember my audition number was 212, out of 800+ people. The rest is as they say, history.
What drives you?
The mentorship I get, together with the desire to be the best at what I do on an international level. I interact with lots of professionals in the Kenyan fashion industry as well as from all over the world; from agents to renowned photographers to other professional models, and the belief they have in me is unbelievable. It keeps me going.
You’re in pretty good shape. How often do you work out?
Thank you. My sporty background makes keeping in shape much easier. I have my daily one hour jog and hit the gym four to five times a week. Ample rest is also crucial. I also play soccer on Sunday afternoons.
Do you enjoy working out or do you do it strictly as part of the job?
Yes and Yes. It’s an amazing feeling after a hard workout session, but there are days when hitting the gym seems like an impossible task but my body is my work, so it’s got to be done.
Are you a full time model?
No, I’m also a student. I’m pursuing my International Business Administration (IBA) degree at USIU.
You belong to Strut It Afrika model agency, how has that helped your career?