We Don’t Choose Our Dreams But The Dreams Choose Us, Samar Khoury’s Journey As Black Model In The UK
Samar Khoury shares an inspiring story which resonates very well among successful black women who are blazing the trail in a sometimes biased industry as modelling and beauty.
Samar whose hair shoots made it into British Hairdressing and Afro Caribbean Hairdressing Awards mentioned how she turned to modelling to fill the void of her missing mother - her biggest career influence.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm Samar Khoury, British, a Biochemistry Life Sciences graduate from King's College London university, an international freelance model, Ramazani african contemporary brand ambassador, art and creative director at Made In Kigali limited, a luxury clothing brand which is produced in Kigali capital city of Rwanda, East Africa. I'm currently travelling in the continent Africa.
How would you describe your entry into the world of modelling?
Well my entrance to the modelling world was introduced late in my early 20's not like most models who start from the age 14-16. I started after completing my higher education. This new passion was a total surprise to me but it was already predicted by my close friends and family when I was a teenager.
What has it been like as a black woman in a white dominated country like the UK where you started out as a model?
First of all thank you for considering me as a black woman. It's a privilege!
In the country like the UK, I get booked as a mix race model or I get selected sometimes when there is an open casting with no set criteria( they don't specify the race of the models.) The client will be looking more at the experiences of the commercial, beauty,editorial ,runway or fashion models.
What drove you into the world of fashion and modelling in 2010?
I started modelling in 2010 when I felt hopeless of finding my missing mother. I was determined to raise awareness @WasHereNotAlone and @TaggingAfrica This profile pages created on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... You see my modelling work because of my mother's disappearance. She is my everyday truly motivation.
Your father is from Lebanon and your mother is from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tell us what their reaction was when you told them you wanted to become a model?
My father is British from Lebanon. He was not pleased at first but he is proud now. When he saw my first print and online publication. He understood my interest and my motive behind modelling. I wish my mother is around to see the woman I am today because of her. (smiling) I'm sure she thinks I became a paediatrician!
How has your fluency in speaking languages such as Arabic, English and French helped you to navigate through the sometimes tacky world of fashion and modelling?
It is a great advantage to speak Arabic, English and French fluently. I'm blessed to be born in a francophone country DR Congo where my mother tongue was used mostly in Europe. Luckily through castings and modelling network, I travelled to the Middle East and Asia. Languages widen your door!
Are you satisfied with all that you have achieved thus far?
I am not fully satisfied because i still have a lot to achieve if God's willing and share my experiences with the right people in the commercial, fashion ,film, media and entertainment industry. I want my talent to be exploited respectfully. I was sent to school, college then university to gain knowledge.
As a young African, do you think African women are living their dreams?
Yes I do. Did I choose to become a model? Did someone else's dream choose me? We don't choose our dreams but the dreams choose us. It is all about having the courage to grab that dream and be thankful that the dream picked you. As you can see clearly I am using my dream wisely!
What influence did your mother have on your career?
Massive impact! I wish my mother is by my side now to reassure me that my decision in modelling was worth it. She is the reason that i still remember my roots our motherland. And my mother is the reason behind my versatile modelling work shaped to find her. I can continue on and on...She is most wanted!
How did you feel when your hair shoot images were entered in the British Hairdressing and Afro Caribbean Hairdressing Awards?
Beyond proud because I am a British model with mix heritage. It's a team work involving( Hairstylits,photographers, makeup artists,stylists, creative directors...) I was open and I trusted the dream team to cut, shape and colour my afro hair. Some of our images won the British hairdressing Awards.
You seem to be a busy young African lady; do you have time for romance?
Definetly romance is such a beautiful thing. I always make time for it. It varies from person to person. Some people find it around the corner other across continents. You know when you meet the right person in your life.
Do you plan to impact the modelling experience you gained abroad back home in the DRC?
Of course but I cannot do it alone I will need representations in Africa. I am willing to share my experiences with aspiring models in DRC and other African countries. Because I entered my modelling career late so I'm not an expert as an agency model but I'm a confident, an educated and a professional freelance model.
What other talents do you possess?
I like to act and imitate different accents such as Nigerian, French and Arabic accent. My next challenge is to become a professional actor. I will be discovered in due time. Why not? I just have to grab that dream. If not i will certainly stay in a creative industry where my passion and my element belong.
What’s your impression about the fashion industry back home in the DRC?
Fashion industry is not structured yet and we do not even have a proper modelling or talent agency. My impression is that people should invest in the creative industry. We have to create our own images in the media. We are a proud country and we deserve to be famously known in the world of fashion.Fashion designers house: Ramazani african contemporary luxury women’s wear by Made in Kigali limited Photographer: Gadi Habumugsiha Location: Kigali, Lake Muhazi, Falcon Golf country club.