Eighteen-year-old model Makanaka “Melladiorr” Melissa said she is dedicated to transforming the profession to ensure that the rampant sexual harassment that models can face comes to an end.
Speaking to H-Metro, the Upper Sixth student said there is a need to change the negative perception towards women. She said:
I am inspired by the need to change the community and industry as a whole.
I want to advocate for the girl child through the professionalism of art and I will use it to show how women hold the same power as men and, hopefully, this would eradicate some of these societal ills.
The industry at times can be a very unsafe place for the girl child because, rather than being viewed as creatives, we are often manipulated.
We are manipulated into thinking that being in intimate relationships with the sponsors will increase our popularity and make it possible to earn certain amounts but I am a firm believer in morals, self-respect and hard work to achieve success.
She said she wants to work together with other models to find ways to eradicate girl child abuse in the industry and outside the industry too. Said Melladiorr:
Girls deserve the same freedom just as the boy child does without returning any sexual favours.
Makanaka Melissa acquired her training from 106 Models. She has worked with EatnLick, ZIMA Awards, Model Guide, and as a brand ambassador for Footwear Plaza and as a video vixen for music videos. She said:
As a person, you should be disciplined. I do things on time and I work with a schedule.
I have time for school work and I have time for my profession but always put school first.
All aspiring models should dare to be different and not lose their moral values for fame.