Shamim modeling for Samba Diaw from Senegal in Buea, a town in Cameroon

*Four years ago, Cameroonian model Shamim Saidou moved to Los Angeles to be with her mother and to continue her modeling career.

Armed with a 6 feet tall frame, modeling also in Senegal and Nigeria, and fluency in English and French, while Shamim has faced a few bumps along the way with greedy agencies, she still keeps hope alive of being a top model in America.

Read the rest of her story below and check out her beautiful pictures. If you are a legit modeling manager, agency, or someone else who can advise Shamim, email her at [email protected].

EUR: How long were you a model in Cameroon?
Shamim: I started modeling (a little over) 10 years ago. Modeled since I was 15-years-old.

EUR: What types of modeling did you do?
Shamim: I mostly did runways and photoshoots for magazines.

Shamim modeling for Iman Ayissi in Cameroon

Shamim modeling for Iman Ayissi in Cameroon

EUR: What types of modeling have you done in Los Angeles?
Shamim: I participated in some runways like the RAW event in Downtown LA, a couple of little runways in restaurants, Metropolitan Fashion Week, and some photoshoots.

Shamim modeling for Galeano Designs in Los Angeles

EUR: What types of modeling do you want to do and/or continue to do?
Shamim: I definitely wish and want to continue runway and photoshoots or model beauty products.

EUR: Have you reached out to modeling agencies or managers?
Shamim: I tried to go to (one agency) and it didn’t work out because they asked me to pay a huge sum of money ($8,000) for teaching me how to walk. But, I already know how to walk the catwalk. I kept going to other agencies that asked me to pay first, to teach me how to walk, and to be myself. I just think that I shouldn’t pay for the talent I have. I want people to see my talent and judge me for me and not by paying money and not getting what I want in the end.

EUR: Why should a potential designer choose you? What do you have that somebody else doesn’t?
Shamim: I always talk about Africa because of the way they make us grow up; they put it in our mind that we always have to work hard before being compensated. To any designer that will read my message, I love to do what I do because of the love I have for modeling. When I’m on stage, in photoshoots or whatever, everyone tells me that I’m different and no longer myself. I have faith in my talent that God has blessed me with.

Shamim modeling for Chantal Claude in Cameroon

Shamim (in shorts) modeling for Chantal Claude in Cameroon

EUR: Who’s your inspiration for being a model?
Shamim: At 15, my aunt from Nairobi, Flaridah, came to Cameroon and brought me a beautiful necklace and told me when I grow up that she wants me to be a model. Then she did the catwalk in front of me and I cried and asked her why was she showing me the catwalk and she said because, ‘I see a model in you. I see that you’re going to be a very beautiful girl and I want you to model.’ Ever since that night, she started teaching me how to walk. Now she tells me to keep modeling and God will see me through.

Remember, if you are a legit modeling manager, agency, or someone else who can advise Shamim Saidou, email her at [email protected]. Also, hit her up on Facebook and Instagram.