Nana Jukwa is a perfect example of grit, determination and being dedicated to achieving one’s dreams.
After years of painstaking research, her modelling career took off in 2018, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Jukwa has been featured in, and covered publications including Spanish Influential magazine, Marika magazine and IKON magazine.
She has also walked on notable fashion shows such as Milan Fashion Week 2019, International Fashion Week Dubai 2019, Runway Ghana International Showcase 2019, Glamour West Africa Fashion Show 2019, and International Milan fashion Week 2020 and many others.
Her looks and physique has led to campaigns with designers from countries namely Argentina, Morroco, Ukraine, Italy, Liberia, and Dubai. She’s also worked with top fashion brands including Seven Eleven, Italian Accessories brand Glorili.Gioielli.in.Pele, Italian eyewear brand Up To You by Favaroottico, Baravia Fashion, and Dubai Fashion house, Savanna Creations.
Jukwa is currently the icon ambassador for Tema Fashion Week.
Professionally known as Nana Jukwa Someah-Kwaw, she is also a rock-star practicing Mineral engineer with an engineering company in Accra, Ghana. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mineral Engineering from the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa.
Her ‘whatever it takes’ mindset as an engineer has come in handy in the world of fashion and modelling.
Jukwa talks to us about pursuing her dream, and navigating life as an engineer and a model, and her goal as the ‘next big star’ to wow people in the fashion industry and beyond.
Q. Can you share experiences working as a practicing mineral engineer and a fashion model?
A. Working as an engineer and model has been the best way for me to experience life through the lens of a professional career. As a child, I made choices that would influence my chances of achieving my dream of becoming an engineer and a model. Furthermore, working in a male dominated space like Mineral Engineering, gave me confidence to pursue my interest in modelling. I find the engineering and modelling as two sides of the same coin. Each has its challenges, however both industries are usually enjoyable, diverse and different every time. Every job is different and the teams are usually different which makes it exciting. Whether working as an engineer or rocking a designer’s dress, I feel good about myself because I love modelling and I live engineering.
How have you navigated pursuing careers in both the engineering and fashion world?
I have been able to navigate both worlds through proper planning. The fashion industry has peak seasons and lean seasons with the summer period (between late March and July) noted as the busiest. As a model who models several collections from fashion houses, I schedule a lot of my model related works during this period and make time to spend lengthy hours shuttling across several cities and event locations. Majority of my works is within this specified period, so there is little time conflict with my usual Monday to Friday schedule as I take advantage of my off days. Achieving this has been possible for me because I am always thinking out of the box and I am willing to analyze my obligations and tasks thoroughly. The Christmas season is another busy period for me and there are holidays around this time which I take advantage of to work as a model. During this season, I also reflect on the year and plan for the coming year where I am able to strategize how to handle my work as an engineer and plan for the fashion shows for the next year. Lean seasons offer shorter working periods and a simple weekend trip does it for me. I have two jobs with complementing schedules. As an engineer, I have learnt the importance of systems, working with different types of people and developed a ‘’whatever it takes’’ attitude. These skills has thus come in handy for me as a model too.
You have been featured in and covered a number of magazines over the past year, how did it happen and what does it mean to you?
In my opinion, I have to say that networking and getting to know people who have access to this market is a better and faster place to start. Featuring on several magazines means I am making progress in my modeling career looking back on how far I have come and how quickly it has happened. It also serves as a motivation to do more to raise my profile by getting to feature in world renowned magazines in the coming years. It turns to lead to more paid work, Yes! Some clients prefer to work with models who have been published before. In all this, not forgetting God as a major factor in my life.
Your modelling career officially kicked off in 2018, what’s your take on what you’ve done so far?
I have learnt so far in my brief career as a model that there is so much to learn in the industry and I have to continue to develop in all areas-emotionally, mentally- to make the right sacrifices and choices to progress my career. I have also learnt that it takes a lot more than just a pretty face or pretty body figure to excel as a model; to excel in this industry, a person needs to know how to connect with people from various backgrounds and be open to learn new things including language.
Anything else you want to talk about?
It is a privilege to be a model as I get the chance to travel and see different countries, different cities, meet different people and gain a greater appreciation of the enormous amount of work that goes into the creative world, and working as a model has helped me to become a better person. In the modelling industry, rejection is part of the territory. NO is a difficult word to hear and I have heard it numerous times which sometimes makes it difficult to stay positive during this process. However, I never waste my energy thinking about rejection. I always channel that energy into becoming a better model. I must say that, you should not let people project their fears onto you, in that, many people said I cannot combine modelling and engineering but then here I am today excelling in both industries.