For a woman who towers at well over six feet, Yvonne Hitarh is not your regular model.
Blessed with long legs in addition to her elegant and eye-catching frame, Yvonne – a native of Cross River and Economics undergraduate of Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) – shares her thoughts on a myriad of issues including sexual harassment and pay disparity between sexes in the modelling industry as well as how she copes with the attention that comes with her distinct height.
Mayowa Oladeji caught up with her via social media…
Q: Can you please tell us a bit about your background?
My name is Yvonne Rofem Hitarh. I was born and raised in Lagos State. I live with my mother who is a single parent and my sister.
Q: Considering the misgivings of the average Nigerian parent regarding the modelling industry, what was the reaction of your parents when you decided to become a professional model?
My mother has been my backbone in all my endeavour and her advice and prayers keep me going albeit, she frowns on some of my decisions but she eventually comes around which gives me the needed confidence to succeed.
Q: Tell us about your journey into the modelling world.
Yvonne Hitarh started modelling in 2014 and it has been a roller coaster ride. I really love modelling.
Q: As a Taurus, do you think the characteristics that come with your Zodiac sign is an advantage for you in the modelling industry?
Well, I do not think it is an advantage neither is it a disadvantage.
Q: How do you deal with the attention from the public due to your distinct height?
Most people really admire my distinctness which I take as a compliment due to my positive outlook in life. Though some people stare in an uncomfortable way, I am used to it.
Q: With the number of bullies and trolls online, how do you deal with the negativity?
I focus more on the positive and loving messages which enable me to tune out the bullies and trolls. All these contribute to a positive vibe which is healthy for my career.
Q: Have you experienced any case of sexual harassment in the industry?
Q: What measures can be put in place to combat this menace?
Stakeholders in the modelling industry need to believe in the craft of models rather than using them for their selfish ends by taking advantage of them sexually or financially.
Q: Davido is one of your favourite musicians. Has he or any artiste reached out to your team for a video appearance/shoot?
Not yet but I hope he does. Hopefully, he sees this.
Q: There has been a growing clamour for equality between the sexes in all sectors. What do you think about pay disparity in the modelling industry?
There is a need for parity between the wages earned by models of both genders. Monies earned ought to be according to their worth, time and craft.
Q: Which modelling agency represents you?
I am currently unsigned.
Q: How tall are you?
You’ll get to find out when you see me.
Q: Who is your role model in the industry?
Naomi Campbell and Agbani Darego.
Q: Considering your unique frame, how do you get clothes that fit you?
Most of my clothes are hand-made including my shoes
Q: What is your projected career path?
I am multi-talented and apart from modelling, I intend to venture into other businesses at some point.
Q: Any advice for upcoming models on how to navigate the industry?
Don’t give in to sexual pressures. Work hard and by God’s Grace, everything will work out.