A chat with US-based Gambian model, Mama Touray

Written by Sainey D

model

Mama Touray is a Gambian-American pursuing a modeling career in the US, while studying nursing at the College of New Rochelle, in Westchester County, New York. In this interview with What’s On-Gambia, she started off by telling us about herself and her foray into the modeling industry.

Mama:My name is Mama Touray and I am a Gambian. I used to live in New Jeshwang, but I moved to the U.S with my family in 2006. I have 2 younger brothers, 3 older ones and a sister. I am currently a nursing student but I did also go to a modeling school to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

How did you get inspired to venture into the modeling industry?

Watching too much of the reality TV show called America's Next Top Model definitely played a role in building my interest in modeling. I would make sure that I didn’t miss a single episode because I was so fascinated by who would stay in the competition and who was going to be sent home. So little by little, I began to envision myself as a model and being in front of the cameras someday.

Who is your role model in the industry?

I really look up to Naomi Campbell and her mark on the industry. Being one of the first supermodels, I think her success opened doors to many other black models out there.

Hopefully, if I do breakthrough into the modeling industry, I would definitely love to go back to The Gambia and help support other aspiring models achieve their dreams.

What are your thoughts on the Gambian fashion industry?

I think it is amazing that the Gambian fashion industry is improving and growing as a result, especially now that there is a Gambian Fashion Weekend which is great for promoting Gambian designers. Hopefully, I get to model for one of them.

Have you been on the receiving end of much support from your family given misperceptions about taking such career paths?

Honestly, I haven't received as much support as I wished to get from my family, but it’s enough to get me going.  The most important thing to me is that nobody is trying to discourage me. Everyone seems to be cool with it and they wish me the best.

What else are you doing apart from modeling and why?

I am studying nursing at the College of New Rochelle, in Weschester County, New York. Specifically to become a pediatric nurse because I adore little kids. I believe they should have the most care in the world since they are the most vulnerable.

What are your hobbies?

I love to spend time with friends and a little bit of working out every now and then.

Any last words?

I would just like to say that I am honored to have this interview and I appreciate you having me.