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Aspiring model from Benin, Africa studies Business Administration at WNCC

Tohouegnon+Gyslain+%22Innocent%22+Rody
Tohouegnon Gyslain

Tohouegnon Gyslain "Innocent" Rody

Tohouegnon Gyslain "Innocent" Rody

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On a daily basis, Tohouegnon Gyslain Innocent Rody, known as Innocent, attends his college classes like any other student. However, Innocent is certainly not like any other student. Innocent has a professional modeling career in Africa.

As a freshman at WNCC, Innocent studies Business Administration in pursuit of launching his own modeling business in the United States. He has planned to study for a year at WNCC and later move to a city for more modeling opportunities. Although having only been in the United States for a few months, Innocent already has modeling requests in New York City.

Innocent started his modeling career at the age of 15 and has since modeled for magazines, television shows, commercials, and music videos. He has modeled in more than 10 African countries and Paris, France. When asked about his modeling success, Innocent stated, “I was very popular three years ago because I worked hard.” he added, “I used to have a modeling shoot every week.”

In discussion of his modeling career, Innocent emphasized the concept of hard work. Innocent started his modeling career because his friend, a fashion shows designer, asked him to model for one of his shows. From there, Innocent worked hard and continued attracting several modeling agencies. Without prior experience in modeling, Innocent shared, “In big modeling shows I would look at the experienced models” Innocent added, “I would try to walk like those experienced models.”

When asked about Innocent’s work ethic, Susan Dickinson-a WNCC Instructor-had a few thoughts to share. “Innocent does have a strong work ethic, but just as important is that he is kind-hearted,” Dickinson said. “He looks out for the international students who struggle with English and he has a wonderful sense of humor.”

In addition to modeling, Innocent designs his clothing for his modeling shows in Africa. In reference to Innocent’s outfit shown above, Innocent shared having worn it at one of his major modeling shows. “I bought the material and designed it for the big fashion show in Nigeria, Africa called Ecowas” Innocent said. In the same Ecowas fashion show, Innocent was chosen as the top model.

Innocent shared his thoughts on his supporters with his modeling career. “When I started modeling, it was difficult for my family to accept it, but my mom loves everything I do” Innocent stated. Other than his family’s support, Innocent received support from his former agency manager. Innocent said, “My manager would try to find good modeling contact for me for magazines, photo shoots, video clips,” Innocent added, “He helped me mature as a person as well.”

Fiona Zannou, a sophomore at WNCC, said that with knowing Innocent for only four months and having a close friendship with him she knows that, “Innocent is always trying to improve himself.” Zannou also shared, “Although Innocent has to do something he is not interested in, h still does it good; he is always positive.”

With aspirations of starting his own modeling business in the United States, Innocent expressed, “I want to share my experience with other models” he added, “I want to work and get more experience as my own boss.” With a former degree in Marketing and Communications from Benin, Africa, Innocent understands he needs to continue working hard for his education, modeling, and business goals. Innocent is determined to surpass any possible dilemmas because as Innocent stated, “I just need to think about my modeling goals and do my best.”

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Western Nebraska Community College
Aspiring model from Benin, Africa studies Business Administration at WNCC