She’s stunning and ambitious; armed with an arresting personality and fascinatingly quick-witted, meet Adesuwa Pariyapasat, a model currently based in New York City. With a rising career, Adesuwa offers a look that is versatile and yet, insanely unique. But beyond her smashing exterior, she has a lot more to share with us. Via video chat, we settled down on opposite sides of the country and spent two hours candidly discussing her modeling career, pride as a Nigerian, ties to home, and achieving the maximum in life.
(excerpt from interview)
Y: Many African families have a set social structure when it comes to raising children; to set them on this institutionalized educational path to what they hope will be a steady career and financial success. Not all take that path. What do you have to say in the form of advice to our youth who want to follow their creative and sometimes unconventional (at least to their parents) dreams?
Adesuwa: Initially, being a model was not the path for me. I was literally bred to become a doctor since I was a kid. It’s hard coming from Nigeria where everyone’s goal is to get an education and become something, but they don’t realize that if you are a natural born artist, it sort of kills you on the inside when you can’t become who you are. I didn’t like medical school. I used to cry in the labotory. I was 16 and interning for NASA, but I was so unhappy. I tried to please my parents, but it was really hard. It took a leap of faith to convince myself that I could make it in modeling. If you honestly believe in your craft, if that’s all that you think and dream about, you should do it. Life is really, really short. Any one of us could die at any given time, any single say. Any of us. Right the fuck now, you could just die. Do what you want to make yourself happy.
It doesn’t matter if your parents are upset with you, eventually they will come back around because they’re still your parents. I feel like every child brings dishonor at some point, ‘Oh no you bring dishonor!’ I got scouted but went back to school because I felt that I had to give my parents some kind of honor. But I was really, really, really unhappy. I don’t know, it just felt right that I became a model. It just felt right that I wasn’t a medical doctor. Again with my brother’s death, everything was put into perspective so honestly, if you truly believe in something, you should do it.