Urban Trends column by Harold Kapindu is published in The Nation newspaper on Fridays

Not so long ago, a consultancy firm, Marketing Machine's Executive Director Temwa Luhanga was once given a task of providing a female model for car branding of delivery trucks that go into rural areas nationwide.

The clients, were apparently looking for a face that was recognizable to the rural audience, but to no avail.

That’s when Temwa realized that Malawi doesn't have models whose faces are recognizable both offline and online. Most models don't go beyond photoshoots and social media platforms.

Much as social media plays a vital part in modern marketing and publicity, models need to realize that their careers can go beyond photoshoots with Malawian photographers, Instagram likes and local fashion shows.

Most local models haven't invested in getting into rural areas, perhaps they are not aware that corporations are always interested in numbers in terms of recognition when it comes to using model faces for product branding.

In fact, what's the use of using a beautiful or handsome face that will not be recognized by the Malawian masses?

This problem reduces model's value and in turn reduces their bargaining power, which is why Malawi doesn't have many models with lucrative deals as brand ambassadors.

It’s even quite unfortunate that Malawian corporations would rather use foreign faces for ads and billboards.

Hence, Marketing Machine consultancy has embarked on a mission of creating awareness and visibility for models in local areas and also help models create brands out of themselves.

The firm believes a brand ambassador’s endorsement carries weight due to models online and offline presence, image and all similar factors that add value.

In 2016, Temwa Luhanga registered a consultancy firm, Marketing Machine whose aim is to provide specialist assistance to businesses and individuals.

The firm hopes and dreams to identify and find ways to break the barriers that make it difficult to penetrate offline media as far as offline visibility and awareness by finding a way to make models nationwide known through well crafted and purposefully made awareness campaigns.

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