Twenty-two-year-old Hyral Matete set out to be a school teacher and she started out as one for a year, before she settled for a different kind of teaching. Today, Hyral is a modelling and dance teacher.
“After completing my teaching course at Jan’s Teacher’s College in Kisumu, I was employed as a primary school teacher for a year. It was a great experience. It was fun, but hectic. The best part was instilling good morals in the children,” she recalls.
While Hyral was passionate about children, she soon realised that she wasn’t entirely enthusiastic about working as a schoolteacher. She wanted to create a platform where she could change lives on a much more personal level.
Since there wasn’t such a platform available, she decided to create one for herself. The idea of starting a modelling agency for children was conceived in April 2013 while she was still teaching. She was passionate about fashion and dance so it came almost naturally to her.
“I didn’t know anyone who ran a modelling agency so the concept was new to me. I spent the next six months doing as much research on it as I could. I read magazines and watched videos online. The more research I did, the more viable the idea seemed to be,” she says.
In October that year, she quit her job, registered Angels of Sunset and set about getting children on board. She had a burning passion and she had done more than enough research on the subject. The parents she approached with the idea however, had no idea what she was talking about.
“It was very hard. I also didn’t have much in savings and I had no office. I just had hope. I resolved to organise a modelling talent show that same year, so I went knocking on doors and looking for sponsors. The event happened that December and I spent only 700 shillings from my savings,” she says.
The confidence that others showed in her idea was more than enough of what she needed to stay on course.
In 2014, despite the fact that she had signed up quite a number of children, Hyral was still unsatisfied. She wanted to touch the lives of children in the slums.
“I didn’t want it to be just about beauty and dancing. I wanted to actually change lives,” she says of her motivation.
What if she could enroll children from the slums alongside her regular ones and educate them while nurturing their dancing and modelling talent?
She slowly started implementing this idea and it has been a success. Every day at work, Hyral and her team teach children and teens dance and modelling and during school holidays, they organise talent shows for needy children. The company sells tickets to these shows and people come and watch the children model and dance. The proceeds from these shows are channeled to the children’s education. So far, there are 20 children paying for their education through their modelling and dancing skills.
“It is fulfilling to be able to earn a living and at the same time touch lives doing something that I love. The best part has been seeing some of my alumni from these talent shows come back as volunteers to coach the younger ones,” she says.
The most interesting thing about working with children has been the fact that children never give up on their talent. Knowing this keeps her from giving up on them when the going gets tough.
In the foreseeable future, she wants to spread her wings beyond Kisumu.
“I want Angels of Sunset to be the leading child and teen modelling agency in the country,” she says.
Hyral’s handy hints
- You can only be happy if you live your own dream. No matter how good another person’s dream seems, chasing after it will not be fulfilling.
- Most of the times, all you need to do to get where you want to go is ask.
- Some people fear that if they talk about their dreams, someone might steal their idea. However, it is only by talking about your ideas that you will get like-minded people to network with.
Courtesy: Saturday Nation