Despite facing odds that led him not to live his dream as a Basket Ball player, another
door opened for the Senegalese model Badara Ndiaye (BN) allowing him to reach into
the international platforms. In an interview with Tapiwanashe Rubaya (TR), Badara tells his story about how he
moved from being a college basketball player to an editor for ‘Fashion to Max', and now
an international model.
TR: Who is Badara Ndiaye?
BN: I was born in Senegal, West Africa, where I grew up most of my life. At the age of 21, I was offered a full basketball scholarship in Ohio, USA. After Ohio, I played in Miami, for almost 5 years before my career ended as a result of a knee injury. I then went into the marketing industry. I presently own a Social Media & Brand Image
Consulting business which allows me to travel the world and to collaborate with international fashion brands.
TR: What led you to be in the fashion modelling industry?
BN: I was told over and over that I should be a model even though I stand at 2m 11 cm. My first test shoot was with the late Miami fashion Photographer Prescott McDonald. He was a great support and inspiration.
TR: You have travelled across the world as a model. Which country do you miss most?
BN: Yes, that is true, but I must say that almost each country is special in its own may. I miss Morocco because besides being a beautiful country, part of my family lives there.
TR: How is it being an African model who participates in the international fashion scene?
BN: I consider myself more of a SOCIAL INFLUENCER than a model. I have almost always felt welcome and appreciated by the people I have worked with. I must say it & #39’s been nothing but positive.
TR: You were once a basketball player. What stopped you to proceed in your basketball career?
BN: I had a Micro fracture on my right knee.
TR: Do you think that your height has played a major role in your modelling career?
BN: My height has been more of a handicap than anything. Most models are no taller than 193cm. That's even pushing it. Fortunately for people like me, thanks to social media, there are all types of models now. The world of fashion is not what it used to be, it & #39’s far more abstract. Thanks to my team (BADARAOFFICIAL), we have been able to build a following, craft an image, and share our aesthetic vision.
TR: Before you became a model, you worked as a fashion editor for an Italian magazine. What did you learn about the fashion industry during that season at Fashion to Max?
BN: Yes, I did work for Fashion to Max as Men’s Editor. I attended my first fashion week with the magazine, where I got to see how fast paced the work is. It made me hunger for
more. I knew I had more work to do, especially with my styling. It was a reality check.
TR: You once featured in J-Lo & #39’s music video. How did you get that gig and what it meant for your career?
BN: A Miami talent agency booked me for the J-Lo music video. It definitely helped me in terms of public relations. It was a blessing meeting and chatting with Jennifer Lopez after watching her on TV as a teenager. It was an unforgettable experience.
TR: Which country is next on your vacation list?
BN: I would say Morocco and Israel. I love them both equally. Maybe Japan.
TR: What do you do during your spare time?
BN: When not working, I love to work out, play paddle ball, see movies, travel, and spend time with family and friends.