What’s next for Sedia
She’s young, driven and good-looking and you’ve seen her before. But what you’ve seen is just the beginning.
Twenty-year-old Sedia Jackman is on track to becoming a top model. In fact, the St James resident is one of the contestants on the soon-to-premiere reality TV series Caribbean’s Next Top Model.
Caribbean’s Next Top Model is the region’s version of the hit reality series America’s Next Top Model, on which aspiring models compete to show they have what it takes to succeed in the modelling industry and win a contract with a top agency. The Caribbean version is produced by Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam of Trinidad and Tobago.
Sedia, a former Barbados Community College student, grew up in My Lord’s Hill, St Michael. The daughter of Alpha and Todne Jackman, she got her modelling start when, at 15-years-old, her cousin encouraged her to take part in a fashion show at her old secondary school, Queen’s College.
Despite her shyness, she was an instant hit with the audience.
“When I heard the crowd response, I knew I had to stick at it.”
Her success at the humble show led to photo shoots with many local photographers and appearances in publications such as Island Life Magazine and Nu Woman Magazine. She has also appeared in Barbados Fashion Week, Islands Of The World Fashion Showcase in The Bahamas and in the Barbados Under The Water Festival. Sedia also won the Banks Girl competition in 2010. No doubt the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as her parents both had stints in modelling and her mother Todne was the Banks Girl in 1989.
In 2011, the 5-feet-11 ½-inch Sedia competed in the Miss Barbados World pageant. It was an experience she describes as hectic, yet instructive and fulfilling. “I definitely improved on my time management skills, ’cause we were going, going, going, going. Honestly, my days would start at like seven in the morning . . . and then finish like at midnight, she says. “It was hard, I’m not going to lie. But it was really fun.”
On the day of the show, the tall talent was once again a hit with the audience and she finished first runner-up. Whereas not capturing the crown would have been a disappointment to others, Sedia saw the good in the experience. “I try to see the positive in every competition, and I definitely learned a lot,” she says.
Despite consistent public support, Sedia also had many detractors along the way. She says time and time again people have said she couldn’t make it in the industry. “Although people try to put me down, I just ignore them and that just gives me the drive to go harder.
“A lot of people tell me modelling is not a career, but look at what I’ve accomplished,” she says. “I go for what I want.”
She credits her loving family for helping and encouraging her along the way. “Some people say, ‘Why did you let her do that?’ but my family is very supportive of me and everything I do.” That’s why she spends as much time with the Jackman clan as she can.
Besides her family, Sedia says she has a really small circle of friends and only makes time for people who work hard and see possibilities.
“I’m goal-oriented and I only associate with people who are goal-oriented . . . . I don’t really lime with slackers.”
And her choice of associates has helped her along the way.
When Sedia first heard about the Caribbean’s Next Top Model show, she did not consider auditioning. However, her personal designer Cassandra Mottley knew the show was “the real deal” and could see Sedia’s capabilities. She encouraged Sedia to try out. When Sedia auditioned, the show’s producers saw her potential and invited her to be a contestant and take part in the series’ filming in Jamaica.
Due to the show’s contract restrictions, Sedia’s staying mum about how well she did, but she readily admits to having enjoyed the opportunity and the seven weeks of filming in Jamaica.
“It was a really good experience,” she says. “There were ups and downs – there are a couple things I need to work on – but I met a lot of people and made a lot of contacts.
Once she’s done with modelling Sedia has an Associate Degree in office administration management to fall back on. But she’s not done yet. Her ultimate modelling ambition is to walk the runway for Victoria’s Secret. However, she’s been told that she’s less suited for the runway and more built to model swimwear. Still, the 34-24-34 model sees swimwear simply as one potential avenue and she has no plans on restricting herself to that category.
Looking back, Sedia says 2011 was her best year to date. But she has her sights set far ahead. She aims to soon sign an international contract. She’s making a public promise to make it beyond the region’s waters and to market Barbados.
“I’m working at, not leaving this rock, but going out there and showing people Barbados has talent. I want people to know the next Bajan is out there.
“There’s Rihanna and now there’s Sedia,” she says.
It’s clear she believes in herself and others do too.
Yes, you have seen her before. And you will see her again.