Surazuri was founded in 1987 by Lyndsey McIntyre following her involvement in placing Khadija Adam into the Miss Kenya pageant which led to Khadija’s international discovery.
Over the years, Surazuri has helped launch the international careers of several other Kenyan models including Tess Njuhi, Eva Ndachi and most notably, AjumaNasanyana. Lyndsey remains Ajuma’s Mother Agent.
Surazuri held the Kenyan license for the Ford Models Supermodel of the World competition for 8 years and took the winners to compete in the International finals in the Dominican Republic, Monte Negro and most often, to New York.
Surazuri’s work has been documented in National Geographic (‘The Skin we’re in’), German ZDF television and Fashion TV, as well as in articles published in the New York Times, Herald Tribune, Sunday Observer (UK), Face Magazine (UK), The Strait Times (Asia), Globe and Mail (Canada), Gala Magazine (France), Daily Record (Scotland), Allegra Magazine (Germany), V Magazine (USA), The Independent (UK), Msafiri (inflight magazine of Kenya Airways) as well as many East African publications. Lyndsey has been interviewed on Voice of America and BBC radio several times.
Surazuri has supplied models and cast for hundreds of films, TV commercials and multi media campaigns locally and internationally. Recently her models appeared in campaigns for Vivian Westwood and the Conde Nast glossy magazine – ‘Love’.
Lyndsey has done the Choreography, set design and production of numerous fashion shows and events. She has done national scouting for ‘Face of Africa’, Elite models as well as Ford Models.
Surazuri is recognised as the most established and reputable agency in Eastern Africa.
HOW SURAZURI OPERATES
Surazuri acts as a modeling and casting agency and although advice on
grooming, posture and image may be given if necessary, prior to auditions or
casting sessions - it is not a modeling school.
Surazuri supplies talent for both local and international photographic and
television work. We also supply hosts and hostesses for promotional events.
We have the best fashion show models in East Africa although we only get involved when remuneration is decent.
Our aim is to provide advertising agencies, photographers and other related
professionals with a "pool" of excellent talent to choose from. We also seek to
provide the talent not only with work, but also with protection from
exploitation. Surazuri's first priority is our models - we are working on
your behalf and as a result hope to give a reliable and excellent service to
By joining Surazuri, you are discouraged from pursuing your own modeling
work, as we believe it is in your best interest to refer possible jobs
through us, both for your protection and professionalism. If models can be secured directly or through other agents, then we have no leverage in our demands for fair pay. We make sure that the fee on offer is fair, the job is genuine and that the proper release
forms and other related formalities are signed and probably most importantly
- we chase payment for you. If you do refer potential clients to Surazuri, please note that we will only deduct our 20% commission IF we manage to negotiate a higher rate than you were originally offered. If not, we will only deduct a 10% commission. If the fee on offer is lower than we believe to be acceptable, we will advise you to abstain from the work. If you still wish to pursue the job, then you will not benefit from our services as your agent on that particular job - it will be your own responsibility and Surazuri will not play a part in the arrangements or fees.
Any body found to be working privately for a client introduced to them by
Surazuri or through their association with Surazuri, will immediately be
removed from our books. Likewise, should a model sign up with or join
another agency or agent. Please be aware that all the agents and agencies
in Nairobi hold regular meetings and crosscheck our books. Models found to
be represented by more than one agent will be blacklisted by all reputable
Nairobi agencies that belong to the association protecting talent (KECAMTWA).
Surazuri takes 20 % commission from our talents fees. The Government of
Kenya requires that we deduct 5% withholding tax from every cheque of KShs 24,000 and above. It is the models responsibility to concur with the Kenya Revenue Authority on any tax balance required (total tax is 30%). We also usually charge a 10% service fee to the client. On certain jobs we are quoted one fee as the budget. In these cases, we write in our 10% service fee before quoting to the model. Payment is usually made to Surazuri, which in turn pays the model by cheque, as soon as the client payment has cleared through the bank. We try to ensure quick payment, but many companies take up to 45-60 days to credit us and under no circumstances will Surazuri pay monies to the talent before receipt of payment from the client. We are not liable in the unlikely case of a client not paying but will help you to get legal advice.
The only things we require from our talent are their loyalty, RELIABILITY
(for both audition appearances and shoots), punctuality and of course general good representation of Surazuri in terms of appearance and behavior. Actions such as attempts to renegotiate model fees directly with the client or harassment of the client/advertising agency for payment will result in your removal from our books. If talent is paid directly by the client for work procured for them by Surazuri, we expect immediate remittance of our 20% commission.
Please be frank on your talent sheet. State clearly if there is work you will not or cannot do -, for example if you will not promote alcohol or cigarettes or if you have any running contract with other agencies or clients. Note that it is important to be honest regarding work you may have done - it is not advertising practice to use the same models for competing brands. Thus you can only do one type of soft drink advertisement for example. IE: Do not waste your time attending auditions for Fanta if you have already done a Pepsi commercial. If you are in any doubt (i.e. you were a background extra and
are not clearly visible), then please check with us or the people conducting the audition.
Please ensure that you are easy to contact and let us know immediately if you have a change of address or telephone number or are out of town for any length of time.
Surazuri does not guarantee work. It depends on your suitability, availability (again, how easy are you to contact) and the current amount of work on the market. At present there are a very high number of model agencies operating and a huge number of ‘models’ available compared to the amount of work available.
We need a minimum of 4 good photographs of yourself (full length, close up, smiling and
profile) before we can enter you officially in our files, which we take ourselves on registration. Charges for teens adults (13 years and above) are KShs 2,000 for these 4 pictures as well as the KECAMTWA registration fee and the passport photos they require. In due course KECAMTWA will supply an ID card for you. Children 12 years and below cost KShs 1,000 (these pictures must be updated on a fairly regular basis) and they do not need to be registered with KECAMTWA. Registration will take place at the personal assessment if an agreement is reached so you should be smartly dressed in clothes that show your general build.
Please note that we are now limiting the number of people registered with the agency so are only accepting people that we feel have good potential to get work through the specialized services we offer. It helps if young adult models get themselves a proper portfolio before or after joining the agency, though it is not a prerequisite. We can advise on this, but the minimum cost is around 15,000 KShs. They should carry this portfolio with them to all auditions.
If after 4 – 6 months, we feel that the response from clients is poor, then we will advise you to try another KECAMTWA registered agency (if you so wish) that may have a broader spectrum of work (eg. Provide extra’s or semi featured extras on large jobs). If you do not want to join another agency, then we reserve the right to remove you from our database. We regret that we are not able to refund your registration fee although we will give you a soft copy of your picture/s as well as the hard copies we get printed after registration.
At the bottom of each talent sheet is a place where your signature is required - this is to show that you have understood the contents of this document and agree to abide by it if you wish to remain with the agency.