In a continent where focusing on education is encouraged more than talent development, a beautiful, humble, funny and self-conscious Saira Iqbal is doing amazing things. The gorgeous commercial model has worked with major brands in Kenya.

She is currently a law student but despite her tight school schedule, she’s managing her budding side-project; building her brand.

Syra has worked with famed photographer Kevin Buo, the man behind the Buo Art brand, for stunning portraits for several campaigns.

Saira during the launch of Aliyana
Saira during the launch of Aliyana

The Nairobi-based model and lawyer in the making comes across as reserved. She wouldn’t post nude photos that compromise her dignity.

“I started (modeling) last year in January. I was called for a casting, so I went and got the job,” she says. “I saw it on Instagram and thought it was something I could do. I just forwarded my portfolio and was shortlisted,” she adds.

The bubbly girl was shortlisted for the project and later got chosen. From there, she has worked hard to get more projects.

So far, she has done Airtel Pan African ads, her face is on the Aliyana hair products, Darling weaves and more.

She says that the major challenge she’s faced so far is the monetary value being offered by individuals and brands. The government on the other hand is not helping either.

“You see, I am really young and I am making money from being a model. The government isn’t creating policies to protect us. Instead, it is concentrating too much on white collar jobs,” she says.

“They should make it mandatory for foreign brands putting up billboards in the Kenyan market to use local models since it’s our market they’re operating in.”

Syra Tyra Kenya
A shoot for First Class Concierge

When it comes to her immediate future plans, the petite beauty says that she wants to try out everything she can.

“I wanna be a barbie doll! You know, like a barbie doll that does everything. It’s a plumber, beautician, it’s a stylist…it’s everything. I just want to do everything that I can while I’m alive,” she brightens up animatedly.

Opting to be a lawyer and working with a big organization like the UN will not deter her from trying out the media realm. She says she can be a presenter, working during weekends while pursuing her ‘main career’. What a grand plan!

The Kenyan-Pakistani is proving to be a go-getter with the high profile projects she has done. From shooting for a major Kenyan car rental company to appearing on billboards in the country, she’s doing pretty well.


Check out her portfolio:

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Interview conducted by @harunmomanyi. Harun is an accredited lifestyle and entertainment journalist, known for working with the likes of Yemi Alade, Vanessa Mdee, Sauti Sol, Eddy Kenzo, K.O and other big celebrities. You can check out more of his work at



  1. So proud of the far you’ve gone.. You’re a role model to many.. Keep upthe work swty

  2. You’ve come from far totally proud of you. See you on that billboard and I smile and be like…the world needs young ones like you

  3. Saira is my role model..may Allah bless you so that you may bloom beyond borders.

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