Sweden based Kenyan born Entrepreneur, Certified Trainer and Fitness Model, Dennis Okaka moved to Europe in 2015 and since then focused more on his passion for fitness and modelling.
With over 10 years experience in the industry, Dennis as been featured in various magazines both in Kenya and Sweden especially as an underwear model.
He recently started a small foundation back home to help the less fortunate and promote basic education to those who can’t.
Check out my exclusive interview with him below:
Hey Dennis! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Dennis Okaka, I am an Entrepreneur and a fitness model based in Europe and proud to be from Kenya.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
The average day for me starts at around 5am where I like to do a 1 hour meditation in silence, after that I prepare my meals (I eat roughly 5-6 meals a day.) so I usually like to make the meals the night before and just pack them in the morning. I check my mails and respond to questions l usually get on my inboxes after breakfast. I drive to the talent agency and have meetings. In the afternoon I set aside 1-2 hours workout in the gym., and meet a few friends over coffee and then afterwards I head back home.
You moved to Sweden in 2015, what made you decide to do so?
I moved in Sweden for a fresh start in life. I just felt like I needed a total change. So I took the flight, l am happy I took the risk.
Tell us more about your modelling side, how were you scouted?
I met a photographer online who introduced me to the modelling world. That is how I got in.
How’s the fitness and modelling industry in Sweden like, compared to that in Kenya?
The difference in fitness here and Kenya, is that in Sweden,.. Almost 80% of people workout or at least take good care of the body. In my country as we say “Hakuna Matata” means No Worries. People are very relaxed and value their food and alcohol. So business wise its the best place to build a fitness business.
Do you feel the modelling industry is doing alot to encourage new models?
I feel like the modelling industry can do more to encourage new talent in the industry. Furthermore there is a need for diversity to meet the different type of people in our society.
You started a foundation back home in Kenya to help the less fortunate and promote education, how is that working out?
The foundation is great, it feels good to give a helping hand, but I know I need to work harder to do more for my people.
What was it like when you did your first nude photo shoot and what was the reactions you got?
I have always been open minded and flexible in life, but when it was suggested to do a nude shoot. I was a bit unsure and shy at first, but soon I got to be free and the reception is amazing from my fans, but of cause I also have haters, but I love them too.?
With over 10 years in the industry, what will you say sets you aside from other fitness model?
What sets me aside from other fitness models, has to be my work ethics. I literally believe l can out work anyone in my field. I work aggressively to better myself everyday.
You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?
In life there has to be balance in everything, but I have come to understand the different spheres in my life and my family and close friends keep me grounded and help me separate my work from who I am. I am a very private person living a very open lifestyle.
Looking at your photos online I can tell you love going to the gym, so how often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
I workout 3-4 days a week, of which l spend roughly 1-2 hours in each session.
What’s your Dos and Don’t when it comes to fitness modelling?
Dos and don’ts… Hmm?
I would say I am a very open book when it comes to my work. I wouldn’t say never as long as it is professional and sits well with my principals. I want to be able to look at myself at the end of the day and be proud of myself.
What would you say is the main misconception the public have about models?
The biggest misconception the public have about models, especially male models, is that we are all gay.??
What aspect surprised you the most once you started as a model?
When I started out I was just doing it for fun and get ladies??. I was shocked at how much money one can make.
Which brands, models, photographers, clients and designers have you worked with?
I Haven’t worked with other models actually. Just a handful of them really. Largely because I have done most of my work independently. I have worked with a lot of brands and photographers over the years.. but here in Sweden I have done only two well known ones. I would love to work with the big boys one day. My dreams are valid.??
What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
Most memorable job, has to be back home when I did Malta Guinness billboard advert that was spread in east and Central Africa. It was my first and l was shirtless. I remember that because I now got the attention of ladies in campus.?
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
I would love to work with Tyson Berkford one day. He has really inspired me to push the envelope and have more people of colour in the industry.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
Two things people do not know about me..
1. I am a very spiritual individual and I spend a lot of my time meditating to understand who I really am.
2. I have never been in a fight that I started. Basically my straight face has helped me, because people think I am mean and bad ass ???
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
My biggest success has not yet happened, but looking back has to be when I made my first million at the age of 24. I thought I had made it.. Then life kicked in. Hahaha
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge so far is trying to open doors in fitness modelling here in Europe as a man of colour.
You are active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
I am active on social media, because that is where the world is, companies drive their business to where people are, and social media is the market place.
You are originally from Kenya, but now mostly live in Sweden. How is that working out for you?
Change is always good and brings growth in a person. So I love it here in Sweden. I have learned the new language (Swedish) and I have come to love the culture.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
My must travel destinations…
1. Kenya my country its just soo Beautiful.
2. Puket, Thailand just breath taking, and the street food is the best.
3. Dubai, UAE for any one who is dreamer you have to visit Dubai to really know what dreaming and working hard can accomplish.
Things we should take seriously about our style choices?
Our style choices are very important especially as men. Style tells the world who you are before you open your mouth. So take seriously what you wear.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as urban meets sophisticated.
What style genre appeals to you the most?
I have always loved to be well groomed and decent gentleman. I own a lot of suits basically because I take my work that seriously.
Your must have accessories/essentials?
I well groomed man must have a watch that is a must have and a handkerchief.
What is your favorite dish?
Favourite dish… is Ugali and liver cooked with spinach,..auhhh gets me every time.
What songs are currently on your playlist?
I am a big fan of African music especially East African music. So that is what l have on my playlist.
Apart from fitness and modelling, what other projects are you currently working on?
I am currently also planning to roll out my shipping company and a few other projects in Nairobi, Kenya.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
It is true that I am doing what I dreamt of, but the truth is anyone who is willing to work hard can get whatever they want.
I see myself doing more in the future and helping more people to raise the bar in their lives and live more, through my work in modelling and business.
Any specific plans for the future?
I would advice dreamers like me out there to keep the dream alive by doing something about that dream everyday. Even if its just read a chapter of a book about that dream. You will achieve it one day. I truly believe we are in trouble as a people because some people are scared to showcase their greatness through their dreams.
Any final words?
I would like to thank you for the blessing you have sent my way with this opportunity to tell the world more about me. I appreciate it big time. Be blessed with more amazing work. Thank you.