Kanwal Chohan Charming foreign model

By Lakna Paranamanna
He has the perfect attributes for a model; masculinity, charming charisma and is not at all reluctant when it comes to grooming. Since entering the modelling industry four years ago, he has been gradually clambering the steps to success in his career.
SOUL met Kanwal Chohan, a British-Indian model on his first visit to Sri Lanka to model for the Colombo Fashion Week (CFW) 2009, to talk about his experiences and endeavours in life.

Kanwal is from a family of three kids; he has an elder brother and a twin. Having completed A/Ls at Mark Rutherford Upper School, he entered the London Metropolitan University to complete his higher studies in Bio-Medicine while helping his family business on a regular basis. “My childhood ambition was to become a bio-medical scientist. It was during this time when I was continuing my higher studies that my first opportunity for modelling opened up,” recalled Kanwal.

It had been exactly four years ago. “I was shopping, and some agents from Sony spotted me and asked me whether I was interested in appearing for one of their new computer games.” He accepted the offer since it would be a new experience, thus Kanwal’s entry into the field of modelling begins through his appearance for the computer game by Sony, named ‘Gangs of London’ for a character named Asif Rashid. This had been the big break for Kanwal and gradually more opportunities came his way, especially for shows, photographs and stills.

“I was continuing my studies during this time, so I did not wish to neglect them. I continued modelling as a part time activity. But afterwards I chose to continue modelling fulltime since I realised that this is what I love doing.” What makes modelling so interesting? “I love travelling. Modelling gives ample chances to travel around the world and you get to meet lots of new people. It is also a very interesting job,” he said, smiling. He also asserts that the people he works with in the field, are very nice and helpful, but can also be really very offensive sometimes. “Girls tend to be more intolerable than boys. Friends are very rare in this industry since everyone is extremely competitive,” he added.

Kanwal is also the Managing Director for an advertising agency named Era Creations. “Since my profession is very flexible and enables me to allocate necessary time to look into the work of the company, I find it very easy to manage both professions,” he remarked.

He has flown to Sri Lanka to appear in CFW 2009, mainly to feature the collection showcased by Fouzul Hameed of FH studios. “He invited me especially to feature his collection, so that is the main reason for me to be here. I am also planning on expanding my company in Asia, so this will also be a great opportunity to do that,” he said adding that since he is working with Hameedias, we will see more often of him in the days to come.

This is Kanwal’s first visit to Sri Lanka and he says that he enjoyed his time here. “The people are very nice, friendly and welcoming. I also love the weather.” How about the incident on February 20 during the show, when there was a total blackout; was he worried? “It was nothing new to me, I have faced worse situations. Although we were living in UK, we used to go to India annually. Once during one of those trips, I must have been about eight then, we went to visit a temple in Himalaya. On our way back, we were stopped by a group of terrorists and I was held at gunpoint,” he reminisces, his eyes sparkling with interest.

He says that he cannot stand spicy food. “I tried out some Indian food some days back, and I even had to ask for a towel because it was too hot,” he said laughing. He loves mild food and especially Italian, but nothing can beat his craving for his mum’s Gulab Jamun. He said that his family is very supportive of his career. “My mum was very happy to see me pursue modelling.”

Kanwal is very keen on maintaining a good physique and looking presentable. “I think it is very important to look sharp and smart. I think this is one reason why I love modelling, since it requires a lot of attention on personal grooming,” he says, adding that unlike other guys, he is not at all reluctant about getting manicures and pedicures done since it is all about maintaining yourself.
He has received several invitations for acting, so he is contemplating them. “I will be going to Bangalore to take a look at the scripts. There is a language barrier since I am not very fluent in Hindi. But I am sure I can overcome it through hard work,” he asserted. Talking of his future plans, he says that his main focus is on pursuing his career as a model and also working on the business side as well, to promote his business and expand it in more directions.
Pix by Sankha Gallage