Australia-based model, Teurai Chanakira sees a bright future for modelling in Zimbabwe if collaborations are established with the fashion industry in the country.
BY TATENDA KUNAKA
Chanakira was speaking to the Standardlife&style from her base in Australia last week.
“I am seeing more and more collaborations of talented Zimbabweans within the fashion industry such as photographers and designers working with models so that each party can showcase each other’s work,” said Chanakira.
“The fashion industry in Zimbabwe is looking positive compared to the past few years and collaborations are some of the reasons for the success.”
She said models should start being viewed as just models, and called for the removal of the stigma associated with the profession.
“It is up to people like me and others in the industry to pass on knowledge to upcoming models about how to build stepping stones from a modelling career. The modelling career is short lived,” said the 33-year-old.
“I started modelling when I was living in Cairns, Australia in 2009. I always had a passion for modelling since I was young but chose to pursue my education first.
“Modelling happened by chance one day when I walked into a shop in Cairns and the owner asked me to be one of the models for her collection.
“From then on what spurred me on was the fact that you rarely see black people in Australian magazines or other media and I wanted to inspire girls of colour here.”
Chanakira will be competing at the first ever fitness model competition on March 2 in Melbourne, where the judges will be looking for defined figures and six pack abdominals.
Some of Chanakira’s achievements include finishing in the top 100 of Naomi Campbell’s Global model Search in 2010.
She was also the first African finalist in a national modelling competition in Australia (Miss Fashion Australia 2011) and recently her image was chosen as one of the finalists in the Australian national portrait prize.
Chanakira used modelling as a platform to launch a fitness business — Fitness to a Tee — which she launched in Australia and is now found throughout the world, including Zimbabwe. The business aims at helping people get healthy bodies through various innovative fitness and nutritional programmes.
A lawyer by profession, she is also the founder of Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust in Zimbabwe, which supports cancer patients in the country.
The trust is supporting five cancer patients with food, school fees for their children and catering for their medical needs.
This year she plans to implement sustainable projects for the patients so that they can be able to support themselves and their families in future.