Welcome to the second edition of our newest column; M-Dubz Super Models. As we had earlier highlighted, this is a modelling bible that will be profiling brief biographies of our (Malawian) models (bot males, and females) from both within and outside the country.
The aim is to give our models the much needed platform where they will be able to narrate their background into this career, their prospects in the industry as well as pieces of advice to aspiring models.
That aside, this forum will also act as a medium where prospective clients will be able to reach these models easily.
In so doing, we feel, EM is going to indirectly assist the models to benefit from their profession. We hope the little contribution that this column is going to make, will uplift the status quo of some Malawian model somewhere. In the end, we are indeed going to stamp our authority as the true HOME OF ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT.
More so, EM understands that there is a misconception amongst many Malawians that belittle and bedevil Modelling as a career.
Upon reading M-DUBZ-SUPER-MODELS, it is hoped that such misconceptions are going to be quashed off, and that we are going to appreciate the other side of Modelling; one of the highly underrated but lucrative industries not only in Malawi, but internationally as well.
And now, esteem readers, we have been honored to introduce our second beauty model, SARAH KUMWENDA
Date of Birth: 1st October 1994
Current base: Mzuzu
Sarah was born in a family of 6; one boy (now deceased) and five girls. Having been raised in Blantyre, for a larger part of her childhood, she is now currently residing in Mzuzu.
Who is Sarah Kumwenda?
Sarah is that pretty-faced ever smiling young lady who is always cheerful and as she describes herself, “God-fearing.”
Dancing is part of her everyday routine. Though she is not that adept, but she shakes her body whenever need arises. She is that type of a person who priotizes other people ahead of her. She is that daredevil who always tries to balance things up, of course as she admits, “some things won’t be balanced.” That much she knows.
That aside, in Sarah Kumwenda, you would meet an open-minded young lady who also despises boredom. In short, in Sarah, you have an outgoing Little Miss. Not that she regards herself as so very special. Nay! She is that ordinary girl who lives and keeps her life simple and straightforward.
If you have never come across one strong-minded young lady, then Sarah is just one of those. She is the type who can fall countless times, but never would she give up; she keeps on rising as she knows how worthy she is to let simple issues affect her goals.
In her own words, the following statement describes her life philosophy, “I bend, I crack but I don’t break.”
If you might have read the maiden column of M-Dubz Super models, the core business is to demystify the widely held misconceptions that modelling, more especially female modelling is synonymous with promiscuity.
Sarah is one other living testimony that modelling is way above such archaic misconceptions. Sarah’s feet have ever stepped onto the corridors of tertiary education. She currently holds a Diploma in Computer Information Systems under the ABMA which she obtained at Chancellor College. And of course, she plans to step further academically.
Her academic journey started at Hilltop Primary School, and Mundeba Private Primary school in Mzuzu. Thereafter, she moved to Ntonya International Schools in Blantyre where she sat for her Primary Schools’ Leaving Certificate of Education examinations. It was from here where she was selected to Manja Secondary school in the same city.
However, instead of enrolling with Manja Secondary school, she went and pursued her secondary education at Elma High school. Fate was to dictate matters on the youthful Sarah as she only did Form One there. Elma High School was closed down. So, from Form Two, up to Form Four, she trekked to Our Lady of Wisdom where she completed her academic journey, secondary school wise.
Interest in modelling
For starters, Sarah as a professional model is just new in this industry. However, she has always had that inner interest in this business. Of course, she does not remember when, but all she knows with 100% certainty is that modelling has always been one of her major areas of interest.
Previously, she was just an admirer. Back then, she never realized she had that modelling blood in her until when her family and friends started encouraging her. So strong was this encouragement that the more such sentiments hit her eardrum, the more persuaded she became. Finally, she had to give in to her inner and external urges, she had to give it a trial. And trying she did. The rest, as they say, is history. That is not a long time ago, though.
Her understanding of modelling
To Sarah, modelling is simple. It is an act that either promotes, displays or serves as visual aid for people who are creating art. And in this case, such displays use human beings.
Traits of an authentic model
In the world of modelling, according to Sarah, confidence, a lot of confidence is a pre-requisite to the game. To her, a model should know her best angle and know how to use it. They should always hold their heads high, for, such a gesture is a strong indicator of determination and positive spirit.
That aside, a model should look HD. They need to be photogenic, headshots or not. And most important, according to Sarah, a model should portray a good character and desirable behavior. In short, how a model carries their-selves to the public, matters. “What is a model with no character?” So asks Sarah.
Above all, according to this youthful model, her fellow members in the industry also need some ink in their brains. Understanding and articulation of issues is a virtue in the world of a model, so some basic education is handy.
Equally important is their appearance. In Sarah’s planet, a model must and needs to be cheerful.
A day in the life of a model
From her observation, a model’s day is almost similar to any other person. The only difference is on the schedules. Once there is an impending activity, a fully-fledged model needs to properly plan their time table. This, is, almost similar to any professional, hence her observation that models, are no different from any other field.
The rewards of modelling in Malawi
Sarah’s observation is that Malawians, in general, do not consider modelling to be a full time career. As a result, it is not fully marketed hence little rewards for the models.
External support for a model
Sarah is of the view that a model, being one of the public figures around, needs moral and financial support for them to be fully functioning. That aside, the models are also supposed to be supporting others in various spheres of life, for example, civic education.
In addition, a model can even be an ambassador representing a country or a firm in conferences or seminars, and the like. So, for all these to happen, there will be need of funds.
Above all, a model would be effective if loved, and supported by their respective families, and the general public at large.
Agonies of modelling in Malawi
For Sarah, the agony of being a model in Malawi is two, if not threefold. Firstly, there is a misconception about models themselves. Most of them regard modelling as a pastime activity and not a full time career. With such a mentality, according to Sarah, models cannot fully reap from their talents.
Secondly the misconception of most people towards Malawian models. If it is a female model, they label you as promiscuous. If you are male, you are regarded as gay, for example. With such sentiments, most people end up not regarding modelling as a serious career.
Equally disheartening, from Sarah’s point of view, is that there are some patches of favoritism amongst potential sponsors. At times, it becomes a hassle for upcoming local models to win the trust of advertising industries or entertainment agencies, as the latter have their own favorite models to play for certain roles. As a result, the said agencies may prefer someone they know without giving other models a chance to showcase what they capabilities.
Her maiden appearance
My maiden sojourn in the business was so thrilling and exciting. In one word, Sarah describes the experience as “memorable”. As we earlier highlighted in this edition, Sarah is new in the modelling business. So, the said premiere on the red carpet modelling platform was when she went for auditions for this year’s Miss Malawi beauty pageant.
Throughout her childhood, Sarah had always admired models but never thought in a million years could she ever thought she was going to be one.
So, during that day, she was just excited, not nervous as others would have been. She had a bloated confidence as she has always never doubted her capabilities.
As she recalls, during this memorable day, she had to do the famous cat walking, wear that angelic smiles, and of course the dreaded Q & A (interviewing part). To her, she feels she was not that 100% prepared. However, she still feels she had put on a gallant fight, and given a choice, she would do it over and over, and over again!
Somebody once said, Malawi is a country full of silly superstitions and misconceptions. The same does apply to this otherwise glittering industry.
Many a Malawian have ever bedeviled modelling as an industry full of promiscuous ladies, and if it males, then they are gays.
So, how does the young Sarah handle such fallacies?
“I convince people that there is no connection between modelling and promiscuousness.” She said.
To her, she does realize that backing up her sentiments verbally is an almost impossible task. What she does is just not involve herself in some promiscuity. She is of the type who believes in letting her actions do the talking.
So, to all local female models, she also feels they should emulate her line of approach; by staying away from promiscuity. The only way to convince people, according to her, is by acting decent. This is why she feels models should know and have self-worth.
To female models especially, she is of the view that they need to value their modelling careers, and themselves as well so that all this bickering can stop.
To all female ladies who want to make it far in this career, Sarah has this piece of advice.
“Girls, let’s be assertive. Let’s stay away from anything that will get people to marry modelling to promiscuity. Show your audience you’re a model with a desirable character. It’s not just about how you look. How you act and handle yourself carries a bigger picture of who you are!”
Message to the youth
“Be Wise! Wisdom will get you anywhere. “Stay Wise”
Social media contacts
Facebook: Sarah Charity Kumwenda
Ladies and gentlemen, below are some of the photos of this ever-smiling Sarah Kumwenda, a beauty model who believes that character and modelling go hand in hand.
---Information compiled by Gibson C Kamanga---