By Sylvester Munanjala, Lusaka, Zambia
Uk born Lusaka based teenage sensation Olivia Kapasu has said being a model is extremely hard work but anyone can succeed in the industry if they put in the necessary time and effort
Miss Kapasu 18, current holder of the Miss Personality Award at the Miss Teen Zambia beauty pageant said that being a model is not for the faint hearted but modelling is a very rewarding career choice. “Chase after your dreams like there’s somebody else racing for them. It will never be easy, but it’s always worth it when you are finally successful”, the smiling model told Iroko Magazine in the Zambian capital Lusaka recently. Apart from modelling, Miss Kapasu is now also trying her hand at being a fashion designer.
Kapasu now joins a not very long list of Zambian born designers who already have some international exposure including the country’s biggest international fashion design icon Faith Kabende who recently held a very successful fashion show in Paris France under her design lable Fay Designs. Both Kabende and Kapasu use local Chitenge fabrics in their designs.
To succeed in the cut throat fashion industry, Miss Kapasu said up and coming models and designers should and must respect international standards so they could also compete on a global scale. She cited the example of two other Zambian models Alice Musukwa and Tina Shinga who were making it big on the international scene because of their hard work and desire to always perform to the highest standards.
“As a model I set standards for myself. Seriousness and professionalism is one thing we lack here in zambia.” She lamented. She gave an example about amateurism from the music industry which was harming the sector
“Some music videos shot here in Zambia are no good. You’ll find that most models who feature in the videos are inexperienced girls. They don’t get enough pay while some are just happy to appear on the videos…I think people will see what kind of a model you are by the way you carry yourself”, she said.
Miss Kapusa who does not have an agent said the biggest problem facing unsigned models was they did not have a dedicated manager looking for projects for them. She challenged officials in the fashion industry to support models and fashion designers by organizing frequent events where they could showcase their talents.
“I think the biggest challenge we have, is the attitude that is taken towards us as models.” She stated. “There are various things we as models want to do to show that we also contribute to the society. Like setting up projects to help the less privileged children but we usually lack sponsorship”, she added.
Miss Kapasu insists she will like to be a role model for most young girls who will want to venture into the competitive fashion market.
“I want this (modelling) to be a job that can put food on my table, pay my bills, get me a house ?and a lot more good stuff.” Olivia said smiling. “When I’m old enough I will hopefully write a book about my life; how it all started for me, how I made it and the challenges I faced”.
Natasha Mapulanga, holder of the Miss Freedom Zambia title 2014 told Iroko Magazine Miss Kapasu is a fun loving but hard working girl.
“In the beginning she was really quiet and reserved. But when I tried to speak to her at our first rehearsal, I was amused because she turned out to be a warm, relaxed and best of all, God fearing person.” Miss Mapulanga said. Miss Mapulanga will represent Zambia at the World Miss Freedom beauty pageant scheduled for Prizren, Kossovo (South Eastern Europe) in August this year.
Olivia Kapasu started modelling when she was just 13.
She says she is inspired by American model kimora Lee Simmons. She has worked with various model agencies including kwitu Photography, Fortress Media etc.
She has won several titles including Miss Rhodes Park 2009, Miss Thornhill 2009 and scooped Miss Personality titles at both Miss Teen Zambia pageants held in 2012 and 2013.
Miss Kapasu said her one remaining dream is to break into the international stage. Just 18, she has time on her side