BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
FOUNDER of local modelling agency, Iconic Model Management Zimbabwe, Nilton Makazhu has spread his wings to neighbouring South Africa where he is now operating another branch.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style from Mzansi this week, Makazhu said spreading his tentacles to South Africa was necessitated by the need to explore more opportunities and try new challenges.
“In Zimbabwe, most models are limited to the type of shoots they can do because of the culture and society. The resources in Zimbabwe have also become limited and scarce, so I decided to expand so as to open up on more resources,” he said.
“This is in the hope that by utilising both agencies in Zimbabwe and here (South Africa) we can create enough resources for the agency and its models, thereby increasing cultural exchange between the two countries by working together.”
Makazhu said they were, however, still in the teething stages, working mainly with upcoming models who have immense talent.
“As a journey, we are also interested in working with models who are also looking at launching their careers. From next year, definitely we will be recruiting established models,” he said.
Through the initiative, the beauty enthusiast said they were seeking to open the door to the international market, having faced a lot of challenges in Zimbabwe.
“A lot of models have expressed interest and the market here is very challenging and demanding, so we go through vigorous induction processes before we accept. But currently we have signed up almost 20 models (19 South Africans and one Zimbabwean) in the agency. We are hoping to have 50 by the end of September,” he said.
Makazhu said the issue of grants has been the missing link in Zimbabwe’s modelling industry, unlike in South Africa where event organisers can access grants from the government.
“If I am to compare Zimbabwe and South Africa, I would say the South African pageantry is miles ahead, but mainly due to resources and their economy. It is easy to get sponsorship here (in South Africa) than in Zimbabwe. It is not only about that, but also the time taken to prepare for a pageant gives South African pageants ample time to prepare and source funds,” he said.
Makazhu said once the COVID-19 pandemic curve was flattened, they would start hosting pageants.
“We are just hoping that this COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end soon as it has affected a lot of things, claiming millions of lives. If all goes back to normal, we are planning to host the Miss Curvy South Africa in August and a few more pageants in October and December,” he said.
“We are also going to be conducting grooming courses for our models, corporates and schools too.
With the grace of God, this is achievable.”
Makazhu said as an agency, their goal was to produce highly-trained models well-groomed in etiquette and with sublime runway and photography techniques.
“We aspire to become the hub of international modelling gigs in Africa, providing not only local, but the international community with high quality performance models. We already have three international clients we have worked with and hope to have more by end of the year,” he said.
“We are grateful to the models who have stuck with us and believed in my vision and goal. I hope the agency will repay them their faith.”
Established in 2014, Iconic Model Management Zimbabwe has worked with a number of models including Vimbai Mukambi, Chanel Bere, Monalisa Kajamba and Raymond Motsi.