FORMER Miss Ireland International and Model Guide brand ambassador Blessing Mutamba yesterday said there was need to enhance the professional training of Zimbabwean beauty queens and ensure that the local modelling industry was abreast with trends and developments in global pageantry.
BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
Mutamba, who holds a masters degree in entrepreneurship, said unless training was enhanced, local models would continue stuttering on the global stage.
The beauty queen said her partnership with the Model Guide online magazine was meant to help local models appreciate the demands of international modelling through offering professional and tailor-made training at affordable prices.
“We realised in Zimbabwe the arts industry is very easy for people to get substandard teaching from people who claim to have the knowledge but do not have much credibility behind them,” she said.
“The main problem we are trying to solve is that people are being charged extortionist fees for training, which is not really up to scratch and this training is usually given by modelling agencies but is not really helpful when they are trying to compete on the international stage.”
Mutamba said the major challenge in Zimbabwe was that models were receiving coaching from people that did not necessarily have the relevant experience and solid record in the modelling field.
“Some people are paying quite a huge amount of money, more than US$15 a class, to be able to access this expertise,” she said.
“There have been reforms in the modelling industry around the globe and in Zimbabwe we seem to be falling behind.”
The Miss Ireland 2019 said a lot of models on the local scene were passed off for opportunities they would have been good for simply because of height or waist difference of a few inches and that was something she was hoping the new modelling academy would deal with.
“Modelling is about embracing each person’s strengths and amplifying them, not making a square peg fit into a round hole,” she said.
“My speciality is in pageant modelling. I’ve done some commercial modelling and runway modelling, too, but when you look at the type of information people are given in the Zimbabwean modelling industry, it is all about what type of look do you have when it should be what type of modelling are you interested in.”
Mutamba said the academy would equip models with public speaking skills, business acumen and social media marketing strategies and train them to manage themselves the way they would manage a business.
Under her new partnership with Model Guide, Mutamba said they would be offering group membership at US$10 for an online group class covering all topics in their curriculum, and one-on-one training at US$15 focusing on one topic of the member’s choice from their training curriculum and a monthly membership of US$25.
The monthly membership would give members access to training handbooks and guides, one monthly online one-on-one training session, a single session on a topic of the member’s choice and admission to an online monthly networking event.
The beauty queen said there would be two spaces for free on group sessions and two more charged at half price and models interested in those slots should like and follow the Facebook and Instagram pages for Miss Ireland International 2019 and Model Guide Zimbabwe.
Mutamba said in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, sessions would be held through WhatsApp groups while they would also do Facebook or Instagram sessions when they brought in international guests.
Through her charity organisation with seven other individuals, Zimbabwe Bright Futures Syndicate, they have been giving their knowledge and time in return for donations.
“The objective is to empower Zimbabwean youths in various ways by addressing different factors that affect the quality of education they receive.
“Food security, for example, can be a deterrent to a child getting proper education and learn properly at school,” the model said.