BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
RISING commercial model Lucia Mazhou, widely known as Lucy Bardie, has set her eyes on fighting the abuse of up-and-coming female models through the Models Against Abuse and Exploitation (The Voice) campaign to be launched next month.
A video vixen, Lucy Bardie told NewsDay Life & Style that she had turned down numerous sexual advances by predators targeting the girl child in the modelling industry.
“The pageantry industry is corrupted by people who take advantage of others, especially up-and-coming female models who are ignorant about how the industry works. Quite a number of girls told me how they fell victim to abuse,” she said.
“There have been a number of attempts made on me. At one point, I was offered a slot for a commercial advert and the guy who had presented the offer started telling me that he wanted something in return as he had done me a favour. I turned him down immediately.”
“When I was a newcomer, another guy, who claimed to have been working for a massage parlour, told me that I was needed in Kamfinsa for a shoot of an advert aimed at promoting their business. I was so excited to hear that, but when I got there, I was shocked to see only two men. Immediately, I felt that something was amiss and left.”
Lucy Bardie said she was going to use her experience in the industry to fight the abuse of models.
“My experience and my fellows’ motivation motivated me to start working on two projects, a campaign against abuse and the Models Square magazine that seeks to empower women in modelling,” she said.
“I felt the need to create a platform where young women can voice their concerns. I am still looking for organisations to partner with.”
As a word of advice to aspiring models, Lucy Bardie said: “No fame or money is worth sacrificing yourself for. Be true to yourself, do not allow yourself to be abused simply because you need the job.
“Other opportunities will always come your way, you just have to work hard.”
Lucy Bardie is working in collaboration with other women on another campaign called “The Bright Girls Movement” aimed at donating sanitary pads to the less-privileged girls.
“Lack of funding and the right people to work with are challenges that I am still facing in pursuit of my intended projects,” she said.