BY SHARON SIBINDI
HARARE-BASED model and entrepreneur, Taropafadzwa “Dr Nash” Mudzingwa has urged the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry to mobilise funding for the modelling industry to reduce incidents of sextortion in the sector.
His remarks came after a 33-year-old man from Bulawayo reportedly raped an 18-year-old pregnant woman during a private photoshoot.
“I have realised that in the modelling industry, there has been a challenge faced by female models. Following the recent alleged rape of a pregnant model from Bulawayo by her photographer, it’s not only her who has gone through that rough time,” he said.
“If we are fighting for the girl child or women’s rights, let us do so in all sectors of the economy. If we are empowering women, let us do so in all ministries. I call on the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation to open platforms where they can offer funds to those in the modelling industry,” Dr Nash told NewsDay Life & Style.
He said some female models had been taken advantage of because they did not have enough resources, which made them vulnerable.
“Pageantry modelling is one of the most expensive types of modelling and I found out that most female models struggle in terms of looking for funds required by the organisers.
“In some cases, if one can’t afford to pay for all the expenses to be incurred, she can be approached by the organiser or possible sponsor and offered some help, which comes with a price,” he said.
“I suppose modelling agencies can be opened and managed by the ministry, offering proper training courses which cover the basics of modelling as well as grooming, make-up and etiquette for models for free. I think with the support of the government, we can see the industry growing.”
He said he had started a project in which he created concepts for photoshoots and engage a female model he would work with.
“I planned this project to give exposure to those whom I would have worked with as well as help up-and-coming models in the best way possible. My colleague, Anesu Mhembere, also known as Minister Of Whitelinen, also started a movement called The Dandy Gentlemen with the main aim to uplift Zimbabwean men in the fashion industry,” he said.
“He also managed to push the We Lift Black Men movement which was started and backed by one of the Global Influencers Ivy Mcgregor. The next movement will be The Vogue Ladies, which will be an appreciation of those women making a difference in the fashion industry as well as an opportunity to showcase what we, as Zimbabweans, can do in terms of fashion.”