In Conversation with Nyasha Matongo
I’m a 21-year-old lady currently studying journalism and media studies at NUST, and I do freelance modelling and I love food.
How did you get into modelling?
Well, how I got into modelling is a bit funny to me because l always loved posing for pictures since I was a kid. I remember participating in a pageant when I was in pre-school, not because I wanted the crown or to be on the runway, but I loved how models would pose in front of judges and get beautiful pictures. After my A levels, I wanted to proper model under an agency, but I got denied because of my height. Although this might have broken my heart, I didn’t give up. I always saw myself as a model and I would tell myself that I was going to get there somehow. Although I’d model for photography companies and clothing designers, my big breakthrough came through Elevate Zimbabwe, where I got to compete in their model search and I came second which was a huge thing for me. From there, I got to establish networks that helped me advance my career as a freelance model.
Who/what can’t you live without?
I can’t live without God. I’ve managed to live without most of my gadgets and although it was a bit difficult, I’d adjust but I’m sure I’d not be able to do anything without God.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Life has taught me that no matter what, you have to believe in yourself and forget negative things that people might throw at you. You become what you imagine so even if there are no open doors, create a door and open it!
What opportunities have come your way because of modelling?
I have managed to meet and talk to big people who I might have not been able to reach had I not chosen to do modelling. I think the greatest opportunity was to get to meet people who believe in me more than I believed in myself and I think it is because of such people that I have managed to see myself as a great person.
How would your friends and family describe you?
I think crazy and adventurous would be their way of describing me. I guess most of the time they are amazed by my courage and desire to be different. I managed to work at a radio station when i was 18 and my parents were amazed by how I got the job and when I told them I was going to do modelling they were just like “there she goes!”, but I’m glad they’ve always supported me even when I did the craziest things.
What is your song at the moment?
Mmmm I think this is the hardest question I can ever answer lol. I don’t have what I call a song of the moment but after checking my playlist I discovered that I listen to Dr Tumi’s Nothing Without You and Sia’s Never Give Up more often.
When are you happiest?
I’m always happy but I think I’d be more than happy when I get to eat after being hungry.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I don’t have a proper word to explain what really happened from the time I was a kid because I’ve always been changing. When I was little, I wanted to be a hairdresser and I wanted to have my own saloon. I guess this was because I loved the way my mom would look so beautiful after her hairdo and I wanted to make sure that she’d stay like that. By the time I got to high school, I wanted to become a medical doctor but this changed when I picked arts for my A’ level, and I only got to know what I wanted to do after finishing my exams, when I was working at a radio station. I became sure that I wanted to work in a broadcast environment, which is why I chose to do journalism and media studies. After all this, I think I got to change because of exposure to other opportunities as well as self-discovery as I grew up.
Looking back 10 years ago, what advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment because life is too short to look at the negativity around you. If the people around you don’t understand your language let your achievements to the interpretation.
If you could give up anything for a year what would it be and why?
I’d give up watching tv lol. I was never that much of a tv person because even when I was a kid, I’d listen to the radio and I really loved it. I feel like it speaks directly to me.
What is your greatest achievement?
Being able to discover myself, who I want to be and to stand firm in what I want to do has been my greatest achievement. Other things can come as complimentary achievements, but I believe the greatest thing you can ever do as a human is to discover yourself, your talent, your passion and definitely nothing can stop you from becoming who you want to be as long as you keep your eyes on your goal.
What is your guilty pleasure...
Doughnuts are my weakness lol. I could eat up to 3 doughnuts in one sitting.
What are you most fond of about being Zimbabwean?
I like how Zimbabweans always have a plan. No matter the situation around us we always hustle our way through hard times and I guess it makes us stronger and better in every way.
What advice would you give to those aspiring to be models?
I’d encourage aspiring models to believe in themselves. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. Greatness is an inward outward thing, it starts within you and is later seen on the outside. The other thing would be not to entertain any negativity, not by arguing, but by countering any negativity with positivity. When they say you cannot, tell yourself that you can!
How would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered as the girl who defied odds and stood for her dream.
Facebook: Nyasha Trish Matongo https://www.facebook.com/nyashatrish.matongo