Around the world modelling is serious business. From selling clothes to products and services, models do it all. Whether they are on the runway or just in pictures, models are an important part of selling and advertising.
Locally, modelling is on the rise. From exhibition of fashion outfits to making cameos in television commercials, models are becoming prominent.
One of the names making waves in modelling industry is Thandie Immaculate Chisi. Her dazzling and unique beauty leaves in wonder everyone who comes in contact with her. No doubt she is becoming a regular feature on the runway.
The tall, slim and sassy model, popularly known as ‘Tee’ among her peers, ventured into modelling in 2017 and acknowledges that the journey has been full of highs and lows.
“It is almost four years since I started my journey as a professional model. It’s been an interesting experience with both good moments and sad encounters,” she said.
Chisi said she has had the luxury of working with different groups of people in the industry.
“I have done commercials of all sorts and runway shows. I must admit I’m hungry for more adventures in modelling,” she said.
The third year sociology student at Chancellor College (Chanco), a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima), said she is eager to invigorate the art of modelling in Malawi.
“I have always wanted to make a difference in the fashion industry. So, I thought modelling would provide me with a platform to ignite positive change,” she said.
But what are the challenges of the industry?
Chisi said modelling, just like any other showbiz sector in Malawi, is not as rosy as it appears on the runway or in commercials.
She said there are many hurdles facing the performers and the industry as a whole.
The Lilongwe-based model explained that the industry needs to be galvanised as it is in its early stages of development.
“Modelling is still one of the least developed industries in our country. We have a long way to go. However, we are getting there. There has been some progress,” said Chisi.
She said she is inspired by multi-award winning American supermodel Tyra Banks also known as BanX in modelling circles. Just like what the former host of America’s Next Top Model has achieved in the industry, Chisi wants to emulate her as she envisions owning a modelling school or an agency in Malawi.
In a separate interview, arts critic Simplex Kasi says the modelling industry in Malawi needs to learn how other countries are developing.
He said: “The art of modelling outfits and selling them is not as easy as others think. It is a whole industry comprising of designers, seamstresses, models, make-up artists, photographers and event managers.”
Kasi said if well handled, modelling can be a source of income and even contribute to the country’s economy.
Currently the country has two major modelling events, namely Mzuzu Fashion Week and Africa Fashion Week. n