May 31, 2011 – Africans are doing big things around the globe! Zimbabwe-born British beauty, Nyasha Matonhodze, at only 16-years-old has been chosen as spokesmodel for Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter campaign. Following in the footsteps of Madonna and Scarlett Johansson, Matonhodze has been chosen to appear in the French fashion label’s autumn/winter 2011 campaign, shot by renowned fashion photographer, Steven Meisel.
“My eyes filled up with tears and I thought ‘Lord you are lucky!’” said Matonhodze of the moment she discovered she had been chosen to star as one of six up-and-coming models in Vuitton’s campaign, photographed in a vintage car at a disused Brooklyn aerodrome. “It didn’t actually hit me until I was sat in a Rolls Royce sitting eye-to-eye with Mr Meisel. He is a wonder to work with, he and Marc [Jacobs}made me feel beautiful”.
Her statuesque grace (she’s five foot eleven) and sweet-as-pie personality made her the new favourite of fashion editor Katie Grand, who kick-started Matonhodze’s career during her debut spring 2011 season when she booked the young model for Louis Vuitton, Emanuel Ungaro, and Loewe.
Nyasha was born in Zimbabwe and raised by her grandmother in a very cultural, traditional household. She moved to England when she was eight.
Moving to England, I saw their perspective on Africa and what they think it’s like, and it’s completely the opposite. I went back to Zimbabwe three years ago and it’s so lovely; they’re happy with who they are and their traditions. I love going back home.
At 14, her mum and her stepdad went into Elite Models to see if she could actually model. She was tall and thin so she was always told she should be a model but she never really developed a serious interest about it until America’s Next Top Model.
Seriously, that’s when it all changed for me. Everything I wanted was pretty much based off that show. I went into this career thinking I could be a model, but I never thought I’d actually become one. Once I signed with Elite, I was entered into the Elite Model Look competition, where I became a finalist. As soon as I turned 16, I walked for Jonathan Saunders [Scottish fashion designer].
I wish her all the best. I can’t help but ask though, where are all the Kenyan models? We need to step our game up. Have faith in yourselves people!!!
Check out the author’s work here