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Maseva finds refuge in modelling

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BY KIMBERLY KARIATI

RISING model, actress and singer Leona Maseva says she has found a sense of belonging, fortress and confidence in the modelling industry. Being a victim of discrimination, Maseva said modelling has liberated her from insecurities and strengthened her to overcome several challenges. For the 22-year-old, modelling has become a weapon, language that gave her a chance to speak and be heard. Her vision is to be the voice and motivation to those who have been discriminated against and  criticised because of their appearance and colour.

Profile

“My name is Leona Maseva, a Zimbabwean-born and bred make-up artist, model, actress, singer and the owner of Love Lee Hair. I started modelling at the age of 19 as a result of the challenges I faced in my childhood and teenage years.

“I am a holder of a degree in film television and radio production and a diploma in hotel and tourism which has contributed so much to my career.”

The modelling journey

“I have always been the hide away shy type of a lady. I was constantly bullied because of how I looked physically, especially my height and the width of my shoulders.

“So, in modelling I found a fortress and some form of skin where I could stand up for something, be seen and be appreciated. Modelling made me realise that one should not look in the way society may deem perfect and worthy to be appreciated and heard.

“I chose to become a model because I want to purse my dream of becoming an influencer. I want to use my influence to preach body positivity and love among women.

“I want to break the so-called perfect women illusion that I think society has.”

Leona Maseva

Passion

“In my world, passion is power. It is power in overcoming challenging life experiences. For me the desire that I had to be a model ultimately made me a model. Passion held me together in times of failure, challenges and disappointments. I can safely say I am passion-driven.”

Challenges

“One of the problems I faced in both the pageantry and the arts industry is colourism. A lot of dark-skinned women are usually taken second after light-skinned women regardless of being the same race.

“There is discrimination against dark-skinned people in favour of those with lighter skin from the same race.

“A lot of women do not respect body positivity and inclusivity, so sometimes you end up working in an environment where women modify their bodies which will push into the factor of competing with someone who puts no effort and still not getting noticed.”

Overcoming challenges

“Whenever I have a difficult and tricky situation or a challenge, I seek improvement not approval. I am always calm and collected and that has always been my super power. I do not panic or react quickly to things.

Helping hand

“As an advocate of body positivity and someone passionate in helping young girls and women find their beauty, I have managed to donate clothes, shoes, and other stuff to those in need under my non-profit organisation.

“I can definitely say I have reaped positive results. I have also managed to donate clothes, blankets and foodstuffs to various children’s homes in and out of Harare.”

Vision

“My vision is to grow my hair line Love Lee Hair big. I want to see women grabbing positions of power and confidently achieving anything in various aspects of their lives.”

Success

“I am grateful for everything I have achieved so far. This year I managed to launch my hair line whose profits are going to charity work.

“The modelling sector was quite disrupted as the last two years were challenging, but 2019 was a very good year for me as I managed to be Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Top Model of the World, Miss InterContinental of Zimbabwe finalist.

“I was featured in Women and Girls magazine as one of the top young influencers in Zimbabwe.

“I was one of the four women who were chosen to share their stories at one of the first Women in Tourism event and chosen to be part of the organisers of the National Merit Awards in the same year.”

  • Follow Kimberly on twitter @lizellekimkari


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