Welcome to the World of Art!!!
Another week has gone by, and Bonani’s message on hard work has surely kept us all going. I must admit though, the World of Art team is doing an amazing job at spotting the Artists that we feature here. This week’s Artist was introduced to me by my amazing colleague and Soul Brother, Kabelo Mokone from Koena1130. We were discussing the Artists that we were planning to feature, and he told me about this amazing teenager that he knows. I was immediately sold by just the way he was talking about her- like she was this very focused teenager who has a very promising Modeling career. Because I already had confirmed Artists then, I told him that I could only feature her this week. Because we were both very excited about this interview, we decided that he would initiate the interview by engaging with her first. She sent voice notes, narrating her life story in the most vivid manner that any teenager has ever done on this feature. You must be dying of curiousity by now, so let me indulge you already…
Getting to know the Artist...
Her name is Emihle Mzomba, a 15 year old Grade 10 student from Hudson Park High School. Emihle is a Model, with a beautiful silky-looking chocolate skin and hair as Black and strong as the princess that she is. She is always wearing a very beautiful smile on all the photos that she supplied us with, and that makes me imagine her as this happy character. Emihle is the most narrative Artist I have ever worked with, ever since the #ArtistOfTheWeek feature started. As mentioned before, Kabelo initiated the interview, and he forwarded me lengthy voice notes that served as Emihle’s replies to the questions he asked. I listened to all the voice notes, and sent her a text with the follow-up questions. Believe it or not, but Emihle has sent all her replies in lengthy voice notes. I remember when I listened to the first two voice notes, I thought to myself ‘I have a lot of writing to do’. I asked her to describe herself in her own words, and she replied with a 12 minute voice note. My mouth was hanging open as I downloaded that voice note. When I was listening to her voice note, one line that caught my attention was ‘I am just who I am. I am just me, and that’s exactly what I am. Emihle is Emihle and she is never going to change, for anyone or anything for that matter’. I smiled to myself and pressed pause, because I wanted to repeat that line and I knew that nobody would utter those words if they don’t mean them. Only realists would tell you straight to your face that they would never change for anything or anyone. Emihle continued to say;
“I am real, and that’s one word that actually best describes me. I am not fake at all, and I would tell you what I think, instead of hiding it from you. We, as a society, have lost all sense of honesty, and people nowadays would not be honest and tell you about your rights and wrongs. The sad part is that people continue doing bad things because there is nobody there to be real with them and tell them the truth. Also, I feel like I am naturally beautiful with what I have and what I was born with. I am very confident in who I am, and nobody can tell me otherwise. I am hard working, and I have worked so hard to be where I am today. I also believe that I am crazy, but I always hide that behind my seriousness because I want to be what I want to be, and I want to get what I want to get”
I swear she was hitting her fist hard against something when she said ‘I want to be what I want to be and I want to get what I want to get’ because I heard banging sounds at the background.
“I am very consistent with what I want and when I want it. I believe that I have lived through scenes of my life where I got to learn a thing or two about myself. I am living my life trying to get to know myself everyday. I have lived all my life with the promise that I would never depend on a man for survival. I see myself at a very high level in life. I put more effort in everything that I do, from academics, to sports and my Modeling career”
She sent me a 12 minute voice note, that also provided her life story and her journey.She put more emphasis on the importance of honesty, and stressed how much dishonesty destroys the society. The Black community really needs to normalize open communication lines, it is the only way we can show genuine love towards each other.
Trip down the memory lane…
“I was born in the Western Cape, at Mitchells Plain Private Hospital, on the 26th of July 2004. I grew up n the township, in Samora Machel. My Modeling career started at about the age or 4 or 5, and I used to travel to my Modeling gigs in Johannesburg. I started traveling on my own at a very early age. As a young child, my closest friends were flight attendants because they used to keep me safe and make sure that I reached my destination safely. I trusted them. Back then, I was just a photographic Model, and we would shoot adverts every now and then. My parents got tired of the back and forth traveling, and I moved to Jo’burg. When I got to Jo’burg, I didn’t continue with my Modeling career, and I don’t even know why. Maybe I was worn out from all that past experience of traveling. My father then got a job in East London and my parents decided to relocate to East London with me. My modeling career didn’t start right away, because I didn’t have friends and I didn’t know where to go to find places that would cater for my needs. When I was 12 years old, I decided to resume my Modeling career. I told my parents that I wanted to go back to Modeling, and then I joined the Out of Africa Modeling Agency, in Beacon Bay. I did some Photographic Modeling there, since I grew up doing it. I did it until I found myself having to put my Modeling career on hold because of my Netball career. I just couldn’t do both because of time. In 2019, I found myself knocking on the Just-Models door. I told my mother that I wanted to go back to Modeling, because Modeling is what I’ve been doing since I was a little girl so I can’t just stop. When I first got there, I used to arrive before the class started, and I picked up everything instantly. I felt so complete, like I had found something that I have been looking for. I started practising at home, even at school I started walking like a Model. I worked so hard and I have always been determined to put more effort into my craft. I know where I want to get, and I will do everything in my power to get there.
In November 2019, I got my first cast for a runway show- in Mr and Miss Berlin November 2019. When I got there, I was legit scared, so much that I was even struggling to walk on heels because my feet were shaking. I started doubting myself, especially because I was the youngest model there and I had my Afro on while other ladies rocked weaves. I knew at the end of the day that I look beautiful with my natural hair.”
Guys, Emihle is just world standard. As young as she is, she is so articulation and confident. I know I’m big on sharing my opinions, but Emihle is taking the cup. With that life story, I just wanted to know what her journey has taught her, because I picked up a truckload of life lessons;
“My journey has taught me that hard work pays off. It has also taught me that I have to keep moving, no matter what life throws at me. It is what drives you that pushes you to achieve your goals”
Again, we find ourselves putting more emphasis on the importance of hard work.
Everyone needs to be in touch with his/her spirituality, especially people who are dedicated to serving their purposes in life.. I asked Emihle about her spirituality and beliefs;
“I pray to God and I have accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour, but I also believe in my cultural and ancestral values. As much as I believe in God, I can’t turn my back on my cultural values because my father is a traditional healer”
I asked her how she finds balance between the two;
“I have learnt to accept them both and I make it a point that I learn more about both beliefs. However, I spend a lot of time praying and talking to God about my life”
Art at home…
Seeing that Emihle started her career at a tender age, and she mentioned that she told her parents every time she thought of going back to Modeling, so I asked her what she thinks is the reason why most parents don’t support their artistic children;
“I think parents fail to support their artistic children because they are still stuck in the stereotype mindsets that people need to go for corporate careers in order to make it in life. They refuse to accept that people can actually make it with their skills and talents”
That reason is the same reason that fuels us to promote the culture of Art, to advocate for it and introduce it as a career. Without being rude or disrespectful, we need to educate our elders about the importance of being independent. I asked her what she would say to a child who isn’t getting any support at home;
“Art requires passion, in order for it to take you anywhere in life. What you need to understand is that your family loves you, but they just lack knowledge about the Creative industry. Educating someone about something is not easy, but you just have to be patient in making them see that this is your passion”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Art is not for the lazy bunch. It is not for people who want quick cash. Art requires you to work twice as hard because it takes hard work to make it in this industry. Commitment. Consistence.
This pandemic has hit us hard, and people are sinking into depression. I asked Emihle what her survival plan is and how she keeps herself sane during this time;
“Well, at the moment I am still committed to Miss Teenager South Africa because I am a Finalist. We have been given social media tasks, so those tasks also keep me busy. I am also involved in charity work to help develop the community. I’ve been visiting my hometown too, just to give people hope of a better tomorrow. Modeling is an interaction thing, so we will resume classes at Just Models. The pandemic has resulted in us closing down, but now we will reopen and we will comply with all the necessary safety measures because we are well aware of how fatal this pandemic is and we wouldn’t take risks by taking it for granted.”
Throughout all her voice notes, I found myself nodding like a lunatic. I feel sorry for the image my colleagues witnessed, of me nodding like Emihle was in front of me. This interview had that personal feel, even though it meant I had to retype everything she said on those voice notes. I asked her what she would say to artists who are trying to find their feet during this time;
“The only thing we can hope for, is that we can adapt to this new situation and find means of making it work. I think we need to continue working, while we are still keeping safe with all the safety measures. Patience is much needed during this time, because things are slowly coming together.”
I promise you guys, after this pandemic, I will invite Emihle to the Kiddies Show. I can’t keep telling you about voice notes that you cannot even hear now, and not give you an opportunity to experience Emihle. I honestly wished we could go all day, because it’s always exciting to listen to a heavily opinionated teenager who has a lot to share.
The Miss Teenager South Africa journey..
Before wrapping up, I asked Emihle how we can vote for her on the pageant and what change would she bring to the community if she would take the crown as Miss Teenager South Africa;
“People can vote for me through a link that I have shared on my social media platforms. We, as girls, are always defined by society so I would teach young girls about leadership. I would help educate young girls that they are beautiful just the way they are and just the way they were born. It pains me to see young girls who struggle to accept themselves. I am also planning on initiating a program that will teach young men how to love and respect women. Men need to know and understand that gender based violence is not acceptable.Both men and women need to be groomed for leadership from an early age, and to love themselves before they love other people”
I couldn’t end the interview without challenging Emihle to give a one-word response, so I asked her to describe her Miss Teenager South Africa journey;
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you South Africa’s next big thing?! *drum roll* Emihle Mzomba is the true definition of African beauty and pride. Nothing stands out for me more than her being comfortable in her own skin. That should teach all the young girls out there who want to get into the Modeling space that they should love and accept themselves just the way they are, and not be obsessed about looking like the supermodels that the media shows them. Let’s all vote for her to bring the title home, as she is representing every young girl out there who has a dream of making it in life with her God-given talents. Links are available on the following social media platforms:
Facebook: Emihle Mzomba
Let me extend my vote of appreciation to the amazing young lady for taking time off her busy schedule and engage with me. She mentioned in one of the voice notes that she sent me, that I caught her while her mind was a little occupied with Maths and I was like ‘eish’, because didn’t intend on disturbing her but I truly appreciate the minutes she stole just to chat with me. I promise you that this is not the last time that we are having an engagement with her, but you can just follow her in the meantime, to keep yourself inspired by this amazing firecracker.
That’s it for now. Till next time, please keep a positive mindset and continue to chase those dreams. Emihle has told us that her journey has taught her that hard work pays off, so be like Emihle and work hard to achieve all your goals..
Artist of the week: Emihle Mzomba
Article by: Cinga Dyala
Photo credit: Photos supplied by the Artist.