When Rumbidzai Cleopatra Feremenga started modelling her goal was to “groom herself as a woman” and to become more confident, but destiny had other plans.
Before she knew it she was signing contracts for big advert deals and became one of the most sought after models in Harare. However, this sensationally beautiful young lady has other ambitions and wants her legacy to include “more than naked pictures.”
One model who Rumbi used to work with remembers her unlikely rise. She surmises: “Rumbi was shorter than most of us but she was getting all the jobs.”
Rumbi herself looks back at the time with a hint of nostalgia. “It’s quite funny how I started. I never really looked at or thought of myself as a glamour girl or anything like that. I’ve always thought I was too short.” At the time she was studying computers at Speciss College and thinking of one day becoming an actress.
“When I started Modelling with Kiri Davis my goal was only to groom myself as a woman and before I knew it was on billboards, in magazines, on T.V and I started doing shows as well,” says Rumbi.
Among her many projects were modelling work for Edgars, adverts for New Start Centre and for telecoms giant, Econet Wireless. She even appeared on the cover of then popular magazine, Parade. She pays tribute to mentor and coach Kiri Davis: “Kiri was well connected, so she was making me work all the time. It was really fun!”
Seeking bigger and better opportunities, Rumbi moved to South Africa about five years ago. Once there she did work for Soft Sheen Carson (Dark & Lovely) as a hair model. She has also done lots of other work including shoots for FIFA, whose 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa has created a lot of work in the glamour and marketing industries.
Rumbi also recently featured in the video for Sy Ntuli’s song – Uthando Lungumanqoba.
She is currently attached to Platinum Model Agency in Fourways Johannesburg, but works full time as a sales assistant. There is a tone of disappointment when she acknowledges:
“Modelling in South Africa is not as glamorous as I thought. The industry is a little dirty. You see models on TV, in magazines and all, but off the ramp you don’t want to know what many of them have to do to maintain that kind of lifestyle. There are few models that are really working hard and make so much money.”
She’s not doing as much modelling work as before because she wants to pursue her own ventures and wants “to do something serious with my life… I’m not saying modelling is not, I guess it’s up to an individual how far you want to take it.
“I like being in control,” she admits, “so I can’t always run around doing castings. When I become a mother one day I want to have more than naked pictures for my kids to be proud of. So I’m still a model but I only do modelling jobs when it suits my work schedule… For me modelling is what I do for fun, it’s not who I am and it’s not what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.” Zimbo Jam.com