By Bongani Ndlovu
BULAWAYO-born plus size model Hazel Matenda said after her appearance on Jah Prayzah’s Sadza Nemuriwo music video, the attention has brought her business, but there have been some weird comments from people.
The music video, which was shot in rural Matobo, was released last week and featured Iyasa and Ben Chest.
In the music video, a short-haired curvaceous woman bent over a cooking fire sent tongues wagging and even Jah Prayzah shared a picture of her on his social media pages with the caption @ms.important (Hazel’s Instagram handle) manga mavapa here? #sadzanemuriwo.
After sharing her picture, the comments page went into a frenzy with men and some women eyeballing her. In the midst of praises from people about her voluptuous body, there were some who pointed out her unshaved armpits.
Hazel (26), who grew up in Mpopoma, said she was not fazed by the negative comments.
“I’m not affected by what people said because it’s something that I can change. I follow a lot of socialites and I see people comment about different things – their bodies or how they are dressed. I did not expect people to post positive comments only.
“However, it is something that I can change. If they had said something that I couldn’t change I’d have been hurt,” said Hazel.
After the added attention, Hazel said there had been people requesting for her services on the business front.
Unfortunately, according to Hazel, there are people with weird requests with one willing to pay US$100 per photo of her.
“Even before Jah Prayzah, I’ve always had weird people inboxing me on social media. I’ve also had a lot of inquiries and business proposals from people in my email,” said Hazel.
“The weirdest is someone emailing me saying they want me to do a photo shoot for them. I then asked him what business he was into and he wanted photos of me that he wants to gaze at.
“He was offering USD$100 per photo. He said he didn’t want anything explicit and I was to be dressed in whatever I wanted”.
She said she has learnt to be very careful with who she deals with.
“I’ve received offers from outside the country from people wanting me to do photo shoots for them. They’ve offered a lot but I have to be very careful with who I engage these days,” said Hazel.
She credits model Ben Chest who also featured on the music video for helping her get the part.
“Jah Prayzah’s team was looking for models in Bulawayo to take part in his music video and a friend of mine, Ben Chest, happened to send a couple of my pictures to them and I was chosen for the part”.
Her featuring on the music video, she said, showed that brands were taking an interest in plus size models.
“I am lucky to be a plus size model because in recent times, the plus size modelling industry has grown and this is great news for full-figured women who have always dreamt of becoming any type of model they wish to.
“Opportunities are many and around everywhere, brands are changing their typical ‘model’ looks to a more realistic look and this is where plus size models have the chance to get into the industry,” said Hazel. The Chronicle