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Interview: Model Joy Zuba (Denmark)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I am a 29 year old freelance model living in Denmark, but my roots are from Rwanda. I have been doing modelling since 2011 and a year ago it became more intense than before. In my everyday life, I work with vulnerable children. I love the way I can help to influence on their well-being and development towards a positive direction.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

There are not many things I would change about myself. I know that everything I am is a sum of the struggles, happy times, people and environment I have been surrounded with since I was born. Changing just one thing is likely to mean that I would be another person and that I would not be where I am today. When that said, I would like to evolve more as a person. All of my weaknesses have a strong side and therefore I would like to be better of balancing them out.

How did you start modelling?

In 2011, a photographer stopped me at my working place. She asked me if I wanted to help her with a photo competition she was about to attend. In the following years, I helped out a friend who was studying as a photographer and been modelling for different labels.

What do you think of the work as a model?

To me, modelling is more than just standing in front of a camera. It is about networking, relationships and growing. It challenges me in so many different ways and teaches me a lot of things I can “copy” to other areas of life. As a person, I like my comfort zone and I like when things are in control, so doing modelling I am pushing myself to evolve in that area and pushing myself to see the beauty of not knowing the next step or not being in control all the time. As a model you learn to perform at your best right NOW. There is not always time to think about your fears, so you really learn just to trust yourself, your qualities and your gifts. These lessons are very important to me in other areas of my life. Furthermore, it blesses me with the gift of working with a lot of talented people with their own unique personalities. They inspire me a lot!

The model industry has also struggled with accepting dark skinned people. I have been rejected in the past, because my skin was “too dark” and my hair was “too wild.” With the little I can do from the position I have, I want to contribute to a greater focus on darks skinned models. The industry has come a long way, and in the long run I hope the diversity would be even greater than it is today.

What is your beauty regimen?

For as long as I can remember, being physically active has been a lifestyle for me, and it still is. At the same time I am very aware of my mental health. Mental health, physical health and eating clean - I call them the triangle - are very important to me, ´cause if I am lacking in one of these areas, It is immediately shown in my skin and my energy. Skin wise I cleanse every other day and try to remember to drink a lot of water.

What are your plans for the future?

At this point, I don’t have a clear answer to that question model wise. I want to keep growing and keep pushing myself and use my curiosity to learn more. Whatever I learn as a model is beneficial in my everyday life.

What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?

My energy, curiosity, positivity, smiling a lot, being an open minded person and the way I care for others are my biggest personal qualities. There are the core of my personality and I carry them with me as a model as well. At the same time, I know my boundaries and I do not compromise on them. I don't do naked photoshoots. Nudes (more or less) are off the table and not up for discussion. But I love to work with people and I love to hear about their new ideas.

What are some of your favorite experiences so far?

Overcoming my fears of the unknown, learning to be more creative, learning to trust my guts and learning to perform at my best.

One of my favourite experiences are to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people. They inspire me in their own way.

Do you have any advice for those who want to start modelling?

Know yourself well, know your strength and weaknesses and learn to have a good relationship with these strength and weaknesses. Don’t start modelling just because you like the attention or recognition that comes along with it. Recognition and attention are basic human needs, but I hope and wish for the younger generation that they take time to know themselves before going into the model industry. One can experience defeat in all spheres of life, but if you are young and do not know yourself well enough yet, those experiences of defeat can have a great negative impact on your identity and personal growth. Especially because, as a model, you are mostly alone and not on a team with a community, such as one in team sports.

Another advice is to remember what goes around comes around. Be open, treat people as you want to be treated and be genuinely and authentically kind. In that way you will more likely built a network of people who will help you during your career. Surround yourself with people you trust, people who pushes you to be the best version of you and people who inspire you. Being inspired from other people helps you grow!!

What do you think of the magazine?

I think it is an amazing magazine. I love how it gathers stories about photographers, models and designers. In this way, it also creates the opportunity to network for the performers as well as the readers.

Instagram: joyzuba

Photo: PAGE7 Photo

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