For a long time, modelling has been a preserve for tall and slim-bodied ladies, but, Kwekwe model, Ratchel Mugoni is out to change that perception as she is shaking things up with a series of photos she has been posting on social media.
For the 27-year-old beauty who has a very natural look, no one and nothing is going to block her in her quest to carve a name for herself in the cutthroat arts industry.
A model and fashion designer who is into crafting and crocheting, Mugoni is yet to showcase on the ramp. But if the photos she has been sharing are anything to go by, she is right on track as she has been receiving positive feedback with most encouraging her to take to the ramp.
The global Covid-19 pandemic came as a blessing in disguise for Mugoni as most people who are spending a lot of time on social media, have been following her posts.
What makes her outstanding is the fact that her images are very decent and yet, they are getting rave reviews.
In an interview during the week, Mugoni revealed how she grew up with a passion for art from when she was at primary school. Her sister Hope, who is a musician then urged her to pursue an Arts degree which she would complete in 2018.
“I was so passionate about arts from a young age. I grew up with an urge to draw and I later ventured into designing where I would craft bracelets and necklaces. My sister Hope was impressed and urged me to enrol with Chinhoyi University for a Creative Art and Design degree which I completed in 2015,” Mugoni said.
The major turning point was however when Mugoni started gaining weight in 2016.
“My friend noticed my body that was growing big. By then, we were at college and usually, we’d take so many pictures and post them on social media platforms. My friends however, did not discourage me and instead encouraged me to continue taking pictures and posting them,” she said.
Ever since then, she has always enjoyed having photo shoots and posting the images.
Using her crafting and designing experience, Mugoni would design her own clothes that befit heavily built women, not knowing that her works would someday inspire other women and make her a hit on social media.
“The pictures became a hit on my Instagram and Facebook as more and more people began commenting on them, encouraging me to keep posting. Back then, we took the pictures using cell phones and later started using cameras so as to improve the quality.
“As the quality improved, the likes increased as well,” said Mugoni.
Although she has never modelled, Mugoni who is also into designing shoes and handbags through her crocheting and crafting skills, has made significant strides in the fashion designing and photo shooting side.
In 2014, she designed the African print for the Miss Kwekwe Expo pageant models and the following year, she designed the same for the Star Bright finalists.
Through her photo shoots, she said she has clinched a number of endorsements with a number of clothing shops whereby she poses for pictures in their outfits.
“I have a number of shops, although small for now, that I am working with. I am also working with a Harare-based fashion designer Jos Couture so it looks promising,” she said.
Embracing Africa, Mugoni said is always her major theme.
“My art is more on appreciating the African side of things, Africans and the black in us. This is why I also do vintage photo shoots that emphasise more about the basics. I rarely put on make-up,” she said.
Born in a family of two boys and two girls, it seems art runs in the family as her father used to be a photographer back in the day. Her sister, Hope Mugoni-Musabayana is a gospel musician while her Brother Spencer is a musician who has taken the gospel scene by storm.
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