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Meet the Top Model Mmina Gaebonwe

As we aim at enlightening and promoting entrepreneurship in Africa, light magazine Africa saw the need to interview one of the young contemporary entrepreneurs who are in the modeling industry changing lives of their fellow young people. You don’t have to be above 30 years to see the need to change lives but rather be Patriotism of your continent. Mmina Gaebonwe; the owner of EmIvy Model and Talent Management and the founder of ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP gave us an insight of his experience and on going project for the modeling industry.

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About Mmina Gaebonwe

Mmina Gaebonwe born and raised in Maun, Mmina started modeling at the age of 16, and by 18 she had become the first winner of ‘Gemstones Model Search’ competition and was on her way to New York, New York to work with the biggest agencies in the world Wilhelmina Model Agency.

There after she relocated to Cape Town in South Africa where she continued her career in modeling with Outlaws Model Agency. Where she did campaigns for some of the biggest magazines in Southern Africa. She was repeatedly featured in magazines like Marie Claire Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, Destiny Magazine, Glamour Magazine. She was also featured on the cover of a few magazines like Saxon Magazine, 36 Magazine and Lapologa Magazine. She also did fashion shows in New York and South Africa.

She is a former ‘Miss Universe Botswana‘ finalist and currently ‘Miss Earth Air 2014‘ She then moved to Johannesburg after briefly studying film and television (in Botswana) where she is now signed to ‘Boss Models‘ Johannesburg.

Mmina Gaebonwe currently owns and runs EmIvy Model and Talent Management, a company based in Gaborone, with a global market.

EmIvy Model and Talent Management or EmModels was established and started to fill a gap in the market in Botswana, to provide management and represent aspiring models in Botswana. She started a campaign in 2013 called ModelsCare, which sees models, and beauty queens come together and support different charity organizations. ModelsCare has successfully raised awareness for different organizations such as Bomme Maun Mothers. Solomon Dihutso Primary School (school for disabled children) and a few more.

Tell us a little about your modeling experience.

I started modeling at 16, and 18 I auditioned for a model competition called Gemstones Model Search and won it. And immediately after I finished my last year of high school. I went to New York; I lived there, worked and learned all about the model industry there. I then went to live in Cape Town for a couple of years and modeled with Outlaws models and it was the best time of my life. I’m absolutely in love with Cape Town. I have lived in New York and London and all these cities but nothing compares to Cape Town. It’s full of beautiful and wonderful things. Simply makes my heart happy.

Eventually I moved to Johannesburg to pursue an acting career. I have appeared in a series called Ngempela so far. And just landed a movie role.

Photography: James Meakin
Photography: James Meakin

My most favorite photographer and he is the in the game James Meakin. So I’m happy I had a chance to shoot with him.

What are some of the challenges facing models in Africa?

It’s a very difficult industry to break into in Africa. And once you break into it, it takes a lot to remain in it. A lot of girls struggle to get work because the competition is tough and you have to stay relevant.

Do you consider Modeling as Entrepreneurship? Why?

Yes! Using your talent to generate wealth, you have to be willing to develop, organize, and manage your own talents along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”

Apart from working for companies have you done any charity works or is there any undergoing charity projects?

I have my own modeling agency.

EmIvy Model and Talent Management or EmModels was established and started to fill a gap in the market in Botswana, to provide management and represent aspiring models in Botswana.

We are giving our customers a chance to realize their dreams; we are selling the idea that they can generate wealth from their talents and gifts.

Our aim is to try to galvanize as many youths as possible to be advocates for change. We are starting a revolution of art and pictures and photographs and blogs.

It is crucial for us youth to create our own opportunities by promoting creativity as a wealth-generating career. Botswana has produced creative like Kaone Kario, Mpule Kwelagobe that have gone to showcase their talents on an international level, therefore there is need to find, uproot and mentor new talents from Botswana and the rest of Africa. We strive to make our government aware of the need for the Creation of a supportive climate for the incubation and development of young talent by internationally recognized talent identification schemes that showcase and promote new creative in the businesses.

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What is the 1st Annual Model and Creative workshop? 

The 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP is a brainchild of EmIvy Model and Talent Management, which was established in 2015. It is a 1-day event based around the creative industry in Botswana and Africa. Creative are given a platform of intellectual exchange of ideas and connect people from different creative disciplines it is a place to test ideas, learn new skills and tackle social and civic challenges together. In its first year it had an attendance of 100 to 150 participants. Knowledge and experience is shared through such workshops, mentoring and peer networks.

The 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP’s aims are a Creation of a supportive climate

for the incubation and development of young talent by internationally recognized talent identification schemes that showcase and promote new creative in the businesses.

Our aim is to develop projects, which support innovation and enterprise in culture. We strongly believe

in the value of knowledge sharing and collaboration in helping each other build sustainable businesses in the creative and cultural industries

The UK’s definition of the creative industries is those industries that are based on
 individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs
 through developing intellectual property. They include thirteen sectors: advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software (i.e. video games), music, the performing arts, publishing, software, and television and radio which includes probably all of us here today.

What unifies us all is the fact that they all trade with creative assets in the form of
 intellectual property (IP): the framework through which creativity translates into
 economic value. Governments and creative sectors across the world are increasingly recognizing its importance as a generator of jobs, wealth and cultural engagement

The UK has the largest creative sector of the European Union. In terms of GDP it is the largest in the world, and according to UNESCO it is, in absolute terms, the most successful exporter of cultural goods and services in the world, ahead of even the US. Botswana has the potential to build a successful creative economy and take a leading role in developing the creative economy. Batswana have a chance to duplicate the methods used by the UK to build an economy where the youth can generate wealth.

In an ever-changing global landscape, we recognize that creative hubs are important they allow inventive and imaginative people to share workspace and access experience, tools and investment they are designed to create collaborations between people from different backgrounds and disciplines.                                                                                                                 In the UK alone 1 in 30 people are freelance and not working in a formal ‘job’ – hubs are Spaces where creative get to meet unlikely allies are made. These hubs might take Different forms: temporary to permanent, digital to physical, local to global. They might be social media (Instagram pages, Facebook groups emailing list) bookshops, coffee shops or but they all have one thing in common they allow inventive and imaginative people to share workspace and access inspiration, ideas exchange and support.

From the beginning I mentioned I love Arts; Out of that I have a platform;

www.mminagaebonwe.com is a website owned by Mmina Gaebonwe and it gives artists a platform to showcase their work or service and fans of creativity can interact, explore and make a direct purchase directly from the artist. Our goal is to help all types of work become easily available from the actual artists themselves. This is a way to showcase Botswana to international market as www.mminagaebonwe.com has an international audience. 

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Who are the beneficiaries?

Young creative in Botswana receive a platform to showcase their skills and learn and interact with models and creative from other countries.

Models will be given the start of a career and the feel of an international market

This 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP promotes Botswana as a successful exporter of cultural goods and services in the world

The 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP benefits the economy of Botswana by building the fashion, arts, and creative industry by building the industry in Botswana so that creative can practice this trade in Botswana.

We support local business such as photographers, make up artists, and bloggers who attend the event. This exposes the local talent to the international market. We hope to increase long-term investment opportunities for the creative industry in Botswana. We create a supportive climate for the incubation and development of young talent by internationally recognized talent identification schemes that showcase and promote new designer businesses.

The 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP increases recognition of Botswana as a capital of creativity through increased levels of press coverage and ongoing city profiling.

We create a supportive climate for the incubation and development of young talent by internationally recognized talent identification schemes that showcase and promote new designer businesses.

The 1st ANNUAL MODEL AND CREATIVES WORKSHOP increases recognition of Botswana as a capital of creativity through increased levels of press coverage and ongoing city profiling.

Are you accepting models across Africa at the moment?

In the years to come i will be accepting models from all around the world, but at the moment i don’t feel ready (business wise and mentally) to take on more models and talent from around Africa, being responsible for someone’s career is a very big thing, you are not only looking after their career you are also responsible for their dreams and goals and aspirations.

How do you define success?

Success to me is being able to create art every single day.

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What motivates you?

My mother. She has an undefined strength that I absolutely am in awe of.

What will be your advice for the young ones going into modeling as a source of income?

Be willing to take risks. Knock on doors and learn that rejection is part of the journey.

Describe yourself in three words.

Happy, Creative and Visionary

Light Magazine Africa is enlightening and promoting young contemporary entrepreneurs in Africa, which area in the Modeling Industry should we focus to improve the lives of models in Africa?

I think all areas of modeling deserve the same attention. We (Models) all have the same goal.

Kindly share your views on Beautiful Mminna

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Anthony Ansong

Ceo - Ansong Holdings LLC Co-Founder & Editor Light Magazine Africa Author of Children Book Entrepreneur

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