Dusabe’s childhood dream was to become a model. Today she is living her dream as a professional model. The New Times interviewed the 21-year-old model about her personal life, plans and the challenges in the industry. Excerpts;
Q. Who is Jeanine Dusabe?
A: I am passionate about modeling. Becoming a top model is my ultimate dream. I want to promote modeling and fashion industry here in Africa. I love photography. I am photogenic but I wouldn’t mind to work in different areas. I was born on September 19, 1992, in Huye District (former Butare) to Antoine Karegeya and Odette Bazubagira. I attended primary education at Ecole Primaire de Ngoma before heading to Groupe Scolaire St.Francois d’ Assise secondary school for my secondary education.
Q. When did you take on modeling as a professional career?
A. I begun professional modeling in 2012, with the Premier Model Agency, (PMA). Currently, I am not signed to any agency but I have featured in different fashion shows, like Rwandan Premier Model competition season one and the Rwanda fashion upgrade, among others.
Q. Who is your role model and what inspired you to take that path?
A. I am the source of my inspiration. I was passionate about modeling since my childhood and I did a lot of rehearsals while growing up. However, I look up to Tyra Banks, I like the way she handles herself in this industry.
Q. How do you maintain your size?
A. Iam naturally skinny but I used to do a lot of sports when I was in secondary school. I practiced Karate which I still do up to today. I’m very self-conscious about my health and I don’t miss any of my meals. I also try to avoid eating junk food.
Q. What do you think of Rwanda’s modeling industry?
A. This industry is still small but slowly improving despite the poor mindset of the people towards this profession. We are referred to as small things and are not respected in society; we are seen as people showing off.
Some parents deny their children who are interested in modeling to take it on; they think it’s a waste of time. What is really disturbing is that even companies that advertise on bill boards don’t seek our services. They opt to use people who don’t have the expertise or skills, now if they don’t even appreciate what we do best when will modeling ever grow?
Q. Can one only survive on modeling as a career today?
A. In this 2013, here in Rwanda you can not solely depend on modeling regardless of the fact that we are paid for what we do. It is still too little for one to depend on, so you have to look for other work for you to survive. But in a few years to come after the public starts to appreciate what this industry can offer, one will be surely able to depend on this profession.
Q. What advice can you give the young people who want to follow in your foot steps?
A. I would really appeal to the youth who are interested in this profession to nurture their talent when they are still very young.
They should work hard be aggressive and very creative because that is what this industry is all about. I also call on government to look into this profession because Rwanda has the potential to produce international models. Look at Sudan, their models are doing so well internationally, why not Rwanda.
Q. How do you spend your free time?
A. I don’t like going to clubs or bars, but I like to hang out in restaurants or take long walks with friends. I also love listening to salsa and Arabic music. Painting and photography is my other passion that consumes most of my free time.
Q. What are your future plans?
A. I intend to enroll into a modeling school to better my career.