At only eight years of age, Gaëlle Sangwa Muberuka has modelled at some of the country’s top runway fashion shows.
Muberuka is a primary three pupil at College APACOPE, Muhima and is contracted to Golden Models, a modelling agency founded by Fashionista, Franco Kabano.
Despite her young age, the fast-rising model’s talent has earned her gigs to headline runways at Rwanda’s biggest fashion events, including Kigali Fashion Week, Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show and Mercedes Benz Fashion week Kigali.
Even at such a tender age, Muberuka says she wants to become a top international model like her idol, British supermodel Naomi Campbell.
She spoke with Sunday Magazine’s Eddie Nsabimana about her modelling passion and her future dream to become a top supermodel.
What inspired you to become a model at a very young age?
Modelling is my passion. I like watching fashion shows on Television and I really love to see models hitting the runway. That is where I started doing modelling exercises alone.
Because I was already a fan of modelling, my mother’s friend took me to Kabano’s agency when I was five years old so I could learn different modelling tips and take my talent to another level.
Muberuka hitting the runway at Kigali Fashion Week. / Courtesy
Since then, my talent got big exposure thanks to headlining different big fashion shows in Rwanda, which helped me improve a lot. Now, my friends call me a ‘star’ because of my various modelling gigs.
Tell us your first experience modelling before the public
I was feeling good and was not nervous at all because I was trained to be confident when modelling before the public. Instead, I was happy to realize my dream and the admiration and support from the audience motivated me to do even better in the following fashion shows.
Which big fashion shows have you performed so far?
So far, I have performed at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Kigali and Kigali Fashion Week. I am also among the models selected to headline the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show’s runway next month.
How do you manage to balance studies and modelling?
Modelling cannot stop me from studying because I like school too. Look, I was second in my class last term. So, it does not affect my studies at all.
I can’t skip school to go for modelling exercises because I know the right time to study and time to model.
Which model do you look up to?
Naomi Campbell is the model I admire most. I also learn a lot from local model Sisi Ngamije.
What do you dream to be when you grow up?
I want to one day become a supermodel not only known in Rwanda but also on the international scene. I also want to be a doctor.
How can you describe your experience so far since you became a model?
I have now become a star. Not a star that much but a star at school. Everybody knows that I am a good model.
Is your mother supportive?
A lot! When she gets time while at home, she teaches me different modelling tips and how I should behave on stage. I learn a lot at my agency but, for me, her contribution makes me morally motivated that she cares for what I do!
What message do you have for your agemates aspiring to be models?
Reference to my experience so far, age does not matter as long as you aspire to be a model. The most important thing is passion.