Local model Kemo ‘Alegra’ Mosweu, who stands at about two metres tall, likes walking the runway in her natural looks.
How it all started
Alegra, as she is popularly known, is a young lady of 23 years who grew up in Gaborone. She said that she grew up as a very shy person with a little bit of a tomboyish character. At the age of 14 she was introduced to volleyball due to her height and that was when she started playing. At 15 she was selected for the U-17 national team and progressed to the U-19 team. She participated in the 2009 COSASA games where Botswana got Gold in Volleyball in Swaziland. She played for Dynamite club but struggled to balance the demands of the game and her studies at the University of Botswana at the same time. Her journey in modelling was paved in 2012 when she was scouted while walking in the Main Mall to go and try her luck at Gemstones reality TV show season 2. She tried her luck. “It came as a surprise and shock because it was my first time,” she said. That was when she ventured into the modelling industry. In 2013 she took part in the Miss Universe Botswana pageant.
She refers to her mum as the inspiration in everything that she does as she encouraged her to strive towards her passion. “She was a model back then in the 80s so I will say it runs in the family,” she giggled. When you see her walking down the ramp you won’t believe that her first runway show was just in 2014 when she was selected for the Botswana Culture and Design Week (BCDW). Last year she was one of the models who showcased at Masa Square for the Wedding Expo Fashion Show and later took part in the Renaissance Fashion Show in Namibia. Her height, body, looks, mum, sister and Tyra Banks inspire her every day to be a model.
She said the challenges that she faces as a model are criticism about her weight, height, skin colour and rejection from agencies. She said as an upcoming model in an industry in Botswana, money can also be a problem for auditions, transport and rehearsals. She regretted that the Botswana modelling industry is not easily marketable.
She appreciated what Angolan model did last year by walking the runway in her natural hair because that gives them the motivation to strive to achieve their dreams. She said that there is no need to doubt themselves just because they are black models. Alegra too just like the many models of colour, believes that there is discrimination due to colour especially in their industry because most models featured in shows, adverts or billboards are white. “For instance due to skin colour some models get rejected by agencies,” she said.
Despite all that she believes black is beautiful and modelling should be on potential take but not colour because models like Naomi Campbell and Alek Wek have done it big despite all the challenges that they faced. She said to make it in the modelling industry someone ought to be well mannered, passionate, patient, have height and healthy skinny body. She said she tries by all means to avoid negativity from people. She said she has not encountered sexual abuse that she heard models go through sometimes because if that happened to her she will not be silent on the issue.She is very positive that in the next few years she will be an international model based outside Botswana. She is the founder of Miss Youth Icon Botswana pageant.