For this week’s Model Feature, we interviewed Renella Matthews, Miss Teen Swakopmund 2019.
1. Tell us, who is Renella Matthews?
I’m a 16 year old girl who loves activities that allow me to bond with my family and I have a passion for numbers, Mathematics to be exact. I’m currently in Grade 11 at Namib High School. After Matriculating, I’d love to study Actuarial Science abroad, I strive to be one of the few Actuarial Scientists in our country. I aspire to make a change in the world, more focused on our youth, to encourage young leaders to speak up and stand for a better tomorrow.
2. When did you start Modelling? Since a young age, I was told that I had a model figure. I was motivated on several occasions to start modeling yet, I never saw myself wearing high heels and rocking a stage. My father also continuously told me that I had to become more feminine (I was very much of a Tom-Boy). This year, over my April school holiday, I became fed up with people telling me to walk like “a girl”. That is when I took on the challenge of joinging The Miss Teen Swakopmund competition, only to prove I could be a more feminine.
3. Who inspires you as a model?
My inspiration is Tyra Banks. Having been a great role model to many other great models, she always portrayed the type of attitude every woman needs to have in this world.
4. What was an unforgettable moment during your journey to Miss Teen Swakopmund?
The most unforgettable part of my whole journey is having my dream turn into a reality overnight, that is something I’ll remember forever.
5. Did you ever think you’d participate in such a huge pageant and win Miss Teen Swakopmund?
It was never seen as my intention to actually win, I did it to prove myself to my father. Yet, right before I got onto that stage, I was prepared for whatever outcome at the end of the night.
It still astonishes me as I go through photos from that night having seen that I went through with it. I never thought I’d manage to model infront of a huge crowd, in heels, and be so confident.
6. How do you handle negativity as a model?
When it comes to negativity, it is honestly inevitable. There will always be someone out there that will have something rude to say. You can never be everyone’s favourite, and this is how I’ve learnt to accept it.
I ignore negative statements, and focus on the positive. In life, once we fill our minds with only negative we tend to become negative ourselves, and that is one thing i refuse to allow take place. I won’t let a minority break down who I am today.
7. Are you signed to any Agency? If not, which agency would you like to work with?
Currently I have not considered signing up with an Agency, nor has it crossed my mind. However, if granted the opportunity, I’d sign with GMK Modeling Agency.
8. What are your thoughts on the Namibian modelling industry?
With the Namibian modeling industry, I love that individuals are making young girls dreams come true. They are building confident, strong, self loving future leaders. One thing that I find unfortunate is the lack of exposure these models receive. It is very unlikely in our country for a Namibian Model to go abroad and actually make a living in the modeling industry with greater businesses although we have many gorgeous female aspiring models wanting to go far. I strongly would love to see agencies striving to take our nations models to greater hights.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
5 years from now, I’d love to see myself aiming on finishing my 4 year course of Actuarial Science. I’d want to see myself working hard for a greater future for myself .
10. May we have a sneak peek into what you’d like to achieve with your new title?
I would love use my title to voice on Drug Abuse amongst our Youth, which is a cause that is very close to my heart, and a big growing concern to society at large.
I believe this is a social evil that is can never be address enough. The fact is that is the drug dealers our peers, that are now selling to our fellow youth.
My plight is for us to fight for our future leaders and not future Drug Dealers.
Secondly, I’d love to use this platform to motivate young leaders to start striving for what they want and stop hiding in the dark.
11. What advice do you have for girls who look up to you?
Get to know your true self and stand for who you are as a individual. For once you stand for something, you shall not fall for anything. Remember your worth, you are a diamond. Don’t settle for treatment as low as a side walk stone. Remain content with yourself, because You Are Beautiful Just The Way You Are.
Ice cream or chocolate
Summer or Winter
Nike or Adidas
Rise up by Andra Day
Favourite fashion trend?
Baggy Pants and crop tops
To the girls out there, I ask that you rise up, stand tall and keep your head above the water.