In the first post of this 4-part series, Valerie Musyimi, 17, shared with us her passion for social activism, and in the second, her experience in the high fashion commercial modeling industry. From the couple of years that I’ve know Valerie, and as seen in the previous 2 blog posts, I’m sure we can all agree that she is a person who is dedicated to everything she sets her mind to and is passionate about. How she does it has always been a question at the back of my mind and I look up to her for it. She is busy with school work, her modeling career, and her passion for activism, yet still, she always finds time to practice self-love and care and make time for her friends and family. I also love that she knows exactly who she is and what she wants in life. In the third part of this series, she shares with us how she’s been able to juggle her modeling career with school, as well as her future dreams and plans:
You just graduated high school, but how were you able to juggle both your growing modeling career and your school work?
It takes sacrifice. Sometimes, I am lucky enough not to get a lot of castings, and then sometimes I get castings on a regular schedule. I definitely had to prioritize, for example, by doing my homework before Saturday on weekends because most of my castings, shows, and photoshoots take place on either Saturday or Sunday. I also learned to focus and take more advantage of my time in school instead of doing schoolwork on weekends. Having a planner really helped because I knew in advance how my schedule would look like each week.
As you move on to university, you mentioned that you’ll be pursuing social conflict and human rights. Do you, thus, plan to continue with your modeling career? If so, how do you plan to combine both your love for modeling and passion for human rights?
I plan to continue with modeling for as long as I can. I have not set a timer as to when I will stop modeling for I am very open to life changes. I might gain more interest in social justice or something entirely different and end up giving up modeling. I am still very young and I do not want to pressure myself as to what I should be by whatever age or time. I know that I am brave enough to handle whatever life throws my way.
If I do, however, end up doing both modeling and having a career in social justice, I plan to incorporate both interests by actively practicing advocacy in the modeling industry for there is a lot that still needs to be done on the issue of inclusion. I plan to shine a light on the most subtle to the most crude forms of discrimination that ‘minority groups’ face in the industry, as well as to contribute to the movement of inclusivity, equal treatment, and justice.
Do you have any dreams in both sectors, perhaps those that you hope to achieve in the next, let’s say, 10 years?
In the human rights sector, I hope to be enjoying the work that I will be doing and to find it fulfilling, hopefully working with a renowned organization where I will be able to put my skills and knowledge into practice in different regions of the world. Working in the field of human rights and social justice requires heavy communal effort in order to achieve full realization of goals. I hope to be able to work with groups of people that are driven by the same passion and are hoping to achieve similar goals as me. I hope to have partnered with various people and groups from diverse ethnicities and shared ideas on how social justice can be achieved sooner and have long lasting effects. Collaboration is indeed the key to the great achievement of any goal.
In the long run, I also hope to start and be a founding member of quite a number of foundations that focus on delivering services to communities that experience neglect in terms of inequalities, conflict, and other unimaginable disasters.
As for the modeling sector, I hope to have made quality connections within the industry and to still enjoy it. I hope to have advanced my profile, walked for a good number of the annual fashion week runway shows, as well as raised awareness and actively acted on the issue of racism and under-representation of all body types and sizes within the industry.
With her drive, who’s to stop her from pursuing her biggest dreams? Stay tuned for part 4 where Valerie concludes with advice for aspiring models and activists next Friday, September the 13th. And if you haven’t already, be sure to read part 1 where she shares her passion for social activism and part 2 where she shares her experience with modeling.
– Dashushka ♥