Saturday, June 27, 2015



Chocolate-Covered TANZANIA-native Supermodel FLAVIANA MATATA covers the new issue of NEW AFRICAN WOMAN!!!

Here are some highlights from the interview with the beauty who reigned as MISS TANZANIA 2009:

NAW: Who was Flaviana growing up. What did you aspire to?

Flaviana: I grew up in a very normal Tanzanian family, where I had support of everyone. Thank God I have a very strong and religious father. I have every reason to believe that his support, prayers and determination in moulding us is what keeps me and my siblings going. Growing up I wanted to be an engineer and I actually went to college for that, everyone believed I could do it. It turned out I picked another road; nevertheless, I still have something to fall back to once I am done with modelling (smiles).

You are in an industry that is all about beauty. Our mantra at NAW is that ‘Our beauty is diverse’ because Africa is as diverse as the word can get. Many times we hear criticism of how some African women aspire to a certain beauty ideal that is removed from Africa. In your view, is there such a thing as ideal beauty?

I don’t believe there is such a thing as ideal beauty. Our young women and girls should be taught that beauty is beyond physical appearance and the celebrities that we constantly see in the media. For a young woman like me who is in the industry, I constantly see my peers struggle with the ideal definition of beauty. This is a major issue among young girls that has been perpetuated by the media and we need to start counteracting the conversation by openly talking about the definition of beauty. We need young women to learn about beauty in terms of leadership, developing good character, accessing education, and owning their voice.


With titles like ‘Miss Universe’ and ‘supermodel’ it’s impossible to turn a blind eye to your incredible achievements. What brought you to fashion? Is it something that you’ve always aspired to be?

 Supermodel? Woow! This is humbling, but I am not there yet (laughs); soon inshallah! To be honest I never thought I would get into modelling, it is thanks to my friends for insisting and making sure I pursued it. I now love and enjoy this journey I chose and I have been able to help children back home from what I do. This industry has led me to meet amazing people. It is surely a bridge for so many things. With the support I get from my agency Wilhelmina, I can only wait to see what the future holds for me.
As exciting as modelling sounds, we know there are things you wished the job didn’t come with. What are the ups and downs of the fashion industry? 

 I have learnt to take everything as it comes because I once used to get stressed over things that I didn’t have control of and ended up being miserable. I try to always stay positive and believe God is in control. I am here for a reason and God didn’t bring me this far to let me fall.
In a past interview with Diesel + EDUN, you spoke about Africans’ lack of appreciation for fashion. You expressed your hope for the growth of the African fashion industry. In your opinion, has much changed since that interview in 2013?

 To be honest, we are slowly getting better, day by day, though we still have a very long way to go. Fashion industry people in Africa need to take things seriously if we really want to make an impact on the global stage .We have a lot of talent, but the people involved need to take African fashion to the next level.
The New African (our sister publication) picked you as one of ‘Africa’s Most Influential People’ and many see you as a role model. How does Flaviana get it right? 

 That was very humbling. I still have a lot of work to do but it feels great to be appreciated for what I have achieved so far. I do this work now with full passion and respect. I can’t be right all the time but being me and understanding the position I have in my community is very important. My brother always reminds me to stay grounded, work hard, listen more, pray and stay focused. I believe success comes from determination, passion and hard working. These pillars always lead me, and above all is my God. For young Africans who want to pursue modelling, I advise them to step out and show their talents. I won’t lie to them, it’s such a tough business and it becomes very competitive every single day. Always have a plan B just in case it doesn’t turn out as you expected. But again don’t give up, go to open calls, don’t be shy to ask your networks for introductions to go meet agencies. Europe and New York is a place to be for now if you really want to pursue modelling as a career. Also don’t forget to have a thick skin; as I said, fashion is a tough business.



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