Mimi is difficult to ignore. Her energy and vibrancy will strike you the moment you meet her. But before you meet her in person, you will most likely come across her on social media – a plus-sized model who does not hide in dark corners so that women with smaller bodies can steal all the thunder of femininity, all the accolades of confidence and all the opportunity for the limelight.
A few years ago, after completion of her degree at the University of Cape Town, she was an unknown blogger, writing about fashion and lifestyle from her home town, Harare.
She was persistent, confident and had a vision. She decided that she would not only be a voice, she would be a face and a body. If you follow her on Instagram you will know that her journey over the last few years has been glamorous, inspiring and intense.
She was recently appointed as an ambassador for leading lifestyle brand, Legacy Lifestyle and is pushing ahead to use her voice and presence as tools for good.
Zimbo Jam spoke with her about this new appointment and her role as a plus-sized model in a world drowning in images portraying slimmer women as the ideal shape and size.
You are a plus size model, and most women would let that stop them from going out there and doing what you have done. But you exude confidence, boldness and beauty. How did you build this persona? Where did the inspiration to be ‘Mimi’ come from? Do you have any role models for what you are doing?
Well for me the first thing when people ask me that is why would a fuller figured woman exuding confidence surprise you? Society’s perception that “plus size” women generally are insecure and not confident is rather unfortunate. I believe in celebrating all shapes of women and encouraging healthy living.
While I believe that we should celebrate all shapes and sizes, the reality is that media celebrates a certain type of woman and I have realised a number of things over the years;
Firstly, so many other women who maybe have a little extra here and there want to be celebrated too and dress fabulously. A number of women are happy to see women they can relate to loving themselves and living life fully and most of all, being just as sexy and fierce.
Women often approach me and share their experiences of being plus size and the need for sexy bold clothes for women like us. This inspires me to create more content and celebrate myself. Fashion designers are now embracing fuller figured women, so that helps.
I also think people are attracted to confidence in the right dosages. Also, knowing you are you and that is what makes you unique is important.
For me, just being me has gotten me this far.
In terms of inspiration; fashion wise, I do enjoy what Modest Wear blogger, Saufeeya Goodson based in Dubai and for the fuller woman Thick Leeyonce in South Africa is pretty awesome.
Travel wise, I love Joy Kendi from Kenya and Olaj from Guinea-Bissau. There are many others who inspire me and have their own unique styles.
What are your immediate plans as an ambassador for the Legacy brand?
There are lots of exciting things planned, but more particularly for the Zimbabwean market I look forward to educating consumers more on what the Legacy Lifestyle brand is about and the amazing rewards members can enjoy. Furthermore, I will certainly be keeping audiences updated on all the new developments with Legacy Lifestyle in Zimbabwe and beyond. Also, expect lots of style and exciting content.
You are the only blogger on the list of Legacy ambassadors, which includes Zimbabwean TV presenter Vimbai Mutinhiri, South African Olympic champion, Ryk Neethling, and Bafana Bafana soccer player, Tsepo Masilela. How do you feel being in such an elite club?
I’m honoured and excited, more so being a blogger. It shows how blogging is becoming mainstream and underscores the important role and skills bloggers have. Brands like Legacy Lifestyle are particular about who they work with and being endorsed by such a premier brand and to be associated with Olympic Champions and leading personalities is beyond the expectations I had imagined.
You have built your brand by mostly pushing it online and using your own resources. What are the lessons you have learnt doing that, especially in an economy like Zim?
Perseverance is key. Do not give up! A big part of the Kicking It With Mimi brand is consistency and quality content. Keep pushing yourself, improving and being tactful. We may not always have cash but we have skills and for me exchanging services and skills has been important for my brand development and networking. In Zimbabwe, you have to be resourceful, determined and creative to push your brand.