Namibian Beauty Branches Out in the U.S.

FRESH from a month-long trip to Los Angeles, Gina Mwoombola has been flying the Namibian flag high in the United States of America.

The trip saw her working on performance and tour videos for American hip-hop duo Audio Push (famous for the club banger ‘Teach Me How to Jerk’) and meeting with AampRs and producers from various record labels, as well as meeting rap superstar Kendrick Lamar.

“It all started in February 2014 when I released my first instrumental EP titled ‘Initium’. I really wanted to get my music production off the ground with a body of work, so I sent it off to some record labels in Los Angeles and Paris. The response was amazing and the EP is still being downloaded and played today,” the 23-year-old said.

While no contracts were signed just yet, Gina, also known as Gina Jeanz, said that the trip proved useful for making international connections in the music industry.

Making music is her passion, but the long-legged beauty is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Graphic Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and has been working as a professional model for the past five years. She mentioned that studying and working at the same time is tough, but added “the great thing about my course is that it gives me flexibility to do my research even while I’m travelling and working on other projects.”

Gina is based in Cape Town, but travels to the US once a year or more if possible, depending on her workload. “Now that I’ve got a good base both in New York and LA, I will be travelling to the States for some time,” she added. “As a model, it’s important to travel and work in different markets as you are building your portfolio at the same time. Not only do you get the chance to work in a different country, but you meet and work with some amazing people too,” Gina said.

Cornering the market as not only a young, black model, but a young, black African model, Gina said she hasn’t encountered any discrimination directly but that it happens all the time in the fashion industry. “When I first started out, it took me about a year and a half to start booking TV commercials and international jobs… You don’t just become a model over night, it takes some time to get your foot in the door and actually get in,” she said.

Gina, who The Weekender reported on almost a year ago (‘O-M-Gina!’, 16 August 2013), can be spotted on television screens in a Woolworths denim campaign alongside Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel and recently shot an ad for Coke Zero. “(The modelling industry) may seem all that glamorous, but a lot goes down behind the scenes. It’s a crazy industry, you need to be sharp upstairs. As far as being a black Namibian model – I love it!” she said.

Source : The Namibian