Zim model on runway for Louis Vuitton, Samsung
Modeling has often been one of those occupations underestimated in Zimbabwean society. From the height of its popularity in the early 2000s, it has experienced some downfall. However, that hasn’t stopped individual models from pushing the boundaries of the industry.
Iwani Mawocha is slowly making a name for herself as a model, VTuber, voice over artist and actor.
The Singapore-based Zimbabwean has featured on the runway for Louis Vuitton, The Front Row Virtual Runway, Nafa, Raffles Design Institute, Puma x BMW, Naiise (Design Orchard), Great Singapore Sale, The New Paper New Face Competition, Zalora, Rural at Ramp and more recently at Samsung.
Iwani was also recently featured on the Vogue website in a campaign for a brand named Werable which is shortlisted for the Vogue Innovation Award because it makes fashionable and durable clothing that is also easy to wear for injured and disabled people!
Iwani has featured in articles by Elle, GZ Magazine, Her World and NUYOU, among others, which uplifted the models’ image. She featured as an extra in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians and has also performed in theater roles.
Iwani is a professional voice actor and signed model at NOW Model Mgmt (SG), with training for theater and film at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (UK), Singapore Repertory Theater (SG) and the Ronin Action Group (SG). When not a model or actress, she spends her time live streaming and making music as a 3D virtual character she built called Iwani AI, an Afro-futuristic Android who changes shape between mode day and night.
She holds a BA in Afrofuturist and Afropolitan Design with a minor in Computer Programming and Creative Writing from Yale-NUS College, from which she graduated in 2018 as the first Kewalram Chanrai Fellow. She is an aspiring hyper-polyglot, which means being able to speak over 11 languages. During her university studies, she also studied music at Paris Sorbonne, Czech with the Yale Summer Program and Korean at Yonsei University, where she will return in 2022.
After graduation, she became the co-founder and former UI / UX manager of Panalyt, a Saas startup that uses HR and business data to give companies useful and actionable insights into employees.
In 2010, she co-founded an organization called Mustard Seed Africa (MSA) which focuses on the economic empowerment of women at the grassroots level in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, in which she is still involved today.
Her work in videography and technology has won awards from the United Nations Environment Program, the University of Hong Kong and the Girls Impact the World Film Festival. She was the youngest nominee and winner of the Digital Female Leader Awards in the Global Hero category.
She is a published writer and was shortlisted for the 2021 Iowa Review Awards. – Greedy South.