By Lady Killa
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
iKandy, birth name Tuyakula Napandula Musheko, was born and raised in the South African city of Namibia, Windhoek. Growing up in a household with three other children, young Tuyakula wanted to stick out.
At school, she did just that, as she attened primarily white schools. Being exposed to so many cultures at such a young age has taught iKandy to be accepting to all types of people. As a child, and even to this day, a love for television has given iKandy a vivid imagination.
Her wide imagination is what led her into the world of modeling. When she came of age, iKandy's mother allowed her to participate in mini fashion shows and the rest is history. Recently, Hip Hop Vibe caught up with iKandy and landed the exclusive interview, thus making her the first Hottie of the Week.
1. Q. Exactly what has inspired you to become a model?
A. I fell in love with fashion at a young age but I only had an eye for it and my designing skills were not my strongest point. Since I was 12years old people have been suggesting I become one because I had the height and looks but I was too much of a tomboy. As I grew older I came to appreciate it and was highly attracted to that form of art.
2. Q. Which models inspired you growing up?
A. I was inspired by Liya Kadebe due to the fact that she is a fellow African model that had made it far in the industry. Tyra Banks because she was a curvy model just like I am and taught me to embrace them. Heide Klum because I have never seen anybody more humble in the midst of such an industry of people who to me seem to sell their soul to the devil.
3. Q. How long have you been in the business yourself?
A. I have been in the industry since grade 8(2004) doing mini fashion shows and promotions.
4. Q. Have you run into any negativity while pursuing your dream?
A. Yes. As normal girls do you become insecure about your body growing up so because you fell that you are never as pretty or as thin as the next girl. I finally grew out of it.
5. Q. Do you feel as if you have an advantage over American models?
A. I feel the only way I have an advantage to American girls is that the modeling industry here is not as congested but other than that I feel they have a better chance of making it big and landing bigger accounts.
6. Q. Is there any pressure on you, being a model of color in a profession dominated by white women?
A. Yes. One would think because this is Africa the discrimination wouldn’t be as bad against black models but the girls that land the good, international deals are usually white or mixed. You would be able to count the all black girls on one hand.
7. Q. How do you plan to leave your mark on the modeling industry?
A. Despite the times that I might have to go the extra mile for true art I would like to be known as the model that truly embraced their natural beauty. I would like to let women experience the feeling of true beauty which in my opinion comes from appreciating what God gave you. And from that you gain confidence and with confidence anything is possible.
8. Q. How many gigs have you landed since being in the business?
A. More then I can remember but all for fun and nothing really major.
9. Q. In the future, do you plan to branch out of modeling to also possibly do television and film?
A. Yes if I’m fortunate enough to find an undiscovered talent that allows me to branch out into television and film then I would without a doubt.
10. Q. What are some of your interests outside of modeling?
A. MUSIC, MUSIC and more MUSIC… Keeps me alive.
11. Q. What is your favorite television program, if any?
A. 90210 ;)
12. Q. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
A. I would love to be a mother by then and a CEO of a bank and still headed on up.
13. Q. Once you do make it big, do you see yourself mentoring young models, such as yourself?
A. Most defiantly. I have noticed a lot of people that made it far forget how it was when you still had nothing so id like to share my experiences if I ever make it big to help young models learn from them and help any other way I can at that stage.
14. Q. More than anyone else, who do you admire in show business, as a whole?
A. Beyonce Knowless. Not only do I admire this lady but she is the one person I envy. She gets to do what she loves the most and because of that she is able to work hard at it. She is the most hardworking lady in show business in my opinion and I admire that.
15. Q. Where can people interested in you see more photos of you?
A. Hip Hop Vibe Social network. Will post more pictures with time.
View iKandy's profile on Hip Hop Vibe at http://hhvibe.socialgo.com/members/profile/8