Model, Emily Tatanga Kachote, whose moment of bliss as Miss World Zimbabwe was short-lived after nu_de pictures believed to be hers went viral, says there is need to conscientise society about modelling to curb the mistaken belief that models are people of loose morals.
Kachote, who has taken a hiatus from the ramp, believes there is need to change societal attitude towards models.
“There is need to make people understand modelling as a profession because of public misconception about the modelling industry,” she said in an interview with The Standard Style.
“I think the industry is misunderstood as in what it entails to be a model because if you are a model, there is always an issue of stereotyping, which is a major concern.”
The diva, who was last year stripped of her Miss World Zimbabwe title on the grounds of “immoral behaviour” after na_ked photographs believed to be hers appeared on the instant messaging service WhatsApp, said such misconceptions ruined models’ lives.
“Besides being a model, every human being is a brand so when there is bad publicity, it means one has defamed the brand,” Kachote said.
“I may not worry about what people write or say about me, although it hurts, [but] some people may not be as strong as I am because people are different, so some may never survive these situations, because they are broken and broken for good.”
However, Kachote — who is working on a number of projects to promote the girl-child — said the process was reciprocal since models were also unaware of their rights, especially when it comes to abuse and harassment.
Most models do not know their rights, for example when somebody infringes your rights, when are you supposed to say no and when are you supposed to accept things and let them be?”
“Owing to that lack of knowledge, you find out that models take things like that and some of them never come out of those situations,” she said
The model, who is turning 27 in October, encouraged fellow models to take legal recourse whenever they were abused.
Soon after she was crowned Miss World Zimbabwe, nu_de pictures believed to be hers went viral in a similar fashion as happened with her predecessor Thabiso Phiri.
Unlike Phiri who admitted and resigned, Kachote’s case, which is still in the courts, prompted her dethronement which saw first princess Ann-Grace Matamu taking over.
Phiri and Kachote are not the only models to have fallen prey to public scrutiny as other local beauty queens have also borne the brunt of being in the limelight when their skeletons in the closet made way to the public fore either before, during or after their stint.
Miss Malaika 2001, Brita Masalethulini had her share of embarrassment when alleged affairs with several highly-placed politicians were made public long after her term had ended.
The recent victim is Tafadzwa Mushunje, a former Miss Curvy finalist, who was accused of “man-snatching” and “infecting her boyfriend’s son with HIV”.
Society has always sought a way to prove immoral behavior, which is ostensibly allied to the modelling industry.
Although some allegations of decadence by the models have turned out to be true, the bulk have been unsubstantiated despite effecting immensely the accused individuals who are left nursing permanent wounds.