Updated: May 29, 2020
Would you mind telling our readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Malitela but a lot of people know me as Mali, I go by the name Mali because it's easier for people to remember. I’m Zambian but I'm currently living in Canada, I recently graduated from university and now work full-time.
When did you sign with Angie’s Modeling Talent Inc?
If I’m not mistaken, I signed with them in January of 2016.
What was the process of getting signed and what was it like when you got signed?
When I was in my first year of uni a few of my friends suggested that I get into modelling because I was into taking photos. I thought it was a great suggestion even though I had no idea how to go about it, for some strange reason I always assumed that all models got signed by being scouted as opposed to models having to find an agency to sign them.
The first thing I did was google agencies in my city and I found two. I went to a casting which is like an interview, and I had to walk for the owner, Angie. It was somewhat nerve-racking because there were approximately 20 people at the casting all wanting the same thing which was to get signed.
Luckily, I was amongst the people that got chosen and I was given a contract to take home, review the terms and decide if I wanted to sign with them. I remember being super excited when it happened and reaching out to my parents to tell them the good news. They were happy for me and very supportive.
When and with whom was your first modelling gig with?
Hmm, that’s a good question. My first gig either came the same day or a week after getting signed – I remember my agent calling and telling me that I had a great walk and she wanted to know what I was doing that afternoon, she gave me the venue address and asked me if I could make it. The show I walked in was for a fashion house called Zarucci.
Where did your passion for modelling come from?
I never thought of being a model in the beginning but it’s something that grew on me due to my love of taking photos. Also, when I walked for the first time I realised that I liked it and modelling was something I could make a career out of.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge in trying to make it as a model?
The first challenge is being a model as opposed to trying to become one. When it comes to trying to become a model you either have “IT” or you don’t.
The second challenge is navigating the industry. Whenever you have a casting you’re either given a script or you have to walk but the thing is you’re not the only person there. Your competition may range from 5 girls to about 1000 girls at each casting.
If you have “IT”, great. if you don’t, it can be hard because your self-esteem takes a bit of a hit. It’s not something you can explain. It’s not that you’re not pretty or tall or slim enough, it all comes down to the qualities the casting director wants for that specific casting. When you go to a casting you’re looking to receive validation, when you don’t it’s hard to convince yourself that’s it’s got nothing to do with you.
Who would you like to walk for if you had the chance?
Wow this is hard because I’d love to walk for so many people. I do remember really wanting to walk for Balmain at one time - now I’m not so sure, it’s something I’d really have to think about. Nonetheless, it would be a privilege to walk for anyone at this stage because there’s so many talented designers out there.
What’s your personal style like?
Living in a place where we experience all seasons, my personal style is very summer-ish and full of warm colours. I like simple and cute summer dresses, tops and shorts, though I’m not a fan of crop tops.
When you’re not modelling, what are your favorite things to do?
I have a long list of things but I’ll name a few. I like hanging out with my friends because I’m such a people person and I love being around good energy. I also like going out to eat and exploring new places. I read occasionally too.
What’s next for you in the years to come?
When it comes to my modelling career I’m not decided on whether it’s something I’ll go back to because it’s very time consuming and it requires a certain level of commitment and effort. I’ve got a really good job that I like and the only thing on my mind is deciding if and when I’m going to do my Masters.
What tips do you have for our readers?
Be easy on yourself, growing up is hard because there is no guide on the experiences you’ll have. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel a little bit insecure about yourself, believe in yourself, be courageous, be bold and know who you are.