HARARE – Beautiful Rufaro Musodza made the long journey from her Australian base to Kenya to take part in the auditions for the prestigious "Africa's Next Top Model" hosted by top Nigerian model Oluchi Onweagba Orlandi.
Rufaro was the only Zimbabwean to try her luck in the modelling competition, which is a brainchild of celebrated American model and talk show host Tyra Banks who is also the brains behind "America's Next Top Model".
Although the Zimbabwean model did not make the final list of 12 lucky contestants who will be trained by some of the top modelling experts, Rufaro is nonetheless pleased with how she fared in the auditions.
"I did exceptionally well. Out of 2 000 girls in Kenya and surrounding countries, I made it to the top 15," said Rufaro.
"I would say I fared very well. I don't know why I didn't make it to the final 3 in Kenya."
The Zimbabwean model was impressed by Africa's Next Top Model's open-door policy.
"The amazing thing about this competition is you don't have to be in a modelling agency or from an affluent family. It is also not a requirement to have been a model before.
Rufaro is convinced that her participation in the auditions of continental modelling was not in vain.
"I would not be talking to you guys Daily News on Sunday at all if I wasn't there in the first place. Being chosen as part of the final 15 in (the) Kenya (auditions) is just the beginning of many things to come.
"There were scouts, and even Oluchi herself knows that there is a Zimbabwean girl who flew all the way from Melbourne in Australia and made it to her top 15 in Kenya. That's a big deal for me. I can't think of any amazing opportunity other than that. It's only human to wish for more and more but this is a great start."
Unlike most modelling shows "Africa's Next Top Model" isn't necessarily about how thin a girl is; the main focus is height and African descent.
"But those two (height and 'African descent') were the main requirements. Before you handed in your application they would check your height and if you weren't tall enough that would be the end for you.
"From 2 000 girls in Kenya, it came down to about 50 girls, and down to 15 from which they finally chose the final 3 to go to boot camp.
"The ultimate prize includes getting signed by DNA Model management in New York and jet set career into modelling. The remaining contestants will be evaluated on a regular basis by an elite panel of judges led by Oluchi Orlandi."
Rufaro waded into the competitive world of modelling at the tender age of 14.
"I attended Amina Patel's modelling and etiquette classes in Harare. Amina was a Zimbabwean supermodel and she was perfection itself. She taught me all the basic things I know about modelling such as how to look after your skin, eating habits, how to dress, pose, and walk.
"I was 14 at the time and in high school. The Daily News ran a mini feature on me and my headmaster had the clipping on the noticeboard. I could not believe it."
But Rufaro who went to do various assignments for several agencies believes the Africa's Next Top Model auditions will give her a big breakthrough.