“Modelling is a lot more than just taking pictures or walking in high heels down the runway,” says 21 year old Angolan model Marta Bernardina. 

Marta+Bernardina+Angolan+Model+Zen+Magazine+Africa (2)Marta Bernardina is signed to Cliché Model Management in the UK

Zen: Where are you from?
Martha: I am from Angola though I currently live and study in Manchester in the UK.

Zen: What inspired you to get into modelling?
Martha: I got into modelling because I love the challenges it presents. Agencies can only help you to a certain extent. It’s now up to the clients to choose models they want to use for their projects. I must add that it is quite sad seeing the industry sometimes when certain people assume that using a dark-skinned model; like myself, won’t sell a product though I am optimistic that more brands will give us a chance when they see our portfolio and see how determined we are to succeed.

Zen: Why modelling? What’s so amazing about modelling that you wanted to be a part of it?
Martha: Modelling is a lot more than just taking pictures or walking in high heels down the runway. Many people don’t realise that modelling teaches the model a lot more than just modelling. A few things modelling can teach you is how to have a good body posture, self-confidence and definitely how to face the challenges that the real world throws at you like rejections and competition. Competition and rejection doesn’t just happen in the modelling industry, it happens in every area of the real world. I feel I learn something new about myself every time I model and self-development can only be a positive thing.

Zen: What do you think is the hardest part about modelling in our generation today?
Martha: I feel the hardest part would have to be the discrimination and the constant comparison with the past generation. Photographers who try to re-create a shoot; let’s say a past shoot, of Iman or Alek Wek will want the model to look like Iman and if she doesn’t, they immediately get disappointed and probably won’t use the model again for that shoot. If they want to re-create a shoot by Iman and expect the same result, then they may consider hiring Iman. They need to face the honest fact that results won’t be the same, though the quality of the image will be the same or even better because we younger models are more daring.

Marta+Bernardina+Angolan+Model+Zen+Magazine+Africa (3)

Zen: What are your goals as a model?
Martha: A few of my goals are to be successful in modelling, to also be aware of my limits and to have a healthy lifestyle outside the modelling industry. I also want to be a role model for others and have my face recognised globally to the point where clients sell themselves to me instead of my agent selling my brand to them.

Zen: Which African models inspire you daily?
Martha: A few models who inspire me include Ajak Deng, Nykhor Paul, Maria Borges, Iman, Liya kebede, and Oluchi Onweagba. It’s an endless list, and they are all really amazing.

Zen: What is the 1 thing you would like all aspiring models to know?
Martha: Love yourself before you demand love from the industry. There’s plenty of rejection so love yourself so that when they tell you “You aren’t good enough for this job”, you won’t take the rejection personally.

Zen: Let’s talk about fashion. How would you describe your style?
Martha: I love colours a lot so my style is definitely a mix between modern and not afraid of bold colours. I also love wearing fashion from African designers because their outfits are so trendy.

Zen: Which African designers do you like their designs the most?
Martha: Tricky question. There are so many. I just love clothes! Uhmm but my favourites are Agata Reis, Duro olowu, Josephine Akioyamen, Zizi Cardow, and I love everything Vlisco puts out even though they aren’t an African brand.

Zen: Describe African fashion in 4 words.
Martha: Happy, chick, fun, distinctive.

Zen: What do you like doing for fun?
Martha: I like walking a lot, dancing, and spending some quality time with friends and family.

Marta+Bernardina+Angolan+Model+Zen+Magazine+Africa“I miss the Angolan weather and the atmosphere.” says Martha
on what she misses the most from Angola.

Zen: Travel destinations on your bucket list?
Martha: I would so love to visit the Isle of Harris, Fernando de Noronha, Machu Picchu, Cabo Verde, Copenhagen, India, Capri, Venice, Montego bay, Egypt, Mauritius, Stockholm, Bahia and many more places. Though this places are top of my list for now.

Zen: If you won $10,000,000 in a lotto game, what are the 5 key things you would do with the money?
Martha: I honestly don’t believe in lotto games but if I did win that amount of money, I would invest it on a project, buy a yacht, buy a house and a flat, donate to a charity, and help friends and family who are struggling financially.

Zen: What do you miss the most about your home country in Africa?
Martha: I miss the Angolan weather and the atmosphere. People smile more often there than over here in the UK. I also miss the food and just being a kid.

Zen: What do you think of Zen Magazine Africa?
Martha: Zen Magazine Africa is definitely one of my weekly guilty pleasures. I am always sneaking on the website to check if there’s something new. You guys are doing an incredible work and I thank you so much for the feature, this is just surreal.

For more details on Martha, visit: www.clichemodelmanagement.co.uk