Nandipha Gumede is ready to take on the modelling world but just before her next big modelling shoot, the bright, young South African model has a few things to say about her modelling career, the most challenging moments and advice for aspiring models. Models inspiring other models!

Zen+Interviews+South+African+Model+Nandipha 24 year old South African model Nandipha Snenhlanhla
Gumede aka Nandi is ready and hungry
for the international catwalks 

Zen: Describe a typical day in the life of Nandi.
Nandi: On a normal day, I’m either working at a fashion boutique called Take care or trying to make it to all my castings or just lazing around my place watching a series or a movie (Laughs).

Zen: What was your childhood like?
Nandi: I had an awesome childhood though I’m sure everyone says that but I honestly had a great childhood. I grew up as the only girl so I was always sheltered though I was more of a tomboy. I wanted to do everything my brothers did like play the games they played. And off course like any teenager growing up, I went through my phase of teenage syndrome trying to fit in and to learn a lot about myself and my body.

Zen: How did you get into modelling?
Nandi: I got scouted at 16 years old and did my first runway show for designer Kevin Ellis at Durban Fashion week 2006. I believe that’s when it hit me that I could actually take it up professionally because everyone said I did very well at the show. My aunt introduced me to the idea of modelling before the show so it felt only natural to give it a go. I enrolled in a modelling course at Models international; a local agency close to where I’m from and I have never looked back.

Zen+Interviews+South+African+Model+Nandipha “Do your research, don’t be naïve and be patient.”
Nandi’s advice to aspiring models

Zen: What’s it like during a photo shoot? Do you get nervous?
Nandi: YES I get nervous ALL THE TIME!!! But I have to suck it up and get out of my box. It’s just like at an audition at the end of the day; you are there to do a job and no one wants to wait for a sulky model. I watch a lot of  commercials and fashion related videos to see what I can learn. I also go through dozens of magazines and fashion blogs to learn all I can so that I don’t go initially blank on shoots. My favourite part of being on set is the food (Laughs).

Zen: What’s the most challenging part about modelling?
Nandi: The wait aaah!! When you wait for that call or text saying you got the job and it doesn’t come. But mostly the biggest challenge I’ve experienced would be figuring out the best look for certain markets and not knowing exactly what some clients want. I’ve gone through so many looks from an afro, to a weave, to cutting off my hair completely; I believe at the end of the day you want to work but you don’t want to look like everyone else so I love looking different.

Zen: How is modelling in South Africa?
Nandi: Modelling in South Africa is growing and it is good to see a lot of different models getting international exposure. The exposure gives us models in South Africa a lot of inspiration and it also brings home a lot of work. Models like Candice Swanpoel inspires me a lot.

Zen: What are some of your best moments in modelling?
Nandi: I worked with an awesome photographer called Jackie Nickerson and stylist Katie Shillingford for a European magazine called Another magazine. It was an awesome feeling to have worked with them because I used to follow their work before I worked with them. It meant the world to me to be able to work with them and it is definitely one of my favourite moments in modelling. Because of that feature, I had friends in London and New York sending me photos from it so it really felt special (Laughs).

Zen: Can you tell us a bit about your beauty regime?
Nandi: I try not to wear make up everyday because I know for a fact that too much makeup can damage your skin. I mostly put on makeup for shoots or for castings. I cleanse with a normal no scented soap and moisturise with Nivea almond oil moisturiser which is amazing because it keeps my skin smooth and glowing for a long time.

Zen: Who are a few of the fashion designers you have worked with?
Nandi: Oh my …. my brain just went blank (Laughs). At the moment, I can remember Adriaan Kuiter and Jody Paulsen.


Zen: Which African designers would you like to work with and why?
Nandi: I would love to work with Anisa Mphungwe and Thula Sindi because their work is amazing together with their addictive personalities and energy. I would also love a chance to work with Stefania Morland. I watched one of her shows at Cape Town Fashion Week and I was amazed. Her style is exactly what I pray to someday be able to afford (Laughs). Her choice of colours and fabrics are amazing and I would totally love to work with her.

Zen: Describe African fashion in 5 words.
Nandi: Growing, bright, cultural, inspiring, and current.

Zen: What signature scent do you normally wear?
Nandi: Womanity by Thierry Mugler (Smiles).

Zen: Who is your beauty Icon?
Nandi: Naomi Campbell! She’s beautiful and a very sexy woman.

Zen: Advice for aspiring models.
Nandi: Do your research, don’t be naïve and be patient because sometimes things may take longer than you expected. If you believe in yourself, you will transfer that energy into your work. And always finish your studies because you want to at least have something to fall back on when you grow old in the business or if modelling doesn’t work for you.

Zen: 5 things you cannot live without.
Nandi: My phone, my tablet, my family, work and friends.

Zen: What are your plans for the future?
Nandi: My plans are to do more modelling and to travel farther than I ever imagined. I would also love to one day own my own media and design company. When the time is right then to settle down and start a family though for now modelling is where my heart and mind is at. So expect to see me on more campaigns in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and across Europe and America.

For more details on Nandipha, please join her Facebook Page: Nandipha Gumede
Follow her on Twitter:  
For more details on Nandi, contact her agency: