In Conversation with: Tatenda Njanike

Tatenda Njanike - Mister Zimbabwe

Tatenda Njanike is a 27-year-old, professional commercial and runway model, currently holding the title of Mister Zimbabwe People’s Choice 2020. He was born in Mutare, and grew up in Harare and he is currently studying Data Science with TelOne Centre For Learning.

How did you get into modelling?

I recently stumbled upon an old VCR tape of myself doing runway back in kindergarten at a graduation ceremony. I suppose that’s where it started, but professionally I started November last year when I attended my first fashion show and failed to contain my excitement. It was on a Saturday and I signed up for grooming the following Monday. Being Mister Zimbabwe People’s Choice is proof that dreams of 5-year-old me were valid and God’s purpose for my life would be fulfilled.

What opportunities has being, Mister Zimbabwe brought your way? 

I have been blessed to engage, earn and learn from interacting with different brands and individuals. I’ve worked brands such as FBC Holdings, 4 May International, Kikings Streetwear, The African Diplomat, Afro Phoenix and I’m a brand ambassador for Kunda Market and Rehairby to mention a few. I was also invited to judge a pageant earlier this year in Victoria Falls.

Who are your role models in life?

My role models are the men and women in the Bible whose stories are that of redemption, perseverance, forgiveness, love and faith, who always trusted God to do what only God can do. It is difficult to be human, but letting God be God gives it all meaning. 

Who has played a role in nurturing your career? 

My grooming coach prepared me very well for what was to come. I have to say the experiences themselves have been quite nurturing. Every opportunity to interact with a photographer, model, and designer has had that effect on my career.

What is your process when you are modelling? 

Before I get on the ramp I practice, even on public roads or pathways which must be quite interesting to watch. All this helps with my muscle memory on stage. I pretend they all came to see me, so I walk with confidence assuming whatever character corresponds with what I’m wearing at that time.

What has been your favourite project to work on and why?

My favourite project has been the covid-19 awareness campaign which I worked on with 24 other models. It showed that although we were physically under lockdown, we were still connected through digital tools which could be used to send messages of hope across the world.

How did you get involved with financial inclusion for the youth? 

I first felt the impact of financial exclusion in college in students whose parents had low disposable income. Youth financial inclusion breaks the poverty cycle and less young men and women will have to compromise their health through drugs and substance abuse, or put their lives or health at risk to receive financial aid.

What steps do you think need to be taken to make sure the Zimbabwean youth are educated about financial inclusion? 

Tatenda Njanike
Tatenda Njanike

I believe financial inclusion can be realised by teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in all fields of study. Teaching young people that job creation is their responsibility. It would help us if we had more access to innovation hubs to teach every youth to think of themselves as solutions to the lack in their family, community, country or continent.

What are the top 5 in your playlist right now and why? 

Solange Knowles x Don’t Touch My Hair

Usher x Confessions ll

Aaliyah x At Your Best

H.E.R x Only You

DVSN x Hallucinations

The songs bring back some good memories and I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing lately. 

How would you like to be remembered? 

I want to be remembered for genuinely loving people around me. I want to love the people I get to meet each day, and I also want my life story to inspire whoever gets to read it.

Social media

Instagram: @tatenda.njanike

Twitter: @tatenda_njanike

Facebook: Tatenda Njanike

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