It was a true pleasure doing this interview - discovering a young woman that is beautiful inside-out.
If you would like to know how a gorgeous, well educated, smart, humble and well-rounded young woman thinks read this interview and get amassed.
BWP: What should everybody know about Zimbabwe?
Kim: Despite the negative publicity about Zimbabwe’s political instability, it is a vibrant, culturally diverse country. The people in it are welcoming, friendly and open, and the country has so much to offer from mineral wealth to incredible tourist attractions such as the mighty Victoria falls.
BWP: How would you describe Zimbabwean women in few sentences?
Kim: Zimbabwean women are educated, well spoken, hard working, humble, yet strong. We are proud of our Zimbabwean roots!
BWP: Can you tell us something about your childhood?
Kim: Surprisingly I was a very shy, withdrawn introvert. I expressed myself through art and other creative activities. I kept to myself, I was a serious bookworm, and teachers pet! I came out of my shell in high school and have been growing more confident with every year that passed, and learning the value of my own voice! It matters!
BWP: When did you start modeling? Who “discovered” you?
Kim: In my second year at University, my gorgeous cousin Latoya Nel Mihaylova discovered me and invited me to come into her agency and meet the Director Nasco Mihaylov. Unlike most models, I was not the typical extremely tall and slender model, and yet despite that, they saw my potential and believed in me. I have been with them, happily, for the past 5 years.
BWP: What are your beauty secrets?
Kim: There is no secret, honestly.
Just look after yourself in every way possible. Be active, put good food in your body. Don’t starve yourself – there is too much delicious food out there in the world to starve! Ha ha ha!
I do invest in good skin and hair care products as opposed to spending it on fancy clothes and designer labels! It’s worth the money spent! You only have one skin and one head of hair!
BWP: When did you become aware that you are beautiful?
Kim: I was a scrawny short little girl with big fuzzy hair and terrible teeth! I had no self-esteem and had braces for two and a half years! I longed to be like my beautiful tall mother, but with time I grew into my own skin.
Still not comfortable with being called ‘beautiful’, but I know I am a confident, well groomed young woman, that takes good care of herself. Thanks to my orthodontist I have a great smile too =)
BWP: You graduated with Honors from the University of Stellenbocsh in South Africa. How important is the education in life?
Kim: My whole life my parents stressed the importance of getting an education. I even had to promise them that if I took on modeling part-time while I was studying, it would not negatively affect my academics.
For that I am so grateful because we are in an industry where youth is beauty – models are younger and younger – and they prioritize chasing this dream, over getting an education under the impression that it is a life of ‘Glits, Glam and Money’.
My mother always told me, “ Your looks and beauty will fade, but your education and qualifications will never go away.”
I know without a shadow of a doubt that if tomorrow something happened and I was unable to model, I have an Honours degree behind my name which will enable me to gain employment anywhere in the world. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting an education.
BWP: How many languages do you speak?
Kim: I truly wish I was one of those people blessed with the gift of being able to easily pick up languages. Sadly I am not. However I do understand both French and Ndebele (which is the native language spoken in Bulawayo – the city I grew up in).
BWP: If you could give one thing to every single person in the world – what would that thing be?
Kim: Faith - Regardless of your religion or belief system, I truly believe it is my faith that has led me to where I am today.
BWP: Who is your role-model?
Kim: I don’t have just one person I look up to, because no one is perfect, and one person should not be put up on that pedestal.
But one person who has had the most influence on my life, and guided me through it all has been my mum. She was for a long time a single mother, raising myself and my brother on her own. She is not only the image of grace, style and beauty, but has an inner strength that continues to be an inspiration to me.
BWP: Do you have any hobbies?
Kim: COOKING! I am a real foody! Love food – and thus I am happiest when I am at home, relaxing with friends and family – cooking for them, enjoying good food and great company.
BWP: Name you favorite children’s story.
Kim: Pocahontas – Growing up I thought she was the most beautiful Disney princess with her long dark flowing hair! I wanted to be just like her! Ha ha ha!
BWP: What is your life motto?
Kim: Just to have Faith in God’s plan for me. He gave me this life, and put me in every situation that has led me here today. That gives me hope, and you need that in a job like this where you can go months without booking a job! I have been so blessed by Him.
BWP: What would you like to do when you retire as a model?
Kim: My dream job has always been to start my own Non Profit Organisation that works with women in lesser-privileged, impoverished communities. Empowering them with educational courses that equip them with skills to get better jobs to support their families, and raise their children – to break the only too common cycle of teen pregnancy, abuse and ultimately poverty. I’ll get there one day.
BWP: Do you like to dance? To which music?
Kim: I’m not the biggest party animal, but I LOVE to dance! Mostly to hip-hop, dancehall and ragga. That’s what they play in the best clubs in Harare, Zimbabwe! I miss that so much!
BWP: You said earlier that you love to cook. What food do you like?
Kim: In the Robinson family – girls were raised to be able to cook well, clean, and look after our younger cousins, brothers and sisters in order to be able to one day run our own households as a good wives and mothers. Many people may think that it is an ‘outdated, old-school mentality’ but I take pride in it. I love cooking anything with pasta, and any spicy food – chicken curry – YUM!
BWP: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Kim: The best compliment I have ever received was being told that I am a role model for girls back home in Zimbabwe.
I still do not think that I am anyone fabulous, or extra-ordinary in any way, but if they see me as a positive role model of what it’s like to have a dream and chase it with all that you have – then I am all for that!
BWP: What is you greatest strength and weakness?
Kim: My strength is that I am a positive, happy, friendly person. I love people and I choose to be open and trusting and energetic, and I think people tend to gravitate toward positive energy like that.
That is also my weakness. People often abuse and take advantage of that kindness and trust. I am learning now how to still be open and friendly, but cautious of people that may not have the best intentions at heart.
BWP: What five things would you take to a deserted island?
1 – Bible
2 – Water
3 – A journal and pen
4 – Never ending supply of curry and rice
5 – My laptop with all my photos and home videos (and a battery that would never die)
BWP: Who is the most beautiful woman in the world?
Kim: Adriana Lima.
BWP: What is the most memorable moment in your life?
Kim: My graduation ceremony – not only was it the day I received my Honours degree but this was the first time since I was about 5 years old that my younger brother, sister, mother and father sat together, and were happy and celebrated this huge milestone in my life. I’ll never forget it. I was truly happy
BWP: What are you the most proud of?
Kim: I am proud that I traveled to a foreign country where I had no friends or family, studied for four years and got my degree. Then went on to pursue a career very few people understood! In fact almost everyone thought it was insane to start modeling full time after just having received my qualifications. And yet 2 years after graduating, I have a whole new life in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. Completely financially independent, and waking up every single day loving what I do!
BWP: Name the top 5 things on your bucket list?
1 – Explore Asia
2 – Be involved with/a part of an NGO that I fully believe in and support
3 – Start my own family, I want 2 children :)
4 – Be able to successfully implement a mentoring programme in schools Zimbabwe
5 - Learn how to salsa!
BWP: What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Kim: If you are breathing right now you are alive – it is a physical state of being.
Truly living is fearlessly choosing to live the life you want – with a job you love ,in a place where you are happy – and being around people that enrich your life – that you grow and learn from.
BWP: Is it more important to love or to be loved?
Kim: It is important to love yourself first and foremost! That love will bubble out of you and flow into your work and all aspects of your life. Whether or not others love you is out of your control so it’s pointless worrying about that. Just try to be happy with yourself – it all starts with you!
BWP: What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
Kim: To not put partner’s needs, life, and happiness before your own.
BWP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Kim: As cliché as it may be, I hope I will still be so blessed to have a job that allows me to be financially secure, as well as being married to a man that loves God, his wife, and his children. But primarily, I want a family.
BWP: Thank you Kimberley for this amazing interview!