It is said each an every one of us has a calling and Silibaziso ‘Sli’ Dube found hers in modelling. She is a beautiful young woman who has been in the industry for a while and has featured on list of Zimababwe’s beautiful models. Sli currently lives in Australia studying towards a BA in Education. She is very passionate about issues like women abuse and part of her community work involved working as a First Aid and CPR trainer. So in the interview Sli shares with us the challenges she faces in the modelling world and her future plans.
Please tell us, who is Sli Dube?
Who is Sli? Sli is Silibaziso, she is an ambitious, goal oriented, hardworking young woman. That being said, she loves to laugh but enjoys making others around her laugh more. Very approachable and laid back personality.
You lived in Zimbabwe, Japan, Canada and currently Australia. What are some of the experiences you have drawn form all these countries that have helped shape your path?
I’ve been very privileged to have traveled the world at a very young age. One thing I can say is that throughout my travels it has taught me that there is a world outside of what we see and what we are taught. I matured much quicker than most people my age because I was culturally exposed to things that most people would never even dream of. I have had awesome experiences.
What inspired you to pursue modelling?
This might come as a surprise to some but modelling wasn’t my choice to pursue, it was a calling. For me modelling is a platform I use to touch others through my work and experiences.That’s what inspired me to take it on, not to mention my family that supported me in pursuing it.
What were some of the challenges you faced as an aspiring model?
Wow, some challenges… Some challenges I face as an aspiring model are that as an African model breaking through the modelling industry is a great challenge because the market has a very small door for us black models. Comments like “you are too curvy ”, or “you are not dark enough”, “we have girls that look like you”, “your breasts and butt are too big, maybe if you were a few sizes down we could work with you” these are the things that can cause a lot of insecurities but you have to have tough skin to be in this industry. I never sweat the small stuff. Another great challenge I constantly bump into is photographers wanting to shoot me nude or in almost nothing all in the name of “glam” and “art”. NO, is something that just comes off easy for me now because if I’m not comfortable doing it. I’m not doing it.
You are constantly listed in a number of lists like top 10 most beautiful models from Zim etc, how does this make you feel?
I wasn’t even aware of that (smiles). Zimbabwe has very, very beautiful women and to know that I’m counted amongst them on those lists top10 most beautiful models in Zimbabwe is a blessing. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t feel good.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far is me living in my present moment, having the chance to use my voice to touch others. That’s all I want to do and when I get emails from young girls saying “thank you for being my role model” there’s no greater highlight.
Are you involved in any community outreach work so far? , if so please share?
Since I’ve been in Australia I have worked as a First Aid and CPR trainer in an African community here in Brisbane. My duties were to teach young adults to acquire skills in administering first aid as In-Home Care providers. At the moment I’m working on completing the last few months of my BA in Education. My priority is my studies.
As a young African woman what does it mean to be a young African woman in the 21st century?
To be a young African woman has never been easy and in the 21st century more so I think. The lack of respect and inequality we face is still apparent. I pride myself in being the diamond in the rough.
You are passionate about issues like woman abuse, why do you think women still get abused in Africa?
I know coming from an educator this might sound very cliché. I feel Education plays a big role in why we are still getting abused in Africa. I see and hear of all these programs for young women such as Women for Women, Rooted in Hope, Girl Child Network Worldwide just to name a few. I always ask myself what about the young men? If we chose to direct our focus on just young woman who are these exceptionally well educated women supposed to marry? We need to start educating young males to love and protect their woman, value them, cherish and respect them. Use your strength to intimidate the enemy because these women you are abusing are a part of you. As woman we need to not make it a taboo to talk about these issues we are facing. Come together unite and share your stories. An abuser will break you down until you become as low as he wants you to feel, with the love and support of one another they stand no chance.
What would you like to change about Africa today?
We have over 54 powerful nations and we are resilient people. We need to be kinder to each other and use our interconnectedness to present a more united front.
If you were a president for a day what would be the first thing you would change?
More supports and resources for the poor.
You are currently studying at Griffith University, in Brisbane, Australia, towards a BA in Education. Why is education so important to you?
Education is important to me because that is one thing that no one can take from you. It’s a priceless investment in itself. Can you believe that I had a teacher in Junior High that told me “You would never amount to anything?” His name was Mr. Ball. I want to thank him because even though he was being hateful and racist, his statement fueled me to want and expect more from myself and not be a negative statistic that fit the stereotype.
What are you plans after acquiring your qualification?
I’m looking to come back to Zimbabwe and just reconnect with my roots for a few months. I have a few things in the works but like my mom always says “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. I lay it in God’s hands.
How can we empower the girl child?
SEND HER TO SCHOOL.
Don’t wait until she is 16 years old to tell her she can become a leader in an influential position. Don’t wait till she is pregnant to teach her to expect more from herself and that she has a responsibility to strive for more.
That’s why I love early childhood education, I love knowing that I’m right there at the child’s early stages of a child’s development and I’m a part of the process that plants the seed for the love of learning.
What do you think are the challenges facing African youth today?
It’s very difficult because I’m not there to see it first hand. Generally speaking I think youth do not have a lot of opportunities to be heard.
Very few platforms out there that support freedoms of speech, opportunities for them to share their views, ask questions to gain a better understanding of our current situations. Very few resources that encourage the youth to travel and gain more world experience and meet other youth from other nations on a global stage. That’s why I’m glad to see that the Youth Village has come together to help support the youth of Africa.
What can we expect from Sli in the forthcoming months/ years?
From Sli you can expect a more enriched woman. Be prepared to get to know me on a more intimate level because I want to get close with my triple F’s. Be ready to see me in magazines and more interviews. Just stay tuned and follow me on my website, twitter and facebook to get a constant update on what I’m up to.
Who is your Zim celeb crush?
(Laughs) I don’t have any Zim celeb crushes or any crushes for that matter but I do however am a big fan of my brother Tafadzwa Njovana who is a writer, director and actor from Zimbabwe but currently based in South Africa. He is currently working on developing a script called A Hard Place with Tongayi Arnold Chirisa , and in the early development of a feature script called Spin. Stay tuned for his great work. I respect and appreciate the arts of legendary Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi and New ragga artist Winky D.
What is your favorite past time activity in Zim?
My favorite past time activities is going to visit my grandparents in Bulawayo on holidays and when they were still alive visiting with my great grandparents ekhaya.
Your twitter description reads “I’m not here to DATE just WORK” lol what you mean by that?
You laugh but its true lol, I get messages about people looking to date me and so I’ve had to put that there but only a few get it while others still chose to ignore it and take their chances. (Smile)
How can your fans connect with you?
My fans can get in touch with me through
Follow me on twitter @SliDube
Or join me on my personal Facebook www.facebook.com/Sli.Dube
I just recently joined ask.fm/SliDube so you can get to know me by asking me questions I’d love to answer.