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Meet Rosemary Chileshe, the Zambian born international model
Story: Eric Orji.

ROSEMARY CHILESHE is a Zambian born international model living and working in the UK. She won the 2003 Miss Zambia UK beauty pageant and in 2004 was selected to represent Zambia in the Miss World Beauty contest hosted in China. I caught with her recently and sort to dig deep into her career.

1. What or who inspired you into modelling?
I had always been asked if I was a Model as my typical statistics are 5'11, Size 8/10 and so.My inspiration however, to get into Modelling came from seeing Fashion/Runway Modelling as an open platform to reach out to the youth. Officially, I was first introduced to the Modelling industry at the age of 18 on my way into Manchester from my family home in Sheffield by a representative of the prestigious Models 1. She felt I had the potential, however, due to my Secondary School commitments, I did not take it further as modelling was not my desire at that moment in time.

2. What are the very high standard fashion shows you've participated in?
Well, where do I begin...I have undertaken numerous fashion shows both paid for and for charities in the UK and Zambia, as well as for upcoming and established fashion designers. I last fashion show I participated in was "The Twisted Sistas" fashion show on 27 October 2006, in Manchester, where I was selected to close the show which, was aired on Channel M, Manchester's local channel and can be accessed from SKY TV. Prior to that, I modelled for fashion designer - Jay Wilson's collection at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show 2006, I did the runway at the Celebration of Young Fashion Designers Network 2006, and I'm also scheduled to do the runway for this year - April 2007. I could go on and on but I'd rather say you could visit my website (www.rosemarychileshe. com) to know more.

3. Who do you model for now?
Currently I am one of the faces of Sleek Cosmetics. I am also the Face of "Mother Africa" fashion label headed by Carl Ellis. This is an exciting phase for me as the fashion label has a signature of all cultures from Africa, and African talents. Keep your eyes open on this, the upcoming campaign is tipped to be the biggest hit on an international level.

4. How would you describe yourself to a total stranger?
I would say…I am Rosemary as a "brand". To me there are many arenas, not only am I a Property Surveyor by my 9 to 5pm profession, I am also an Award winning Beauty Queen, a high flying Fashion/Runway Model, a Sunday School teacher of children from the ages of 10+ and lastly but definitely not least, an ambassador for Zambia and the UK worldwide.

5. What are your dreams in modelling profession?
My dreams in Modelling are currently being realised. I am driven by my passion to form foundations and open many doors for others. I am perceived as a role model by many; the youth in particular. My ultimate desire is to not only be firmly established on an international stage but to also be an example of the dream that many others have. I want people who wish to make it big in the modelling industry to be motivated by my achievements and for them to always have that confidence with passion and dedication that they too can make it.

6. Give me a brief of other things you do.
I work full time as a Commercial Property Surveyor, a profession that has only got 10% women. Spiritually, I am a member of the New Apostolic Church. I sing Soprano in the choir and I am also a Sunday School Teacher of Children from the ages of 10+. Currently, I am working jointly with Carl Ellis - a fashion designer on launching his new clothing line label called "Mother Africa" onto the fashion industry and market. Additionally, both Carl & I are the founders of The "R.O.C Foundation", a charity aimed at raising awareness of HIV/AIDS on a bigger scale with plans already underway for a kickout HIV/AIDS project with a start in Zambia. There is more to me.

7. What do you think of African models?
I feel that African models have what it takes to make it big, we just need to work that harder to prove what we already possess - beauty with brains. There is a lot of potentials out there and like any other industry; we need to work hard to get a step further. The higher our achievements the harder we needed to work the next round to reach that further stage.

8. Tell me your turn on and turn off in the profession?
Everything is a plus point for me in the modelling profession; otherwise I would have bowed out by now. In every industry there is always a negative and a positive point, which is what makes success that little bit worthwhile because the end result is, you show that with all the pros and cons, you have still come out on top, smelling of roses.

9. Give me your family and educational backgrounds.
I come from a background of Engineers, Doctors, Accountants and Surveyors (me!). My family is very blessed that everyone has been given a chance to pursue their desired professions. We all thank God because only through him, we have been this fortunate.


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