Wants them to tap into opportunities here and abroad
As the local gig industry rises from its COVID-induced coma, creatives across the country are raring to go after almost two years of no income. One of them is Botswana’s first international male model, Cendric Senna, who is on a mission to spread the business of fashion in the north of the country.
The 30-year-old top model and celebrity makeup artist wants to help grow the modelling industry, which is still struggling to break through in other parts of Botswana. Senna has decided to start in Selebi-Phikwe as the erstwhile copper mining town anticipates recovery from closure of BCL Mine in 2016.
The 193cm tall Senna told Time Out that he aims to give aspiring models in his native town of Selebi-Phikwe runway coaching and grooming classes. This, he says, is in response high demand for model mentors and trainers and to cultivate a fashion culture in the northern side of the country.
“I want to train aspiring models from the north because they do not have access to modelling agencies which are mostly based in Gaborone,” Senna said in an interview. “Fashion is not taken seriously in those parts, hence I want to raise awareness of fashion opportunities starting in Phikwe, Francistown and surrounding areas.”
Before COVID-19 hit, Senna had started coaching some aspiring male models. As the industry reopens, his efforts are proving to be fruitful. “It is very promising,” he said. “Some of my trainees are being booked for major shows like the just-ended Fashion Without Borders, others have been invited to participate in shows across Bitswana’s borders, while some yet have gigs to work as promo models.”
In addition to local models such as Miss Botswana 2021 Top 5 finalist Thanolo Keutlwile, Senna has collaborated with fashion stylists and international fashion photographers like Raymond Jeffery and open to more collaborations and partnerships.
Senna, who shot to fame after winning Best Male Model in the fashion show category of the 2014 President’s Day Competition, continues to cut a hot trail in the fashion industry not only as a runway model and fashion judge but as a makeup artist known for his daring face beats too. He has walked the runway in international fashion weeks in Canada, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. It is the network and working relationships that he created through his work that he says have contributed to his own and his mentees’ success.
“I didn’t just wake up and start to walk international runways,” he told Time Out. “I put in the work. My experience and network have made it easier for my trainees to succeed. This has consequently created employment for them and will in the long run help market Botswana internationally as we do more work across borders and overseas”