Plus Model and Influencer Nzinga Imani is Heading Towards Stardom!
If creating your own path was a person, it would be Nzinga Imani..
At first glance, she is stunningly beautiful, but she’s so much more than her beauty. She’s also a young woman who has worked hard and created a brand that speaks to you whether you are a millennial or remember the days before social media.
In an age when we have the opportunity to be anything we desire, Nzinga is steadfast heading towards stardom and taking us all along with her!
Can you tell us a little about yourself for people that don’t know you?
Hey there! I am Nzinga Imani, I am a first-generation American raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I am obsessed with musicals and spicy food. I love to laugh and somehow find humor in everything, even when no one else does. I consider myself a renaissance woman, I am a model, influencer, singer, writer, makeup artist, entrepreneur, and actress.
How did you get started as a model?
I got started as a model by accident. A friend of mine took me to a fashion show and during the intermission, I went to the restroom. A designer stopped me before I could reach the restroom and demanded I walk in her next show. Once I began modeling, an entirely new world I never knew existed unlocked for me. I was unaware of the plus-size community before I began modeling. I am so grateful to be a part of it now. I have gained so much confidence by simply having a community of incredible women who understand and support me.
Being a good model is not SIZE specific. Meaning you can be an amazing model and have great movement regardless of your size. How did you develop your talent in front of the camera?
I have always been very active. I was a cheerleader and dancer growing up, but as I matured and got heavier, I had to relearn what movements worked for my body. My size is currently a 3X, and as inclusive as the industry is becoming it is still rare to see someone my size on a magazine cover. I know that my size is very common, so I have made it a point to not hide. I must show up as my full self, the fun-loving, bubbly, wild child. When I am full of confidence the movements flow naturally. I let the clothing speak to me and l demonstrate how they make me feel. I think of modeling like dancing, you have to let the emotion you are trying to exhibit flow through you.
Besides modeling, you also work as an influencer for various brands. Many people don’t realize how much goes into working as an influencer. Can you take us through a typical day in your life and how you prepare to create content?
People really have no idea how much work goes into being an influencer. I am constantly meeting with the different companies I work with currently, wWhile also seeking out and selling my brand to new companies.
Once I get a job, I must negotiate pay and make sure I can provide what the client has asked for contractually. Then, creative directing begins. That means planning concepts, scouting locations, and creating mood boards. Sometimes I must find people to collaborate with like a photographer, videographer, or additional models.
Next, I have outfit styling, hair, nails, and makeup to get done based on what is appropriate for the client. This is all before a single picture is taken.
Once I am on set, taking photos can be all day. Then I must look through hundreds of images, make selections, edit, create captions, and plan out drop dates in accordance with contracts, then repeat. It really is a never-ending cycle, but I am extremely grateful I have my influencer work to lean on especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Social media is a double-edged sword sometimes. How do you keep a healthy relationship with social media, keeping up with fans, and finding time for yourself?
I have never taken a break from social media because I genuinely love it! I am very good at responding to legitimate followers who show love and support. I have sent a few of my most loyal supporter’s gifts and thank you cards. I also encounter plenty of trolls with ridiculous and hurtful things to say. I have no problem blocking them and moving on with my day without giving whatever hateful statement they made any power over me. To unplug I listen to NPR, Hamilton: The Broadway Musical Soundtrack, or sit in absolute silence and allow my mind to wander.
What has been your proudest moment thus far in your career?
The proudest moment thus far in my career has been being cast as the lead in a television series about plus size women. This show is still in production and hopefully will be released soon. I cannot wait to share it. I am excited for the world to see plus size women as whole people, not just comic relief because we are so much more. Also, I am always filled with pride when I receive messages from people all around the world who say my confidence has helped them to feel better about themselves.
Besides being a model, influencer, and makeup artist can you tell us about your singing career? How did you tap into your passion for singing?
Singing has always been my passion and it is the only thing I always knew I wanted to do. All my other professions I discovered through singing. I have been singing since I came out of the womb and I always had dreams of being a world-renowned singer. Unfortunately, life happened, and my dream began to slip away from me, but I plan to get back to singing professionally and release a single soon. Most people who are familiar with me have heard me sing in viral parodies. I have gone viral several times for my musical parodies of famous Disney and holiday songs. It is a fun way to show my personality and share my love of music.
2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us and the fashion/modeling industry was hit pretty hard. How did you manage during the first part of the Coronavirus pandemic and what silver lining could you share with us?
This year has been unlike anything I could have imagined. As a makeup artist and entertainer, my income completely ceased during the first few months of the pandemic. Modeling also stopped in the early months of 2020. Suddenly, in May everything changed for me. There were so many new plus size boutiques that needed models to shoot consistently. I went from a few model jobs a month to three to five a week. Also, my influencer work increased. I think brands really realized the power of social media during the pandemic. It was our lifeline to one another, so the power of influencers meant so much more. I am so blessed to say the pandemic has catapulted my career and put me in a great place financially.
What advice do you have for aspiring models or influencers about getting started?
The best advice I can give is to stop waiting! There will never be a perfect time to start. You just have to do it and learn as you go. The best teacher is experience. Also use common sense and the millions of videos on YouTube about posing, makeup, and fashion to guide you. Most importantly BE YOU! It is so important as an influencer to be your authentic self.Your tribe will find you and embrace every random quirky thing about you if you let them.