I ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK –LUKUNDU NALUNGWE, WINNER OF MNET FACE OF AFRICA
Zambia's Lukundu Nalungwe is the current winner of Mnet Face of Africa. She recounts her journey to success and the joy of being Mnet Face of Africa Season eight to ADA ONYEMA. Lukundu Nalungwe's attitude towards life is explained by a popular motivational maxim,
“You can get it if you really want it.” That attitude has now propelled Nalungwe to the top.
Last week, she emerged the winner of Season Eight of the Mnet Face of Africa show.
Beaming with smiles, Lukundu could not believe she had just emerged the winner of this year's contest. When asked how it felt to be a winner, with tears rolling down her cheeks, she said, ”I am really grateful and honoured to be the winner. I never expected it, but I thank God for everything.”
Born 22 years ago to a family of four, she was a tomboy while growing up and she never thought of ever becoming a model. ”My modeling career started when I was 17 years old. I tried Mnet Face of Africa for three consecutive years but did not make it but I never gave up. Last year, my brother encouraged me to contest again which I did and here I am today”, she said.
The youngest of three children in the family, the welfare of members of Lukundu's family seems to be upper most in her mind. When asked the first thing she will do once she gets paid, she says, ”I will buy a house for my family. They will stop renting”.
Interestingly, she promises to use the remaining money to help the modelling industry in Zambia because according to her ”the industry back home has not really grown that much”. She equally offers to encourage the aspiring models in her country not to loose focus but always believe in their dreams.
As tough as the competition may seem though, Lukundu's courage did not desert her during the competition; not even when she was asked to pose with a live snake, which she considers the only challenging and difficult moment of the competition.
The 22-year-old model knows the stuff she is made of: good shoulders, an enchanting phisique and, most importantly, her ability to strut her stuff on the runway. Besides that, she saw Marvis, the Nigerian girl as her strongest contender in the competition. ” I think she also has great potentials and she had almost every qualities a model should possess, qualities that were also needed for the competition. She had the walk, the look and she delivered at all times whenever she was called upon to do so”, she said.
Immediately she was announced as the winner, the Current Mnet Face of Africa shortly called her immediate elder sister who in turn screamed to the heavens in ecstasy and joy when she heard the good news.
However, aware that there are so many aspiring and upcoming models, waiting on the wings, Lukundu advises African youths to pursue their dreams and always go for what they want. Citing herself as an example, she argued that if she had given up the first or second attempt to participate in the Mnet Face of Africa competition, she would not have in any way be near where she is today, let alone win.
She said, ”Youths of Africa should pursue their dreams and always go for what they want. Never give up on your dream, hold on to it for it who knows it might turn out to be real tomorrow; dreams are difficult to come by and easy to die too, but it takes only a determined mind to see the challenges on the way as stepping stones to move to the next level.”
She admitted that she had always had what it took to win the competition, ”I knew that I stood a good chance from the beginning of the competition. I've always known I had the potentials of winning and up the stage, I had prepared and given myself the 50-50 winning not winning chance”, she said.
But now that she has won the coveted position of Mnet Face of Africa, she promises to be herself and keep it real: ”Winning the Mnet Face of Africa is a great beginning for me. It promises a whole lot of opportunities in the modelling world, launching me to the world in general and the fame that comes with it, all that notwithstanding, I will keep it real, being myself so I can fly high and be among the popular models in the world”
Asked what was going on in her mind when she was named as one of the last three contestants, she replied, ”Oh that was another tough moment of the competition; I almost had a heart attack.bv At that period, I was contemplating whether I was going to win or not. With all the whole of Africa watching, I tell you it was not easy”.
A good dresser, she hardly describes herself as fashionable. Simplicity is her watchword when it comes to fashion and having to make a choice out of the designs she wore on the catwalk.
Despite how great she feels about winning the Mnet Face of Africa, Lukundu still has a burden in her heart arising from the fact that she lost her elder brother who encouraged her to contest again, even after her confidence wavered on the day before she was invited for the camping. Remembering him, she could not help but cry.
Story by ADA ONYEMA - NBF News