A Moment With… Rutendo Denise

RuTendo DeNise (.R.) is a Zimbabwean writer and poet.

She is the former Head of Public Relations for Zimbabwe Fashion Week and former Features Editor of Pan African Fashion & Lifestyle Magazine: Domino. Most recently, she made national history by becoming the first full figure model to grace a fashion runway. She has modelled for Durban based TZM Fashion House and has opened for renowned Tanzanian designer Mustafa Hassanali twice. She is a recipient of the prestigious Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in Zimbabwe award by Junior Chamber International. In addition to this, she contributes spoken word to The African Queen’s Project every Sunday on Choice FM Tanzania. In her free time she likes to cook, walk barefoot in the rain and listen to music.

Rutendo Denise - pic:  Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

Rutendo Denise – pic: Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

She took a moment out of her hectic schedule to speak exclusively to 3-mob.com.

What is your government name?
Rutendo Denise Mutsamwira

What do you like to call yourself?
Rutendo / .R. . I hate being called “Ruru” *eye roll*.UGH!

What is the most ridiculous nickname you have ever had?
Cheekybhagila. One of my cousins gave me that nickname because I was apparently very cheeky as a child…. Apparently.

Which side of the bed do you sleep on?
Eish, I think its safe to just call me mainini mararo hey! It depends.

Are you left-handed or right-handed?

What is your favourite instrument?
The Udu Drum

What is the first song you fell in love with?
O Nketsang by the legendary Rex Rabanye (MHSRIP). I grew up listening to a lot of Radio Two (which is now Radio Zimbabwe). That song used to receive a lot of airplay and was the theme song for either Kwaziso/ Zviziviso. I used to drop everything I was doing to sit by the radio until song yese yapera. It hits the spot. All.the.time.

Best concert you have ever been to?
Eish, that’s hard. Can I have 4? Actually, I have 4. Sara Tavares @HIFA2008, Gangbe Brass Band – @ HIFA 2009, Thandiswa Mazwai @ Joy of Jazz Festival 2014 and Dobet Gnahore – HIFA 2014

Of the shows you have been part of, which ones is your favourite?
It definitely has to be my recent runway debut for TZM Fashion House at Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014. I took that as my graduation from being such a serial tom boy! Apart from it being the realization of one of my dreams, the response and the opportunities that arose from that 1+- min strut changed a considerable number of things for me.

How do you deal with groupies?
Uhm… I don’t have any hey.

How excited were you when the first groupie hollered at you?
I have never experienced that as I have no groupies.

Where is Zimbabwean entertainment going?
Well, I believe we are making slow but steady progress considering where we are currently as a nation. By that I mean where we are currently from both a monetary and appreciation investment stand point. We have exceptionally talent and potential both locally and abroad. Slowly but surely we are making progress.

Where is your career going?
Currently, my core priorities are focused on gaining corporate and entrepreneurial experience. Over the past year I have been involved and actively participating in an intensive mentorship and training program. So in that career space I am definitely geared for more up skilling and learning before I immerse myself fully into my creative capital and potential. Right now, I am still experimenting with a lot of different forms of artistic expression. What I will eventually do is invest both from a time and resource perspective in the creative industry. You will just have to wait and see how it all unfolds I suppose.

What do you want to be remembered for?
I will be remembered as that chick who took far too many risks in life. Some of those risks resulted in dismal failures, but some of those risks shook things up and resulted in her breaking new ground. Not just for myself, but for women, my country and continent. Those are the only three things that drive me to ridiculous lengths sometimes. Inspiring and empowering women, Zimbabwe and Africa. I will also be remembered a hug addict who gave and loved receiving amazing hugs.

Follow her on Twitter/Instagram/Sound Cloud : @RuTendoDeNise

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