Master modeling with Leena Shipwata

Jordan Sinvula

Being a model seems like one of the hardest jobs in the world, but in Namibia, big names pull it off like it’s nothing at all.

How do they do it? They practice, practice, practice until they master their craft and they don’t stop till they feel their at the best.

This is one of the secrets famed famed catwalk crusader Leena Shipwata will be imparting this Summer as her widely popular model masterclass returns for those aspiring to be in magazines and on runways, rocking designer and hob bobbing with other pretty faces.

We (YA) sat down with her (LS) and picked her brain on what’s to come, and this is what the Windhoek based creative had to say.

YA: Tell us about yourself.

LS: I am Leena Shipwata, I was born 26 years ago in Oupumako and raised in Windhoek. I am a model, MC and entrepreneur.

YA: Tell us about your career so far.

LS: In 2014 I embarked on my modeling journey. I had an ample amount of luck because I was considered good at what I did when I was just starting off with no training.

In 2016 I enrolled with Pro model Africa which assisted in molding me into a professional model. In that same year my confidence skyrocketed so much I ventured into hosting/presenting and MC’ing for music shows and corporate events.

YA: Who or what inspires you?

LS: I am inspired by who I have envisioned myself to be and by everyday discoveries. Hollywood, local untapped/underground musicians, art, hustlers, my family and most importantly the first ever motivational speaker whose story touched me (Lesley Brown) inspires me.

YA: And who are you influenced by?

LS: A lot of models including Zozibini Tunzi, Winnie Harlow and Michelle McLean. Every model brings something unique to the table and what makes them inspirational is them embracing that.

YA: What are some of your goals?

LS: I hope to touch and change lives as I go. I also currently work as a content creator so I would like to grow in that field. In the future I would like to venture into fashion, push my acting career further and begin a music career as well. The way my life is set up, one dream opens doors for the next and I’m only starting so it scares me but excites me as well.

One goal I stand on achieving is opening up a state of the arts, arts school in the heart of katutura which will enroll talented underprivileged children and will educate them on the business of arts and enhance their talents. The dream is for each program to be fully funded.

YA: Now onto your training. What brought it about?

LS: My model master class is something very dear to my heart. I want to encourage aspiring models to chase their dreams and hopefully give them the confidence to tackle any audition and teach them how to start , grow and maintain their modeling careers.

I have a passion for modeling and I consider myself privileged enough to have experienced so much so I am sharing my skills.

YA: What will the classes entail?

LA: It is a two day program highlighting the ins and outs of modeling. I always receive requests on social media to train aspiring models and I get many questions on a daily basis, so I took the decision to rather answer all of them at once and on top of that teach them what I can’t do over the internet.

This workshop will help boost confidence, polish up participants’ runways walks, train them on hygiene and model etiquette and lastly Zcards which are considered model passports. I have a few speakers from the industry coming to share their knowledge as well so that should be exciting.

YA: Why should someone join?

LS: If someone has a passion for modeling and/or has been wanting to start but has no idea how, this is the right platform.

This program requires passionate and hardworking models to join. It won’t be easy but it will be enlightening and definitely entertaining.

YA: When and where is the training?

LS: it’ll take place at the Bank Windhoek Theater school on the 2nd and 3rd April and registration ends on the 31st of March. One can contact me via my social media @Leena_Shipwata or on my email or alternatively call 0814332050.

YA: Anything else?

LS: I have so many plans for 2022 and that includes dropping my first official edition of my bikini line (LS Swimwear) which caters for all sizes and we are looking into catering for males as well.

Otherwise I plan on doubling up on the endorsements this year and pushing my content beyond borders. I am entirely grateful to family, friends and fans for pushing me over the years to become the powerhouse that I am and for supporting the dream since day one.

YA: You mentioned wanting to pursue a music career. Tell us more about that?

LS: *Laughs* I’ve always been surrounded by music and musicians and my love for creating the art grew over time and is still growing but it’s something I’m entirely fond of and love doing. I am looking at chasing it in the near future.


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