Congolese model Lisette Mibo in the Africa Fashion studios

Multi-award winning model, Lisette Mibo, recently visited the Africa Fashion studios in the build up to her Passion for Motherland event in August. Shooting with Lisette was so much fun that, before we knew it, we were already in full interview mode. Here’s a quick overview of her fascinating life and the amazing work that she is doing to help her people back in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When you see a top professional model like Lisette in action, up close and personal, it is quite amazing. She arrived, had her makeup completed in no time by Karen Salandy (who also provided her head scarf styling) and Lisette was under the Africa Fashion studio lights – wearing a great design by Ingrid Bratt. We had the shots we needed in no time. Naturally photogenic, we wondered if Lisette had always been like this? Growing up, did she consider herself exceptionally beautiful?

“Modelling has always been a passion of mine, since a young age”, she told us. “In the Congo, about age 11, I would find myself in local modelling competitions and I always seemed to win. This passion continued after I arrived in the UK in 2002 and it was at college that I started taking part in shows for the students completing their fashion courses”.

So there was no negative reaction from your classmates when you first arrived here?

“Not at all”, she said. “When leaving secondary school, all my classmates wrote in my ‘end of year book’ that they thought I would be a model. At that stage I wasn’t brave enough, you know the kind of phases that teenage girls go through, but – ultimately – I became more courageous and went for it”.

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Lisette’s career includes some great high-points, we asked her about her proudest moments.

“From a modelling point of view, winning a major modelling competition in 2012 and another in 2013 was a real highlight”, she told us. “The awards reinforced by self-belief and it was great to know that my hard work was being appreciated and acknowledged. We all need that”.

As our regular readers know, Africa Fashion believes that by improving mobile broadband, electronic payment and secure delivery in developing African nations – that they will experience a huge economic boom over the next 15 years. Naturally, we believe that fashion will be one of the driving forces for change, but what does Lisette think?

“We are living in a digital society where everything is run through electronics and online is important, especially shopping”, she said. “While I think African countries are moving in the right direction, there are complications. There needs to be a lot of improvements to make it easier for businesses and individuals to sell online – and home deliveries are a big challenge”.

We then move onto Lisette’s most important project, ‘Passion for Motherland‘, which culminates in a major celebration on 21st August. We asked her, what change she would most like to see coming from her efforts?

“We want to see and encourage upcoming designers in Congo”, she explained. “To help them further develop their skills. As the quality of their work increases, so does the value of having a ‘Made in Africa’ logo on products. We want that brand to mean ‘amazing fashion products with a superb finish’”.

You can keep up to speed on developments by following #PFMShowcase15 – with tickets available on Eventbrite over here.

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Lastly, we wondered what Lisette would be doing if she were not a model, actress or spokesperson.

“Well my degree was in criminology”, she said. “And I am passionate about working with the youth. They are key to solving society’s problems and to preventing from issues and crimes happening in the first place. We need a much better understanding of what leads people to wrong-doing. The study of criminology is crucial to that”.

Africa Fashion thanks Lisette for taking time out of her busy schedule to be spend time in our studio – and we wish her Passion for Motherland venture huge success.

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