KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
UNITED States-based Zambian model and actress Theresa Klein, who two months ago featured in Vogue Italia, has continued to make steady progress with her career.Theresa, who moved to the United States in 2009 following her adoption from Lusaka’s Kalingalinga where she was living with her grandmother, has now featured in a Pepsi advert which is airing on television.
Understandably, the 21-year-old who says her goal is to make Zambia proud, is in ecstatic mood.
She shared the new development with the Weekend Mail. She also sent through her recent photoshoot which she had with photographer Lindsey Hinderer and make-up artist Carisse Zorrilla.
“From an early age, I’ve always wanted to be a model and also to inspire women who are similar to me. In the future, I would love to have women’s shelters throughout Zambia that help women who endure domestic violence and also young girls who have had traumatic experiences,” Theresa says.
“I am also pleased to say that I spent half of my life in Zambia and I have many memories of growing up. When I was younger, we lived at the State House because my stepfather was a cook.
“When my mother died I moved to Kalingalinga to go live with my grandmother who raised and took care of me until my adoption. My adoption is what got me to the US and that was in 2009. It was a cultural shock but I have to admit I have adjusted just fine.”
When she first appeared in Vogue, Theresa was able to share her life in more detail. She explained how, when growing up, she wanted to be a backup dancer for Koffi Olomide and also a model.
“I have always been dark-skinned with full features. Most of the dancers for Koffi were always light-skinned and I remember at an early age wanting to bleach my skin so I could be like them which had a negative impact on my confidence,” she explained.
“Being a young girl of about five years, and wanting to do such a thing is pretty sad if you think about it. I never bleached my skin and thank God I didn’t because I would not be the woman I am today if I did.
“Instead of bleaching my skin, I was watching TV one time and happened to see Alek Wek walking on the runway. She was very dark in complexion and she had so much confidence in herself and the way she walked. In my head, I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a dark-skinned model who embraced herself and celebrated her own beauty.”
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka