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A leap of faith with Phiona Uwase

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Life is certainly unpredictable, and some of us have found ourselves in jobs we never dreamed of or imagined.

Some wanted to be doctors as children and are now painters, while others wanted to be teachers and are now singers.

It may be difficult to let go of the expectation that you will become what you have always imagined, but it sometimes takes courage to become what you should be.

Uwase Phiona is a living example of what it means to take a leap of faith.

Uwase Phiona, also known as Phiona Silver on social media, is one of Rwanda’s most popular fashion models. It’s difficult not to notice her at Kigali’s various fashion events.

Phiona is a 22-year-old fashion model whose size and shape are described as ‘perfect’ in the fashion world. Her thin, dark-skinned, and lightweight appearance ensures that she is noticed on any runway. Don’t get me started on her cheekbones.

She got her break in the industry in 2021, when every designer wanted her on their runway; she was ‘made for the job,’ as they say.

Even though she models like she owns it, she did not always think it was a career she would pursue. In a conversation we had with this ‘It’ girl, she mentioned that she wanted to be a writer.

She wanted to express her perspective on the world and the viewpoints to be found, but she later realized she could express herself even more through photography.

She stated, “I never imagined myself as a model; some people told me I’d be good at it, but I didn’t think much of it; I grew up loving creative writing, such as poems or other forms of writing that convey a message.”

“I realized I couldn’t write an entire book in 2020, so I decided to take pictures and post the words I wanted to convey,” she continued.

Uwase found herself in the fashion industry through this form of expressive art, and many doors and opportunities were opening up for her.

“I would take pictures, and people would really like them and say I should start modeling, but I didn’t think I could, but I once went to see Franco Kabano, and he said I would actually be perfect for the job,” she explained.

Uwase began training after meeting Kabano in 2020, but had to take a brief break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fortunately for our It girl, YouTube was available to teach her the fundamentals she needed to make her debut. She had the drive, the passion, and she was going to make the most of the platform.

Uwase, who works in patient care, says that fashion has helped her discover and understand the complexities of her inner self, as well as express her thoughts to the rest of the world.

Uwase Phiona collaborates with a number of fashion houses, including Moshions, Izubaa, Masa Mara Africa, and others.

Life can be difficult and force you to go in a certain direction at times, but it takes a leap of faith and courage to become who you want to be and do what you are meant to do. Do not hesitate, go for it.

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Uwase Phiona, photography by Holyziner
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Uwase Phiona modelling for Moshions

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