A force to be reckoned with
Kim Jayde Robinson is the ultimate embodiment of a great 21st century example; that not every fairy-tale involves a prince charming.
Sheer determination, hard work and discipline catapulted this phenomenal young woman from a small city in Zimbabwe to ending up not only on all the best dressed lists in the country this year; but having the opportunity to rub shoulders with likes of Naomi Campbell, Charlize Theron and David Ayelowo.
No one could have guessed that an individual from a conservative and traditional Zimbabwean family; who initially moved to South Africa to study social work would end up on the stardom trajectory that Kim is on. She managed to capitalize on her social media influence to land career defining jobs such as being a VJ on MTV and being the first Zimbabwean face of Revlon.
“Living boldly by living your truth to me means; that I own my Zimbabwean heritage, my family background and what I stand for as an individual.”
– Kim Jayde Robinson
What’s the secret to her success? Well, she attributes it to ‘living boldly by living your truth’. “Living boldly by living your truth to me means that I own my Zimbabwean heritage, my family background and what I stand for as an individual.”
This attitude definitely played a big role in her decision to pursue a career as a model and a presenter after she completed her honours degree. Coming from a conservative family background, where being an entrepreneur and pursuing the arts was not viewed as a guaranteed stable form of income, her family was a little concerned about her chosen career path . She had to break away from the norm in order to pursue her dreams but she says this was all part of living her truth and pursuing her passion no matter what.
“I moved to Cape Town and lived in a share house with ten other people, I took up promo jobs such as handing out flyers on high ways, waitressing and working at clubs in order to pursue my passion. Within two years my family started seeing my face on TV ads and pictures in stores and they realised that this could be a real thing for me, especially because I was becoming financially stable. Now they respect me so much for taking that risk.”
Like any success story landing these jobs in Cape Town wasn’t enough, she was determined to keep progressing so she took that final leap; put all her belongings in the back of a truck and moved to Johannesburg in order to take her career to the next level.
“I was lucky enough to have been scouted for MTV soon after I moved to Joburg; they found me on instagram and invited me to audition for a show called News-ish and I got the job the next day.”
Millennials have been positioning themselves for great opportunities on social media more and more and it seems to be the secret to a lot of our success stories. This is no different for Kim Jayde; “I started posting on instagram so that my family and friends overseas could see what I was doing with my work and then I started my own blog, KimJaydeBlog; a space for unknown creatives like me where we collaborated free of charge. I worked with local make-up artists, designers and photographers. I sourced my clothing from designers for my blog and soon enough I was being invited to Johannesburg to sit front row of fashion weeks and that’s how MTV and Revlon found me.”
Any advice for aspiring influencers? “Take your social media seriously; treat it like your CV or business card. If your picture isn’t as good as your last then don’t post it. People who want to work with you always use your instagram as their point of reference.”
Just when you think you know everything about this inspirational human being; she reveals that her long term goals are to be able to fund passion projects that have to do with her Social work degree, such as starting a non-profit organisation for women and young girls that will equip them with the skills to enter the work force in order to break the cycle of poverty. She is currently involved with the Special Olympics; these are competitions for people will mental disabilities and the handicapped, such as people with; cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Kim also works with orphanages that take in young girls who are survivors of human trafficking and abandonment.
“I hope that I am an example to young girls from back home that you don’t need to work a conventional nine to five or get married by a certain age because there is so much more that women have to offer. I also hope that I can be a living proof to all young Zimbabweans that you can also go out there and do whatever it is you want to achieve.”
She says that the highlight of her career was when she met Naomi Campbell. “That was the moment when I was like God is saying this is it, I am here for this and it’s only going to get bigger and better!” We agree, with such a big heart, discipline and star power; it’s only up from here for Kimberly Jayde Robinson, so remember that name.
Photographer: Tashinga Mutakwa
MUA/Hairstylist: Lotlhe Lolo Motsisi Kekana