An Interview with Jenelle Joanne Ramsami
Determined, intelligent and confident these are all attributes that describe Durban’s Jenelle Joanne Ransami. She has been selected as today’s Featured Babe on Running Wolf’s Rant. She is an inspiration to those around her. Despite the fact that she was diagnosed with hearing loss, this has not stopped her from successfully becoming one of South Africa’s most inspiring up and coming models.
Over the last few years she has been named as a finalist in the Miss Deaf South Africa pageant 2009/2010, awarded the ‘Fresh Look’ title at the Miss India South Africa KZN 2010 contest and made the Top 5 and was ‘Miss photogenic’ for the Xtreme Models Search competition in February 2011. She has always believed that modelling is a stepping stone to something greater for her. She wants to motivate those who are both ably hearing and hearing impaired.
Achieving her goals is definitely not a foreign concept to this budding model. She was the first hearing impaired person in her school to pass her Matric with a merit and distinctions, thus enabling her to attend a mainstream college where she passed a national diploma in Business Management. It was this need to inspire and to show people that being hearing impaired is merely an obstacle that led Jenelle Joanne Ramsami to become LifeSound’s newest ambassador & ambassador for House Of Tai Tei Lija cosmetics. She was also the first hearing impaired / deaf person in the FHM Top 20 for 2012. She has also appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines over the years.
Jenelle has always believed that “your mind is the most powerful tool or you can do anything you have set your mind to”. She has also given back to the community, volunteering for charity foundations like Reach For a Dream and others. Music is in her heart, she feels its rhythm and she hears it with her heart and beneath her. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus (a contemporary dance tune), motivates her to overcome life’s struggle and shine on this platform.
I recently had the honor to interview Jenelle Joanne Ramsami, this is what she had to say…
What attracts you to modeling and why?
I started in modelling to build my self confidence, having been in full hearing schools and living with the ridicule and judgmental behaviour humankind has towards the disabled community. I was also determined to be in the modelling world to inspire and give our disabled youth of today some encouragement and show them that we are in NO WAY different to the people who have no disabilities and our beauty shines out from within.
What is the funniest / weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on a shoot?
During the Miss India Pageant 2011, when I was dancing for the talent portion, because I dance with such passion, I was dancing my heart out and I stepped onto a slippery portion of the stage and I started falling. Thankfully I was able to recover my footing and make it appear to be part of the dance steps, I did however, by the expressions on a few peoples faces, see that some realized that I was in fact slipping. Thankfully the judges were not any of those and I got great feedback from them.
What advice could you offer aspiring South African models?
One thing i have realized about modelling, beauty is but skin deep. What you have inside, shines through on the outside. Criticizing and insulting other people destroys their self confidence and moral for life. Remember, Life is ALWAYS a competition, but do not let vanity bring down your true value. Never get caught up in the competitive nature of many models. Never compare yourself, both physically and emotionally to anyone else. Once you aspire to become a model, remember that self confidence is what truly makes you beautiful.
What is your passion? What drives you?
Modelling, dancing and acting is my career passion, yet my lifes passion is to bridge the gap between the disabled and the “normal” communities, to show everyone that a disability does not make us different in the way that I have seen many judged to be. What drives me in life is to inspire the youth, to show them that a disability does not hinder them from living their dreams and following their passions in life.
What are the five things that you simply can not live without and why?
My GHD, I look like a mess when i wake up J I always like to look my best even when i’m just going down the road to the cafe to buy a chocolate
My ICE CREAM, to remind myself that I am allowed to look like a mess every now and again, it must be chocolate ice cream, preferably a Magnum Dark Chocolate
My CELLPHONE, for my Whatsapp, BBM, Twitter and Facebook, basically to keep in touch with all my fans and supporters and for my selfie photographs.
My CAMERA, I love photography and always being able to capture the moment
MUSIC is most important, I cannot live without good music, I enjoy dancing to hip hop jazz salsa house generally any music with a good beat, it allows me to feel sexy when i feel the music and move my body around the dance floor.
What is one of your more memorable moments?
Last week, I was a dancer for the music video for Buffalo Souljah featuring Eindo, Blayze & Turas – TurnUp. It will be released on Channel O towards the end of the month, so keep an eye out for that. It was truly fun & exciting and I truly learned a lot. I have officially become a big fan of Buffalo Souljah. I also did another music video for the gospel singer, Jimmie Gaits, in which I did a solo dance which really impressed him.
Is there anything you would like to share with us?
The Nanga artist Thys Le Roux (from Pretoria) asked to transform one of my modelling photos into a manga character. You can view it at http://blogs.litnet.co.za/
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Henno Kruger for his inspiring words about me and also for this interview. I ask all who read this to please vote for me for FHM’s Girlfriend Challenge, it has to be voted for via computer as the mobi link does not direct you correctly. Please click on the following link to vote for me: http://www.fhmgirlfriend.co.za/index.asp?f=&p=1&id=177
On behalf of Running Wolf’s Rant I would like to thank Jenelle Joanne Ramsami for taking time to answer my questions. I wish her all of the best with her future endeavors. Check out her blog at http://missjenjo.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter via @missjenjo on Twitter.
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Watch this space for regular updates in the Interviews and Babes on Running Wolf’s Rant.