Kim Jayde is one of South Africa’s fastest rising “it girls”.
The model is currently a presenter on MTV Base and has big plans for her future.
But her rise to the top was not a smooth one and Kim had her fair share of hardship.
The Zimbabwean beauty moved to South Africa in 2009 after high school to pursue her studies and modelling career.
Her first year as a model was “extremely challenging” and gigs were few and far between.
She chatted to ZAlebs about how she worked her way up to becoming a household name.
“It was extremely challenging,” Kim says about her early modelling days.
“The industry was not as inclusive as it is now! They wanted the typical size zero, 6-foot-tall models and I definitely am not that. I barely worked for the first two years,” she admits.
Things got so bad for Kim, she could not afford food at one point and had to strategically time her visits to her modelling agency to make sure she was there when they were having lunch - which meant she could get her meal for the day.
Hustling for food and having to walk to her agency because she did not have bus fare made Kim realise she could not depend solely on her modelling jobs for money.
“My dream of becoming a model saw me not making real money for months at a time. So promo work and hostessing became my bread and butter. I am grateful for that in a way because it teaches you to be able to engage with any person in any situation - which helps me now as a presenter.”
The struggle was real, but Kim is not ashamed of what she went through.
“I proudly share my struggles as a model in the early days because people glamorize their lives as if things were always perfect and easy. I want the young girls to look up to me to know that in order to be successful you need to work hard and never quit - even when things get hard,” she says.
Rejection was a big part of her life as a model, and Kim, who would sometimes attend three modelling castings a day, heard “no” a lot.
But she learned early on that rejection is something we all must deal with.
“What kept me going, what still keeps me going on the hard days, is that I truly love what I do. I loved being on camera and playing different characters and different roles, dressing up, and living out a dream I never believed was possible,” she tells ZAlebs.
Her hard work paid off in the end and Kim was soon booking international gigs and earning big bucks.
The 29-year-old, who was recently named one of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30, got her big break in 2016 when MTV Base’s talent manager discovered her on Instagram. The rest is history.
Kim says models are often called “stupid and pretty”, but with an Honours Degree in Social Work under her belt, Kim has more than proven that she is more than just a beautiful face.
Despite her family’s reservations, she knew she had picked the right career path by becoming a model.
“The perks for me far outweighed the cons of the job, as a young girl from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe I was able to go from hella broke to living in an apartment in beautiful Bokaap. I got to wear the most beautiful clothes and work with the best hair, makeup and styling teams in the country! It was a dream - until I discovered TV - then I chased a new dream.”
What’s her message to aspiring models and TV presenters? Don’t do it for fame.
“Don’t go into fashion, TV, music if it's just for the money, glitz, glam and fame - because that's only 5% of the life. The other 95% is struggling, and consistent hard work. But if you love what you do - it truly is worth it.”