Standing only at 5 feet, 8 inches tall (relatively short in the modeling world), Ms. Nöella Coursaris Musunka has been very successful in London, working for various Editorials such as Bolz, Gat, Black beauty, Black hair (just to name a few) - and publications such as GQ, new Women, Men’s health, Tense, and many more. Her talents has been recognized and validated through all her works.
Now, she’s bringing her magic in America. Daughter of a Congolese mother and Cyprus father, this gorgeous and attractive young Congolese is shaking the world of fashion modeling and photography. Talking with Nöella gives you a different perspective on supermodels and the modeling world. Indeed, she is in a category of her own: humble, down to earth, very hard working, and always grateful.
Gifted with a gorgeous and sexy physique, her true beauty lies within. Nöella is a great humanitarian with a heart and passion for her Africa and fellow Africans. Noella is very active in the African non-for-profit scene and has raised tremendous visibility for many events designed to help young women and the people of Africa. And when you think it all ends there, she’s got more: passion-driven, goal oriented, she is also very educated, holding a degree in Business. Very Inquisitive, with an eager to explore and learn, Nöella is definitely someone to keep on the look-out for the New Year.
In this exclusive interview with ADUNAGOW magazine, you will get to know her personally.
AM: How did you get started in modeling?
Nöella: A lot of people always stopped me and asked me if I was interested in doing modeling. But I decided to study first. So I finished my studies, and then I wanted to learn English. So, I went to London. And in London I hear about this competition for a lingerie company that I could try. I sent them my picture because it was for the Agent Provocateur Campaign. Then it came back that I was chosen for the campaign. And after that, I signed with an agency and started doing a lot of editorials for different companies. Now, I work between London and New York.
AM: That is awesome. Has it always been your dream while growing up to become a supermodel?
Nöella: Modeling was something that I wanted, but I always wanted to study first. I like modeling, but I like to create most. I like Business. I love to keep my mind occupied. Modeling is one thing, but I like doing many things.
AM: So, you were born in Congo (former Zaire)?
Nöella: I was born in Congo. I grew up in Belgium and Switzerland.
AM: At what age did you leave Congo?
Nöella: I left the Congo at five, because my dad died.
AM: Who are your role models in the fashion world?
Nöella: Iman (Iman Abdulmajid) is fantastic, Lya (Liya Kebede), Alec Wek. They’re all great.
AM: What’s a typical day for you?
Nöella: Typical. You get up, and then either go to a client or to a photo shoot. When I’m not working in my modeling, I work on my Foundation (The Georges Malaika Foundation).
AM: Can you say it’s a very hectic lifestyle?
Nöella: Yes, it’s very hectic, because I travel a lot. You know, you get home, and then you have to leave again. So, It can be very hectic sometimes.
AM: And when you’re not working, what are your favorite things to do?
Nöella: I love watching movies. I love to read, and I love music.
AM: Currently, where is home? Where are you located presently?
Nöella: London and New York.
AM: Tell us, how can someone get involved in the fashion world? How do you become a supermodel like yourself?
Nöella: (laughs) I’m a good fashion model. But, the word "supermodel" in the fashion industry I believe does not exist anymore (laughs). I will say, you need to be very focused, be positive, and just go for it. Get a good agency and just believe in yourself and then move on. But it is always important to have an education besides.
AM: How do you promote and market yourself?
Nöella: I have an agency in London and in New York.
AM: What are the pros and cons of the fashion industry?
Nöella: The pros: you meet a lot of people and travel a lot. I always great to travel and discover different countries and different mentalities; also, to be flexible to live anywhere in the world. The cons: in the modeling business, you never know how long it will last; you know.
AM: In your opinion, what’s the number one issue to deal with in Africa? What’s your take (solution) on it?
Nöella: I think Education and Health. I’m more humanitarian than politic (laughs). For me it’s very important to look after the future generation. Hence, Education should be the first target, then economy stability.
AM: About Africa: what will you keep? What will you change?
Nöella: I will implement Free education; a very good education program for free. And Hospitals as well.
AM: What’s the best food you crave for always when you visit Africa?
Nöella: I love the palm oil chicken. I like the Fufu, the plantain, the beans (laugh), the Tilapia (laugh). Pondu, Fumbua, Ngai-ngai…and of course "La chikuange"
(At this point, the conversation took a little curve on the side when Nöella discovered that I myself was also originally from the Congo. Never put two Congolese and Fumbua in the same conversation!) Nöella, like any Congolese - or better yet, like any African - is very passionate about her country and have a great heart for the motherland. After catching up with the good old time, we were able to get back on track and continue with the interview).
AM: What can Africans do in order to create a strong presence in the America media? What are we lacking?
Nöella: We definitely need to have a better internet communication, strong Media, and telecommunication development. That will be a big help.
AM: Do you collaborate with other Africans as well? Tell us a little bit about your recent collaborations?
Nöella: Yes, of course. I’m always open to work with other Africans because if we don’t help each other, the African market will never grow. So, it’s very important for us to help each other. (Nöella co-hosted the 2007 Miss Africa USA competition that took place in Atlanta in November).I give interviews for African online magazines such as yours all the time. It is very important that we collaborate together. I think it’s time for us to show that we have solidarity.
AM: What do you see in the future for Africa?
Nöella: I think we are growing. We should more nationalize our products. It’s good to work with international companies, but we should be more in control of our businesses.
AM: Can you tell us something about you that people would never guess?
Nöella: I love sweets. I love candies (laughs)
AM: Tell us, what is the craziest thing you ever done?
Nöella: (laughs) let me think about that …and maybe I will reply to you by e-mail (laughs)
AM: Since this is the JAN/FEB issue, which covers Valentine as well, what’s the perfect valentine’s gift for you?
Nöella: Shoes. I love shoes (laughs)
AM: Will you consider acting in the future?
Nöella: Yes. I do consider acting in the future. I do sometimes work as extra on some movies. I just did an interview of the singer 2Face for Afro Entertainment Caribean TV. I would love to host a TV show as well.
AM: In the acting world, who would you want to work with, if you had your choice?
Nöella: This is a difficult question (laughs). From Tom Hanks to Denzel Washington…
AM: We definitely wish you success in that path as well. What is your New Year resolution(s)?
Nöella: Give more time to my foundation.
AM: Any last words?
Nöella: Be positive. Try to accomplish the best of each day, and it’s been a pleasure doing this interview with ADUNAGOW Magazine. Please visit the website of my foundation and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for everyone that has interest in my work.
Thank you Nöella for your time. We wish you success in all your endeavours and we will keep you in our radar.